Who Will Be the A's Fifth-Starter?

The A’s will most likely open the season with Ben Sheets on the mound. Sheets would then be followed by Dallas Braden, Justin Duchscherer and Brett Anderson. That’s a pretty solid front-four, but the A’s are still deciding on who will get the final spot in the rotation. Trevor Cahill and Gio Gonzalez are the two contenders vying for the fifth and final spot. While Cahill would probably be the favorite, fans should not overlook Gonzalez’s fantastic spring.

In his latest outing, Gonzalez allowed one run, walked three and struck out four in 6 1/3 innings. As a result, Gonzalez lowered his spring ERA to 2.79, and opponents are hitting a meager .177 against the southpaw.

In my own personal opinion, Gonzalez has shown a lot of effort this spring to keep in emotions in check. But something tells me that A’s manager, Bob Geren, will probably choose Cahill over Gonzalez. Meaning that Gonzalez will probably see most of his playing time in the bullpen to open the season. And with the A’s bullpen suffering from the injury bug, Gio could help solidify what is expected to a solid bullpen.

Cahill, who enters his second season with the A’s, should be successful in the rotation if he keeps his stuff down in the strike-zone. Last season, Cahill had a hard time retiring opposing offenses when he left his fastball up in the zone. As a result, Cahill allowed an A’s rookie-record, 27 homeruns. He did, however, manage to win 10 games last year. And winning 10 games is not an easy task for a 21-year old rookie.

And if Cahill can command his fastball and sinker, he should experience better results than he did in 2009. Like I’ve said all offseason, Cahill has the stuff to win and become a solid starter in the majors. Brett Anderson and Trevor Cahill will combine to win 25 games this year for the A’s. Trust me.

Tags: A's Ben Sheets Bob Geren Brett Anderson Dallas Braden Gio Gonzalez Justin Duchscherer Oakland Athletics Opening Day Preview Projection Spring Training Trevor Cahill

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