This will be a recurring series outlining the different aspects of the A’s roster. I will preview what the outfield, infield, catching, bench, starting rotation, and bullpen will look like culminating in a preview of what the opening day roster and starting lineup might look like. This series will use the currently active 40 man roster with any updates at the time being taken into account. I will post the links to previous parts of the series here (1,2,3,4,5).
The A’s current 40 man roster contains 10 pitchers who either are starters currently or could be considered starters. This includes: Brett Anderson, Jarrod Parker, Tommy Milone, Dan Straily, A.J. Griffin, Brad Peacock, Bartolo Colon, Travis Blackley, Andrew Werner, and Michael Ynoa. As with some of the relief pitchers I mentioned yesterday, the first five starters listed have their rotation spots locked down. Consequently the rest of the list will probably start the year at Triple A Sacramento.
Spring training will be a prime opportunity to showcase what the rest of the staff has. They will be jockeying for the chance to be the first one called up should something happen to one of Anderson, Parker, Milone, Straily, or Griffin. It will also be a good learning experience for some of the younger pitchers such as Werner, Peacock, and Ynoa as well as a chance to gain some good habits and tips from the coaching staff that they can bring back with them to Triple A Sacramento and try to duplicate those results.
The players with the most to gain/lose: Dan Straily and A.J. Griffin. Both of these pitchers were late call ups last season but stuck around due to exceptional results. Griffin came from Double A Midland and Straily rose through the minor league ranks faster than expected after developing an amazing change up before last season. Both of them are penciled in to fill the back end of the rotation currently but if they are to falter in spring training they just might end up back at Triple A Sacramento.
The player with the most to prove: Brad Peacock. As I mentioned yesterday Peacock struggled mightily early on last season before finally finding some success towards the end. He was one of the main pieces of the Gio Gonzalez trade and therefore has the organizations eye. He will need to find success early on if he looks to find a place in the starting rotation of the A’s in the near future.
This starting rotation at the end of last season carried the A’s into the playoffs. They were gritty and appeared experienced when none of them had even had playoff implications thrust upon them before. Barring something drastic the rotation looks like Anderson, Parker, Milone, Griffin, and finally Straily in that order. It appears to be the strongest rotation in the AL West and it will need to be just that if the A’s again look to be competitive against the Ranger and Angels (sorry Mariners and Astros fans).