Year after year, it seems, the Oakland A’s pitching is their bright side, and that goes back to about as far as the history books will take you.
This season has been no different.
Here we are, August 2, and the A’s are sitting in first place in the American League West with a three and a half game cushion over the Texas Rangers, and an important home series against the Rangers beginning tonight.
While the A’s offense has been off and on, the pitching has been one aspect of the team that has stayed consistent.
Led by hefty right hander Bartolo Colon, the A’s starting rotation hasn’t been untouchable, but they’ve been reliable and they’ve kept the A’s close enough to win tight games.
Aside from strikeouts, the A’s starting rotation ranks in the top five of the AL in every major category (first in innings pitched, second in complete games, quality starts, and opponents batting average, third in wins and walks, and fourth in earned run average and shutouts).
With starters that, salaries combined, cost a grand total of around $5 million ($3 million of that being the 40-year-old Colon), according to ESPN’s salary/payroll information, I’d have to say, it’s pretty impressive. Especially when staff aces, such as Justin Verlander, CC Sabathia, and David Price are making two-to-four times that amount alone from their respective teams.
Colon has received plenty of praise on his season as well as early Cy Young considerations, but the rest of the staff has been worth mentioning as well.
Last year’s rookies, Jarrod Parker and Tommy Milone, have each continued to make positive strides, as well as A.J. Griffin who has settled into the back of the rotation. The only plague that has hit the young pitchers, whose ERAs sit at around four, has been the amount of home runs given up, especially Griffin who leads the league.
The rotation is capped off with Dan Straily, who has also made moves in the right direction but has lacked consistency – as well as time in the big leagues – and has an ERA of around 4.4.
The A’s have shown plenty of confidence in the youngsters by not overpaying for the likes of a veteran, such as Jake Peavy, at the trade deadline, and now we’ll have to wait and see if that decision was the right one. There is always the option of a waiver claim that leads to a deal.
But for now, what is certain is that the A’s postseason, and possibly World Series, hopes lie in the throwing arms of their staff.