The rumors are true. Baseball insiders are correct. Brad Mills is getting the nod for the A’s rotation, albeit earlier than expected. Who is Brad Mills? The A’s picked him up in a trade with the Brewers earlier this week for a dollar. Mills has been excellent in Triple-A this season, posting a 1.56 ERA in 75 innings. His WHIP is also fantastic, at a minuscule 0.920. By comparison, Scott Kazmir has a 0.977 WHIP this season in the bigs. While comparing the two players is silly, it is a useful reference for how effective Brad Mills has been at keeping runners off the base paths.
The assumption was that Brad Mills would be starting Saturday’s game in place of injured Drew Pomeranz, but Bob Melvin has decided to keep Mills on normal rest, and push Jesse Chavez to a Saturday start instead. This simple move is more proof that we have one of the best managers in baseball.
Sure, Bob Melvin could have left everything alone. The forethought to start Brad Mills on Friday night works for two main reasons.
The first is simple. Chavez has already thrown more innings this season than in any previous. An extra day of rest could go a long way to ensuring his arm is still valuable come October.
The second reason is the opposing pitcher on Friday, Felix Doubront is 2-4 with a 5.12 ERA accompanied by a 1.55 WHIP. Saturday’s starter for Boston is Rubby De La Rosa, who is 2-2 with a 2.84 ERA and a 1.11. By comparison, Doubront may be the easier of the two for Brad Mills to match up against, while giving the A’s a shot at a win. Pushing Chavez back to Saturday also gives the A’s a better shot at winning that game.
Bob Melvin is getting greedy going after victories, and I like it.
With Brad Mills set to take the mound on Friday night, we can truly see what a dollar gets these days.