You pick the A’s pitching staff

Posted By on February 16, 2009 10:20 am

I feel I’ve been ignoring the A’s the past few days. Of course, A’s fans also seem to be ignoring me. It’s a chicken-and-egg sort of thing. I want to bring you guys back here because when I go to spring training in a few weeks, I’m going to be covering the A’s every day, so I’d better have some A’s fans here to read the stuff.

So here’s my A’s topic du jour. The A’s are going to start the season with 12 pitchers and only eight of them have secure jobs. (I’d argue that really only seven of them should, but more on that later). I want to hear your thoughts on who the 12 guys should be.

Here’s what we know so far. Bob Geren has said the starters with an inside track at the first four spots are Justin Duchscherer, Dana Eveland, Sean Gallagher and Dallas Braden. (Personally, I’m not sure Braden has accomplished enough in the majors to earn this distinction. Speaking of Braden, I think this item about letting him throw his screwball is right on the money.) The No. 5 starter candidates are Gio Gonzalez, Josh Outman and newly signed Edgar Gonzalez. Oh, and our old friend Jerome Williams. Then there are Trevor Cahill, Brett Anderson and Vin Mazzaro. All of them could be up sometime this year, but probably not for opening day. Then again, these are the A’s, and all three of those guys seem to have more upside than any of the A’s current starters (with the possible exception of Gallagher) so I wouldn’t rule them out. I think the fact that the A’s didn’t get a veteran starter is a clue that they think these young guys are closer to being ready than they want to say publicly. 

In the bullpen, you’ve got Joey Devine, Brad Ziegler, Russ Springer and Michael Wuertz with jobs locked up. Jerry Blevins, Santiago Casilla, Chris Schroeder, Jeff Gray and all of the losers in the No. 5 starter competition are in the mix here for the other three spots.

So, who do you like? Anyone who nails all 12 on the opening day roster wins a prize to be determined.

I’ll take:

Starters
Duchscherer
Eveland
Gallagher
Gio Gonzalez
Edgar Gonzalez

Relievers
Devine
Ziegler
Springer
Wuertz
Blevins
Casilla
Braden

Just for bonus points, I’ll add that Cahill, Anderson and Mazzaro will each start at least one game for the A’s in 2009, and I’ll bet one of them starts at least 10.

Comments

13 Responses to “You pick the A’s pitching staff”

  1. asfan09 says:

    your list looks right. though i think if braden starts throwing the screwball, which is a true out pitch it improves his status. am i buying into false hype w/ williams. if he’s commited to this fitness/diet plan maybe he can be another surprise like saarloos, gaudin, dinardo.
    i think casilla could be trade bait w/ gray, schroder, cameron as reliever reinforcements in AAA plus carignan, bailey, etc.

    mulder has yet to workout for teams
    the 2 other teams that liked dennis reyes have backed off..dodgers/phillies. he would be another good bp addition.
    any update since last wednesday on cabrera?

  2. PatBU says:

    Starter:
    Duchescherer
    Eveland
    Gallagher
    Braden
    Gio Gonzalez

    Reliever:
    Devine
    Ziegler
    Springer
    Wuertz
    Casilla
    Blevins
    E. Gonzalez

    We’ll see about the young 3…I’m tempted to say anderson will beat out blevins for the L arm in the bullpen but I’m thinking blevins will hop on this oppurtunity and make the most of it as he is 25 and loosing time to crack the bigs full time.

  3. VeniceBeachEndo says:

    I like The Duke, Eveland, Gallagher, and Gio as 1-4, but I like one of the (relatively) young guys for the last spot, which I’m giving to Outman right now. I’m also not buying into Jerome Williams. I think Edgar starts the year in the pen as a long reliever but will get a chance to start early if any of the guys struggle out of the box. As for the Big 3 (Cahill, Anderson and Mazzaro), I’m betting that at least 1 will be in the bigs by May and all 3 will be up by July.

    I like Devine to start as our closer with Ziegs as the main set up man (although the way we manage our bullpen it could depend on the situation as to who pitches the 9th). Springer, Wuertz, Blevins, Casilla and Edgar round out my pen. I’ve never been that high on Braden, but to be fair he always seems to be placed in a no-win situation, either being a spot starter or filling in due to an injury.

    Jeff, I know you’ve been pushing for the A’s to pick up veteran starter (ie-Randy Wolf) which I also think is a good idea. Will there be any available via trade during the season before the trade deadline?

  4. Jeremy says:

    I’ll take:

    Duke
    Eveland
    Gallagher
    Braden
    Williams

    I like Williams as a 5th starter over Gio, depending of course on how they look in spring. I could very easily see Gio be turned into a dominant reliever instead of a hit or miss starter, and Jerome could bridge the gap to the young guns later in the season. Gio’s problem has always been he allows a few mistakes to snowball… as a reliever he would have less opportunity to let things snowball pitching in such short stints.

    Ziegler
    Devine
    Springer
    Blevins
    Wuertz
    Casilla
    Gio

    Can I say first off that THAT is one lights out pen. Devine’s and Casilla’s injury histories worry me, so I’m very happy to see Beane address that issue before the season by adding depth with Schroder, Springer, and Wuertz.

    The A’s need to make a decision on what their rotation is going to look like in AAA. WIth my preferred scenario, that still leaves Cahill, Anderson, Mazzaro, Simmons, Edgar Gonzalez, and Outman left for 5 rotation spots in AAA. Be interesting to see how this works out.

    I guarantee we see at least two of Cahill, Anderson, and Mazzaro make their ML debuts this season.

  5. Sean says:

    Duchescherer
    Eveland
    Gallagher
    Braden
    Gio Gonzalez

    Reliever:
    Devine
    Ziegler
    Springer
    Wuertz
    Casilla
    Blevins
    Outman

  6. Daniel says:

    Hey Jeff. I like this blog (even all the stuff about the Giants), although I am a little dissapointed with A’s fans. I guess they like AN too much. How many A’s related questions did you get during your chat? I didn’t see many. Anyways, these are my picks:

    Duchscherer
    Gallagher
    Eveland
    Braden
    Outman (that’s right, I said Outman)

    Devine
    Ziegler
    Springer
    Wuertz
    Casilla
    Blevins
    Gio

  7. Chris says:

    Hey Jeff,

    I too am a big fan of this blog. A welcome addition to my daily A’s-news scramble around the web.

    Rotation:
    Duke
    Eveland
    Gallagher
    Gio
    Outman

    I’ve always liked Eveland’s action and i think it might be good to have a lefty at no. 2 so opponents cannot get too comfortable and we don’t have use up our lefty options out of the pen multiple games in a row. There are several strong contenders for the no. 5 spot (or maybe several equally mediocre contenders) and if Outman struggles I wouldn’t be surprised to see Braden or Williams come up from AAA (where he should start the season to make sure that everything’s all gravy unless he’s lights-out this spring). Gio is a solid 3-4 starter who had, as he’s admitted, some emotional/mental issues last year. If the club can give him a solid vote-of-confidence and work out those kinks he’ll be solid at no. 4 and may move up with injuries or struggles among Eveland or Gallagher.

    Bullpen:
    Devine
    Ziggy
    Springer
    Wuertz
    Casilla (aka the man formerly known as Jairo Garcia)
    Blevins
    E. Gonzalez

    Gonzalez should provide a good swingman in the ‘pen: making spot starts and in extended relief. I like Devine as closer but wouldn’t be surprised if Ziggy goes on a tear at one point or another and earns that role for at least a month. As was mentioned earlier Springer and Wuertz provide some solid depth to the staff and it sounds like Russ is really taking ownership of the pitching staff which should help out alot with the chaos in the beginning of the season due to competition and when, inevitably, Cahill, Anderson, and Mazzaro come up later in the season.

    Those are my thoughts on pitching. Position players, on the other hand, should continue to baffle us until we really get a look at Crosby’s Big Mac-ified swing, Barton’s approach (can he replicate his Sepember success of the past two seasons?), O-Cab possibilities, Buck’s situation (will that sophomore slump extend to a third year?), and the lingering health questions regarding Chavvy and Ellis. Wow, that’s a lot of concerns. Can’t wait for games to start in the next week or so.

  8. Oakland Si says:

    Jeff,

    I think it may take A’s fans a while to get accustomed to checking your site…I don’t think it’s a question of ignoring you (well, at least speaking for myself…it’s just a question of getting in the habit).

    I think Gio may start the season at Triple-A, unless he really wows them in Spring Training and wins a spot in the starter rotation. I don’t think the A’s see him as a reliever (which I think would also decrease his value.

    I think Casilla is trade bait — but he’ll need to impress the A’s and others that he’s over the hesitancy he showed to throw his slider after returning from the DL last season.

    I saw Williams pitch in SF when he first came up, and was impressed with his talent. If he has truly straightened up his mental and physical issues without messing up his arm he could be a real find.

    My guess for the rotation:
    Duscherer
    Eveland
    Gallagher
    Braden with screwball
    Williams

    Bullpen:
    Devine
    Ziegler
    Springer
    Wuertz
    Blevins
    Casilla (at least to start the season)
    Edgar Gonzalez

  9. Q says:

    I’m a huge A’s fan, and I don’t remember how I stumbled upon your blog, but it’s become one of the sites that helps me kill time at work. Good stuff!

    Anyways, the A’s always have a floating rotation…with all the injuries and 5th starter movement. So whatever the rotation is on opening day will probably be different than how it looks even 2 weeks into the season. But, what the hell…

    Starters:

    Duchscherer
    Eveland
    Gallagher
    Braden
    Outman

    I’ll take Geren’s word on Braden having an inside track to a rotation spot…and he’s been solid in the past when allowed to start. Besides, Braden is the kind of pitcher you can give you a few good months, but that you have no qualms about pulling out of the rotation when the young 3 studs are ready. Outman finished the season in the rotation, and did fairly well. I think Gio needs some time in AAA, and Edgar will wind up in the bullpen. Honestly, for me it came down to Williams and Outman, and Outman had more time with the A’s to prove himself…and he didn’t embarass himself. We’ll see though.

    As far as the young 3 are concerned. I could see Mazzaro making the rotation out of spring training instead of Outman if he’s awesome (although I think a May callup for injury replacement is more likely)…but I think Anderson and Cahill both need more time in AAA. I wouldn’t expect to see either of them in the bigs until after the All Star break at the earliest…and maybe not even until September for Cahill (who I think is the furthest behind of all three, although that’s not saying much as he’s still a beast). I’d always read that a 2010-2011 timeframe for them being rotation mainstays is a good estimate, and I’ll stick with that.

    Relievers:

    Devine
    Ziegler
    Springer
    Wuertz
    Blevins
    Casilla
    E. Gonzalez

    The first four are givens, Blevins has been pretty good and could prove to be a useful lefty. Casilla was awesome before his injury, so hopefully he’ll be back to his old self (if not his old name). For the last spot, I just think the A’s will want Edgar’s “stuff” in the bullpen backing up the rotation in case any of them have a rocky outing. But that’s purely speculation at this point. If Gio isn’t starting in the bigs, he will be starting in AAA, same with Williams…both of whom I think the A’s see as starters and won’t want to waste in the bullpen.

  10. daveinsm says:

    it’s gotta be

    Duche-bag
    Eveland
    Gallagher
    Braden
    Gonzo

  11. Brad Jensen says:

    I have to agree with Braden. I think he is best served as a middle or long reliever. Perhaps this new cutter becomes his out pitch but over the past few years he is just one of those guys that doesn’t pitch well to contact and often gets guys to 2 strikes and can’t finish guys off.

    I’m interested to see if Williams shows any signs of his potential. Regardless of what happens, I think all of these guys with the exception of Duchscherer and maybe Gallagher all better pitch their asses off because the guys behind them are waiting in the wings and nearly ready. It wouldn’t be a complete shock to see one of them break training on the big league club.

    I think the bullpen is pretty much set with the exception of the odd man out in the starting race. Hopefully the new vets will help Geren from being forced to overuse Casilla. I’d like to see them cement a closer because committees historically don’t work well.

  12. Vignette17 says:

    Outside the box thinking:

    Duke
    Eveland
    Gallagher
    Braden
    Mulder

    Devine
    Ziegler
    Wuertz
    Springer
    Blevins
    Outman
    Casilla

    Gio tends to do better when repeating a level. He’ll try to do that with AAA. MACS aren’t quite ready but a midseason ETA is not out of the question. Gonzalez and Williams are nice little stories that will fade into the wind. Anyone remember Seth Etherton and the little “upside” the A’s might have gotten instead?

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