If things continue the way they are now in Phoenix, I can’t imagine the projected starting rotation will survive spring training. The A’s players haven’t had time to get used to the Arizona weather and we are hearing about injuries. Are we in for another frustrating season of frequent trips to the DL? And players with injuries they can’t seem to recover from?
I am passionate about baseball and I love the Oakland A’s, but it’s hard to get excited about the 2010 team. Too many injuries and uncertainties that lead me to believe the starting rotation won’t be what the A’s are expecting this year.
Here are some points to consider.
Reason #1 Ben Sheets– The ink was hardly dry on his $10 million contract before Manager Bob Geren announced he was his 2010 opening day starter. I understand name recognition and for the A’s to get some media attention. Remember Jason Giambi in 2009? I hope Ben Sheets proves me wrong, but I am skeptical.
I really hope his track record of the last 3 years is not a sign of (bad) things to come. I believe his frequent trips to the DL scared-off a number of other teams. So he ended up wearing the Green and Gold. (I don’t think he likes the colors). I can see the headlines:
“Bret Anderson named 2010 opening day starter after Ben Sheets retires to the Clubhouse with slight elbow stiffness on the mound today!”
Reason #2 – Justin Duchscherer. Granted he is a 2-time All-Star as a starting pitcher and a reliever. Not many players can claim that distinction. But, will he stay healthy in 2010? If the last two seasons were any indication, I would say no. Just when I was willing to give him the benefit of the doubt…oops! A surgical procedure to relieve the back pain. Should I really be excited about his 2010 season?
I have never played baseball; but I played cricket; does that count? Maybe not, so it is definitely not my place to tell a player when to quit. But, my hope is someone will whisper in his ear, that he would be better-off coming out of the pen, or retire, perhaps?
Duchscherer may never regain his form of 2008. What a season. He went 10-8 with a 2.54 ERA and pitched 141 innings. His most memorable performance was against 2-time Cy Young Award Winner, Tim Lincecum at the coliseum on June 28, 2008. That was heart-pounding, sit-at-the-edge-of-your-seat kind stuff. Maybe he will prove me wrong and give us at least one more game like that.
Reason #3 – Josh Outman – Yes he was good for the short time he pitched in 2008 & 2009. I was disappointed he and needed surgery. But A’s fans got to see what the young ones could do and we were excited. Let’s hope there is more of that this year. I think Manager Bob Geren overused Outman last year.
Just when I though all was well, Jane Lee of MLB.com, reported last week that Josh Outman confessed to having shoulder tendonitis.
Result: 6-week delay in his rehab.
Reason #5 – Dallas Braden – I admire his fiery attitude every time he takes the ball. He wants to win and gives it his all. Last time I saw him pitch, it wasn’t a happy ending. He was visibly upset after Manager Bob Geren took him out of the game. Early reports were that he had a rash on his ankle and might miss a game or two.
He was gone for the rest of the season.
Forward to 2010, Dallas Braden is fit and ready for spring training, but he is well enough to join the rotation. According to Mychael Urban, CSN Bay Area Insider, he has permanent nerve damage because of the rash and has no feeling in some of the toes.
Could this could go down in Baseball history as “Rash-Gate?”
“The Tiny Rash that Derailed a Big League Career”.
Reason #6 – Joey Devine – Devine came over from the Braves as part of the Mark Kotsay trade. Hopes were high for him to become the next great closer for the A’s. He is the reason Huston Street and Carlos (Car-Go) Gonzalez are now playing with the Colorado Rockies. Carlos is already a star.
Joey Devine posted a 0.59 ERA in 42 appearances in 2008, but never made it to opening day 2009. He showed up in Spring Training complaining of elbow pain. By April, he was in Birmingham, Alabama where Dr. James Andrews performed elbow surgery. I hope we get to see him pitch sometime this year.
While the A’s are still trying to figure out who’s going to fill the fifth spot in the rotation, I strongly believe in 2010 we will see the same rotation as last year:
1. Brett Anderson
2. Trevor Cahill
4. Vin Mazzarro
I would love to know what you think.