The Oakland Athletics Rotation will undoubtedly start with Sonny Gray on Opening Day. Behind him the likely contenders include some combination of Chris Bassitt, Jesse Hahn, Rich Hill and Kendall Graveman. Bassitt and Hahn looked really good when healthy last year with Bassitt compiling a 3.56 ERA, and Hahn a 3.35 ERA. Graveman was more up and down but had a 4.05 ERA in 21 starts. Rich Hill at 36 coming from the Red Sox had a very effective 4 starts with a 1.55 ERA but comes with same questions of health and durability that the youngsters have. While the foursome may not inspire confidence that this will be a set it and forget it rotation all have tremendous upside and teamed with Oakland’s new bullpen could be more effective then people envision. Throwing 5 or 6 good innings could be enough.
Given the inevitable injury and/or underperformance the A’s do have some options.
An interesting wild card is former Ace, Jarrod Parker whom is throwing off a mound after missing the last 2 years with injury. It’s hard to know exactly what to expect from Parker who has just started adding changeups back to his repertoire.
In Mid-May, Henderson Alvarez, whom the A’s signed in the off-season will be healthy and should take one of the rotation spots from any underperforming youngster. Swing-starts should initially go to Felix Dubront.
The A’s top pitching prospect is 6 foot 5 left hander Sean Manaea. Manaea was 6-0 with a 1.90 ERA in 7 starts with 51 strikeouts and only 15 walks in 41 and 2/3 Innings Pitched at Double A Midland after being acquired in the Ben Zobrist trade. He will likely start the year in AAA but could be pushing for a spot in the rotation late in the year if there are injuries or underperformance.
ZIPS Projections for 2016 (no particular order)