2011 Oakland Athletics preview: Projected starting rotation

Read about the Projected Starting Lineup here Oakland A’s

Part II: Projected Starting Rotation

· SP – Trevor Cahill
· SP – Brett Anderson
· SP – Dallas Braden
· SP – Gio Gonzalez
· SP – Rich Harden/Brandon McCarthy/Josh Outman

– Cahill led the A’s with 18 wins and had a sub-3.00 ERA. He gave up zero earned runs in 10 of his starts, pitching at least seven innings in eight of those. Cahill made 30 starts despite missing the first month of the season. He’s earned the Opening Day start.

– Anderson has the potential to be the second ace of the A’s staff. Due to injury, Anderson missed two months in the middle of the season and started only 19 games in 2010, but did post a sub-3.00 ERA.

– The highlight of the year for the A’s had to be the perfect game Braden pitched against the Tampa Bay Rays in Oakland on Mother’s Day. However, he would go 0-5 in his next nine starts and finished with an 11-14 record. Braden did finish with a respectable 3.50 ERA.

– Gonzalez posted a 15-9 record and a 3.23 ERA in 2010. Gonzalez led the A’s in starts, innings pitched and strike outs. He got stronger in the second half, posting an 8-3 record with a 2.59 ERA after the All-Star break.

– Cahill, Anderson, Gonzalez and Braden were a combined 51-37 with a 3.17 ERA in 2010. They walked just 220 batters in 702 1/3 innings pitched.

– On Opening Day, the average age of the A’s top four starters will be 24.5 years.

– I would give the fifth starter nod to Harden, only because he actually pitched in 2010. Harden made 18 starts, but struggled with a 5.58 ERA for the American League Champion Texas Rangers. Both McCarthy and Outman missed the 2010 campaign.

– Harden has made started 145 games in his career. McCarthy has started 56 games and Outman has started 16.

– Harden being injury-prone is an understatement to say the least. He started more than 20 games only twice in his nine MLB seasons. However, with a strong A’s bullpen, Harden might have to go only five innings at the most and that might be enough to keep him healthy for the year.

– Ten pitchers started games for the A’s in 2010.

– I will discuss the A’s bullpen and their bench in the next article

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