The A’s have two veterans in Ben Sheets and Justin Duchscherer who missed all of last season due to injury. They also had a bunch of promising young pitchers on the rise. The A’s are paying 31-year old righty Ben Sheets like an ace despite the fact that he missed all of last year due to injury. That is pretty risky business. Sheets started 31 games for the Brewers in 2008 in which he was 13-9 with a 3.09 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP. Sheets has won 10-13 games in 7 of his 8 years in the majors so he has been kind of dependable, when healthy.
22-year old lefty Brett Anderson really had a solid rookie year and he was outstanding in the second half. Anderson started 30 games for the A’s last season and he was 11-11 with a 4.06 ERA and a 1.28 WHIP. He whiffed 150 batters in 175 1.3 innings last season and he only walked 45 batters showing pinpoint control. Anderson has a impressive arsenal of pitches and I see him improving in his second year in the majors.
26-year old lefty Dallas Braden really pitched well last year for the A’s. He started 22 games for the A’s last season in which he was 8-9 with a 3.89 ERA and a 1.36 WHIP. The big question with Braden is can he be that successful over an entire season? The A’s will probably give him a chance to prove that he was for real in 2010.
22-year old righty Trevor Cahill had a solid rookie year for the A’s in 2009. He started 32 games last season in which he was 10-13 with a 4.63 ERA and a 1.44 WHIP. Cahill only whiffed 90 batters in 178 2/3 innings last season as he was depending on the defense to help him out. He also walked 72 batters last season which is way too many. If Cahill can tighten up his control a bit he could turn into a top of the line starter for the A’s in the near future.
32-year old righty Justin Duchscherer missed all of last season due to injury. In 2008 he started 22 games for the A’s in which he was 10-8 with a 2.54 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP. He only gave up 107 hits last season in 141 2/3 innings in 2008 as he was missing a lot of bats. In his six years with the A’s, Duchscherer has pitched in 214 games (25 starts) in which he is 30-23 with 14 saves, a 2.82 ERA and a 1.10 WHIP. The A’s expect a lot out of Duchscherer if he is healthy again in 2010.
24-year old lefty Gio Gonzalez showed glimpses of outstanding potential last season. He pitched in 20 games (17 starts) for the A’s last season and he was 6-7 with a 5.75 ERA and a 1.71 WHIP. Gonzalez whiffed 109 batters in only 98 2/3 innings for the A’s last season showing what kind of stuff he has. But, he also walked 56 batters and allowed 113 hits as it always seemed like their were a lot of baserunners when he was pitching. If he can tighten up his control a bit he could turn into a solid starting pitcher as early as 2010 for the A’s.
23-year old righty Vin Mazzaro had a rough first taste of the majors in 2009. Mazzaro started 17 games for the A’s last season and he was 4-9 with a 5.32 ERA and a 1.74 WHIP. He gave up 120 hits in only 91 1/3 innings last season whiffing only 59 batters. That means that Mazzaro needs to start missing more bats if he wants to win a job in the A’s rotation any time soon.
36-year old righty Brett Tomko was solid for the A’s at the end of last season before getting injured. He started 6 games for the A’s last season and he was 4-1 with a 2.95 ERA and a 1.01 WHIP. Tomko pitched in 21 games (6 starts) overall for the Yankees & A’s last season in which he was 5-3 with a 3.77 ERA and a 1.10 WHIP.
24-year old righty Clayton Mortensen is the A’s #15 rated prospect heading into the 2010 season according to Baseball America. Mortensen pitched in 7 games (6 starts) for the Cardinals & A’s last year and he was 2-4 with a 7.63 ERA and a 1.79 WHIP. He also started 23 games in AAA-ball last night in which he was 9-8 with a 4.39 ERA and a 1.39 WHIP. It’s doubtful that Mortensen will wind up getting a lot of starts for the A’s in 2010.
PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE ROTATION IN 2010: C