Let’s face it, this year is just about over for the A’s. At 62-62, the A’s are currently 8.5 games behind the first-place Texas Rangers, who would have to have a total meltdown in order for the A’s to have any shot at the playoffs. But fear not, A’s fans. The young team is starting to show the signs of maturity, and the young A’s rotation is proof of that.
Entering Wednesday, the A’s starters have a 2.01 ERA and have held opponents to a .198 batting average since July 31. In fact, the young hurlers have stretched their streak of at least six innings of work in a game to 22 games in a row. Even more impressive, the A’s staff has allowed five runs or fewer during in all of those games.
The A’s young rotation, which features a handful of promising stars, has been led mostly by Trevor Cahill, who is having himself a Cy Young-type season. In fact, one could make a strong argument in the notion that Cahill is well deserving of the AL Cy Young.
Not only is he just 22 years old, but the progress he’s made from last season is just incredible. Last season, Cahill went 10-13 with a 4.63 ERA. He had a WHIP of 1.44, and opponents were hitting .270/.339/.471 off him in 2009. This season, however, Cahill is 13-5 with a 2.54 ERA. His WHIP is 0.99 and opponents are hitting just .198/.264/.305 off him.
Cahill has been exceptional this season, and that’s largely due to his improved command. Last season, Cahill often struggled with his fastball command and tended to leave the ball up in the zone. As a result, Cahill endured an inconsistent rookie-campaign, and gave up an Oakland rookie record 27 homers. This season, however, his command has improved. Another reason for his success this season is the fact that his sinker has been exceptionally better than before. Scouts are even comparing Cahill’s sinker to Arizona’s own Brandon Webb.
Whether or not the A’s make the playoffs, their future is definitely bright—especially since they’ll have Trevor Cahill on the mound once every five days.