Drew Pomeranz was acquired last Winter from the Colorado Rockies for some cash and Brett Anderson. After another injury plagued season, the Rockies have parted ways with Anderson, but Pomeranz is, and should be, in Oakland for the foreseeable future. Pomeranz is not set to see free agency until 2019.
Selected 5th overall in the 2011 draft by the Cleveland Indians, Pomeranz was included in the trade that sent Ubaldo Jimenez to the Indians. Now in Oakland, and away from the hitter’s park that is Coors Field, Pomeranz put up his first season in the majors with an ERA below 4.93. In fact, he cut that figure in half–and then some. Perhaps all the soon-to-be 26-year old lefty needed was a change of scenery.
In 2014 with the A’s, Pomeranz compiled a 2.35 cumulative ERA in 20 appearances (10 starts). As a starter, Pomeranz held an ERA of 2.58, which was second only to Jon Lester‘s 2.35. Granted, Lester and Pomeranz made fewer starts than the rest of the staff, and Pomeranz threw 24 1/3 less innings in just one less start than Lester, but Pomeranz was on a pitch count, due to him starting, and ending, the season as a reliever.
Call to the Pen
Coming out of the bullpen, Pomeranz held a 1.62 ERA in 16 2/3 innings. In my opinion, Pomeranz was under-utlilized in 2014. With the starting rotation for Opening Day in question in 2015, Pomeranz is a likely candidate to start the season with the likes of Sonny Gray, Jeff Samardzija and Scott Kazmir. Yes, the A’s have Jarrod Parker and A.J. Griffin due back from injury, but the timetable for their returns is up in the air at the moment.
Last season, Pomeranz gave up 18 earned runs. 12 of those runs came in two starts (5 against LAA, 7 in the chair-punching game against Texas). In his other 18 appearances, Pomeranz yielded just 6 runs. In his 69 innings, he also allowed just 51 hits, which is remarkably low. His walk total, however, was a little high, surrendering 26, or a little more than one per three innings.
According to FanGraphs, the lefty is mainly a fastball (72.2 % of the time, 91.1 mph), curveball (26.8%, 80.7) pitcher, but will also sprinkle in his changeup (1%, 84.8) for good measure. The 1% of the time that Pomeranz threw his changeup in 2014 was the lowest occurrence of his young career. Undoubtedly the A’s coaches had something to do with that, and it worked well in 2014. Yes, in baseball, you have to adapt with the hitter, so the changeup, or another pitch, could see more usage in 2015.
Next season, FanGraphs is projecting a 7-7 record for Drew Pomeranz, along with a 3.98 ERA. Only time will tell, but I feel that Pomeranz is set up for a big 2015.