Oakland Athletics 2015 Bullpen Projections


Last week we took a look at the Oakland Athletics 2015 lineup projections and compared them to last season’s statistics. This week we’re taking a look at the bullpen and doing the same thing. Here is who I think will be manning the Oakland ‘pen this season, along with their projected stats according to the Steamer over a slew of categories for the upcoming year. For now, I have Chris Bassitt slotted as the long reliever, with Sean Nolin and Kendall Graveman also being options down the line.

Doolittle4W 2L2.186510.722.05
Clippard4W 3L3.09658.953.04
O’Flaherty2W 2L3.5356.882.71
Otero3W 3L3.61555.511.86
Abad2W 2L3.18407.932.58
Cook3W 2L3.3558.853.21
Bassitt2W 2L4.56296.674.15

The projected bullpen is slated to go 20-16, with a cumulative 3.34 ERA over the course of 344 innings. That’s not a bad mark, especially considering the years that Dan Otero has put together the past two seasons (1.38, 2.28 ERA) his 3.61 projection may be a little high. The Steamer doesn’t project Bassitt to get a lot of work in the majors next season, and his ERA is easily the highest of the bunch. Minus his 4.56 ERA, the bullpen ERA drops to 3.14, which is perfect because this team loves Pi (Sogard) and pie (the rest of us)! This ERA would drop them from the third-best bullpen in baseball down to eighth, or fourth in the A.L. according to last year’s stats.

So how do these projections stack up against last season? In 2014 the bullpen of the Oakland Athletics held a 2.91 ERA with a 26-23 record over 467 1/3 innings. There is a large gap (123 1/3 innings) between the projected innings for 2015 and last year’s totals, which will likely be made up largely by whoever takes over that long relief spot, but also with slight increases to Tyler Clippard‘s workload (averaged 79 innings per season since 2010) as well as Otero and Eric O’Flahery.

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The key to the bullpen in 2015 may be O’Flaherty. He only pitched twenty innings in 2015 coming off of Tommy John surgery, so the limited workload made sense. Now, having more time to heal from the injury he sustained in 2013, O’Flaherty should be closer to his 58 inning average from 2009-2012. If he returns to being the dominant reliever he was with Atlanta during that time frame (1.95 ERA) then the A’s could have a very formidable 7th, 8th, and 9th inning stable with Clippard and Sean Doolittle.

With a nice mix of guys that can strike out the opposition, and ground-ball-inducers like Otero, the A’s bullpen should be a strength again this coming season. With a solid bullpen, a better defense, and a myriad of starters to choose from, the Oakland Athletics will be able to contend well into the 2015 season.

Next: A's 2015 Lineup Projections