A’s Bullpen In Good Shape Even With Doolittle Injury


Depth, depth, depth. It’s something every good team needs to be, well, good. The Oakland A’s are often mentioned when talking about depth, especially when it comes to the plethora of pitching they continue to pump out. This week it was announced that Sean Doolittle has a “slight” tear in his rotator cuff of his throwing arm. As much as it sucks to see a player like Doo with an injury, the A’s and their bullpen were more than prepared. While we’re nowhere near the time where the A’s have to name a closer, they’re in a position almost every MLB team would be jealous of.

With Doolittle not expected to be ready for Opening Day of 2015, the A’s are losing a closer who had 22 saves last season while posting an 89/8 K/BB ratio in 2014. Luckily for the A’s, they just traded for Tyler Clippard just 10 days ago.

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Clippard, who closed games for the Washington Nationals in 2012 and earned 32 saves that year, held a sub-2.50 ERA in both of the last two seasons and a sub-1.00 WHIP in both seasons as well. Clippard will be the front-runner for the staff’s closing position in my opinion and the A’s shouldn’t miss a beat.

When the A’s traded Yunel Escobar for Clippard, I just assumed Billy was setting up his 7th/8th inning relief, but only a week later, the Doolittle news was announced so once again I’m going to believe that Beane is always a step ahead of me. While Clippard in the ninth is ideal, what about the seventh and eighth innings?

Well, here’s the reason why those are set as well: Ryan Cook and Dan Otero.

While Cook had a 3.42 ERA last year, he also claimed a 1.080 WHIP which was actually better than Otero’s 1.096, which is also extremely solid. Otero had a 2.28 ERA last season for comparison. While both of those pitchers could close, especially if Bob Melvin goes by a closer-by-committee, I think their middle relief, set-up spots are perfect.

So while the A’s have shaken their roster up, the one thing they still can congratulate themselves on is an extremely talented bullpen and a load of depth that can get the team through the Doolittle injury. The A’s, once again, were prepared, something they love to pride themselves upon.

Next: Doolittle is Broken, Sogard and Abad Get Paid