With FanFest having concluded, we now have a little more insight into some of the questions that surround the health of the Oakland A’s. Aside from Sean Doolittle, whose timetable is still relatively up in the air, there was some good news on the Jarrod Parker and A.J. Griffin front.
There are also reporters giving a more specific timetable of late May or early June for the starters, but Slusser’s midseason report covers all bases.
Griffin has cut his long blonde locks, so who knows how effective he’ll be upon return.
By midseason, the A’s should have figured out who will cut it for the rest of the season in the rotation, and who may need some extra time in the minors. In the blogger’s Q&A with David Forst, the assistant GM told us that the trio of Kendall Graveman, Sean Nolin and Chris Bassitt could be competing for two starting spots come Opening Day. We can guess that Sonny Gray, Scott Kazmir and Jesse Hahn are locks to be the 1-2-3 starters in 2015.
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The A’s also have Drew Pomeranz and Jesse Chavez as options in the rotation, which could leave only one spot open depending on how well Spring Training goes for the trio above. With the amount of depth that the A’s possess in the rotation, they have the ability to mix-and-match the right combination to secure the most victories for the team in a tough AL West. The additions of Parker and Griffin later in the season will only help that cause.
Here are a couple of scenarios that could play out come midseason. The first is that the rotation is performing exceedingly well, which would give both pitchers all the time that they need to recuperate. With a clean bill of health, Billy Beane, being the mad scientist that he is, can then trade some of the surplus to address another need that may arise.
Scenario two: The rotation is not performing well and one or two pitchers could use more time in the minors. Jarrod Parker and A.J. Griffin step in and provide that upgrade. Before suffering his injury, Jarrod Parker was the presumed ace of the staff, so hiding him in the #4 or #5 slot could be a real boost to the team, assuming he is close to the pitcher that he was before he needed Tommy John surgery.
The A’s will get a couple of months to see what the new kids have in the tank, and if they’re performing well they could even run with the hot hand. Parker and Griffin represent an insurance policy for Oakland, and could help them in more ways than one upon their return.