The Oakland Athletics’ starting rotation has changed quite a few times this season first due to injuries and now trades. The most recent alteration has been the more permanent addition of right handed pitcher Chris Bassitt. Even though Bassitt has been called up three times before, each time he has returned to Triple-A. However, with Jesse Hahn’s forearm strain and the recent trade of Scott Kazmir, Bassitt was called back up for the series against the San Francisco Giants this weekend.
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Bassitt has now only made fours starts with the Oakland Athletics, but he is proving that he could be a potential starter for the seasons to come. Despite being a reliever in college, he transitioned to a starting pitching role when he was with the Chicago White Sox. Now, it is becoming clear that Bassitt has the skills and talent to be a quality starter in a major league rotation. Even though he did not pitch well out of the bullpen earlier this season with the Oakland Athletics, the games he has started have been a different story.
In his last four starts, he has a 2.97 ERA with no walks in 23 innings pitched. In his most recent outing against the Giants on Saturday, he went head to head with Madison Bumgarner and was able to hold his ground. Even though he gave up two earned runs – one being a home run hit by Bumgarner – he only allowed five hits and did not walk anyone over six innings pitched.
Bassitt has a plus fastball that has a lot of movement and an average slider. At 6’5”, Bassit is a lanky pitcher whose long throwing arms tend to elude batters. Additionally, Bassitt has continued to work on his slider and change up and has made them a standard part of his arsenal.
For the future seasons, Bassitt could be a quality permanent back-end starter for the Oakland Athletics. Even though some scouts still think that Bassitt is destined for the bullpen, he is proving this season that he can be quality starting pitcher. If his success continues while he is filling in for Hahn, the chances of him earning a more secure spot in the starting rotation in 2016 – maybe even in 2015 – increases immensely.