The Oakland Athletics have a bunch of young starting pitching talent. Each week it seems as though another pitcher steps onto the mound and performs well. Recently, right handed starter Chris Bassitt has been quite impressive. Even though Bassitt did not start the 2015 on the Major League roster, he is sure proving that he deserves a permanent spot in the rotation.
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Bassitt was acquired in the Jeff Samardzija trade this offseason along with shortstop Marcus Semien, catcher Josh Phegley, and minor league first baseman Rangel Ravelo. Bassitt started the season with the Athletics’ Triple-A affiliate, the Nashville Sounds. Throughout the majority of the first half, he had two stints in Oakland where he made a handful of appearances as a relief pitching. Unfortunately, he was not that impressive as he allowed six runs in 10.2 innings pitched.
However, when he returned to the Athletics in late June, Bassitt performed much better. In his first start with the Green and Gold, he did not find out he was starting until 1:00 am that morning. Bassitt then flew across the country to fill in for the ailing Sonny Gray, who was suffering from salmonella poisoning. Despite his lack of sleep, Bassitt allowed only one run in five quality innings that day. Bassitt certainly impressed manager Bob Melvin who said that he was happy with how Bassitt performed after minimal rest and flying from Tennessee to California to spot start for Gray.
Once Jesse Hahn incurred his forearm injury and Scott Kazmir was traded to the Houston Astros, Bassitt earned a permanent spot in the Athletics’ starting rotation and has been great thus far. At the moment, he does have a 1-4 losing record, but that is mostly due to the lack of run support on his start days.
In the seven starts that Bassitt has made with the Oakland Athletics, he has a 1.90 ERA and has only allowed two homers in 43.2 innings pitched. Each start he just seems to be getting better and it is clear that he is flourishing in the big leagues. In his last start, Bassitt struck out a career-high 10 batters.
If Bassitt continues to improve his skills during his time with Oakland throughout the rest of this season, it is pretty clear that he will make the A’s starting rotation in 2016. He has the talent, determination, and willingness to better himself to be a permanent fixture in the Athletics rotation. The future’s looking bright for the A’s pitching staff because, like Kendall Graveman, Bassitt is showing that he has the potential to be an ace.