Oakland Athletics Need A Veteran Starting Pitcher In Rotation


The Oakland Athletics have an extremely young starting rotation. Whether it is by age or time served in the Major, they are unseasoned in big league starting pitching and their inexperience is starting to show. It would be ideal if the A’s could get a veteran starter to really lead the rotation and relay some expert knowledge to the younger pitchers about what is it like being a starting pitcher in the MLB.

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Even though Sonny Gray has been somewhat of a leader in the rotation, he is only 25 years old and has pitched in the majors for 2.5 years. Then there is Jesse Hahn, Kendall Graveman and Chris Bassitt. For all of them, it is their first full season in the majors. There is Jesse Chavez,who has been in the majors for quite a while now, but has only pitched as a starter for the past two years. It is great that these youngsters are earning the chance to prove themselves in the Majors, but ultimately, their inexperience is hurting the team.

The Athletics did have this veteran presence with Scott Kazmir, who has ten years of experience under his belt. However, Oakland traded away Kazmir to the Houston Astros, thus making the medium age of the starting rotation even younger. Now, the A’s have Felix Doubront, who has been pitching in the Major Leagues since 2010. However, he was only been a full season starting pitcher for two years when he was with the Boston Red Sox. Since then, his talent has wavered, which has not earned him a permanent spot in an MLB rotation.

What they really need is a Jon Lester or Jeff Samardzija type. Someone who has been pitching in the Majors successfully for many years. In the short term, the ideal candidate would be Barry Zito. Even though Zito has been playing with the Athletics’ minor league affiliate this season, he has 14 years of starting pitching experience. Additionally, it has been reported that he has been a mentor and leader down in Triple-A, helping all of the young players improve their game. It would be extremely beneficial for the A’s current starting pitchers to work with Zito and pick his brain as to how to be a successful starter in the MLB.

However, in the long run, it would be great for the A’s to get a veteran starter in the rotation for the 2016 season. From Kazmir and Samardzija to David Price, Brett Anderson, and Mike Leake, there will be a lot of free agent veteran starting pitchers from which the Athletics could choose. Oakland should consider picking one of them up if it does not cost them too much.

The Oakland Athletics starting rotation is full of raw talent. If the A’s could get a veteran starter on the pitching staff to help mentor, lead, and advise these young players, the future potential for these young pitchers could sky rocket. The A’s will not need to make many moves this offseason, but this is definitely one they should consider.

Next: Oakland Athletics: Picks To Click Heading Into 2016