Grading the Oakland Athletics’ Season So Far: The Starting Rotation
The most disappointing aspect of the A’s season so far is the starting pitching. Going into spring training, the starting rotation was
supposed to be: Sonny Gray, Rich Hill, Chris Bassitt, Kendall Graveman, and Felix Doubront. Currently, the rotation is Rich Hill, Kendall Graveman, Sean Manaea, Jesse Hahn and…who knows?
The starting pitching has struggled this year, but some of that struggle is due to Sonny Gray‘s injury, as well as rookies being pressed into starting at the major league level. Prior to landing on the disabled list, Gray posted a 6.19 ERA with just 41 strikeouts in 48 innings, good for a 3-5 record. Hopefully, a healthy Gray will produce better results, but his start to the season was far below expectations.
Manaea also got off to a rough start, notching a 7.03 ERA in his first six major league appearances. Although he’s settled in a bit since his debut, he still hasn’t been lights-out in the way he had been in Triple-A. Graveman has similarly struggled, with a 5.09 ERA in 53 innings this season.
Rich Hill has done well, but no one else has really stepped up. Hopefully, Gray will come back strong, and right-hander Henderson Alvarez will be able to make his Oakland A’s debut very soon. Alvarez suffered a setback just one start prior to his scheduled return, but seems to be back on track.
Going by results, the starting pitching has been most disappointing. With opponents hitting .267 against the Athletics – the third-highest mark in the AL – and a team ERA of 4.71, the A’s rotation needs to improve.
Next: Grading the A's Season So Far: The Offense