With a delayed season, the Oakland A’s no longer have a reason to limit Jesus Luzardo’s innings this year.
Heading into the 2020 season, the Oakland A’s had stated that top prospect Jesus Luzardo would not be on a specific innings limit. There was reason for skepticism to that assertion; after all, Luzardo had pitched more than 60 innings in a season just once as a professional. At the time, that statement was taken with a grain of salt.
Now, everything has changed. The start of the 2020 season is uncertain, with a range of dates from Memorial Day through the Fourth of July mentioned as possibilities for Opening Day. At the minimum, the start of the season will be pushed back two months, with a 100 game slate of action a distinct possibility.
If that is the case, the A’s can truly unleash Luzardo. Depending on the number of double headers built into the schedule, members of the rotation could get approximately 15 starts for the season. Even if the schedule calls for 100 games, without any double headers, that would equate to 20 starts for a five man rotation.
Should Luzardo make all 20 of those presumed starts in a 100 game schedule, he is likely to pitch in just over 100 innings. While the A’s would not be limiting his innings per se, they may look to get him out early should those games turn into a blowout.
Likewise, there the idea that teams could have a 28 man roster during the beginning of the season. Such a move could lead to a six man rotation, at least in the early going, which would allow the A’s to put fewer innings on Luzardo’s arm. Again, he would not be on an innings limit, but the A’s would manage his workload.
Such a plan could work to the A’s advantage. Given their postseason aspirations, they would want to have Luzardo ready for a playoff series. Depending on how the schedule shapes up, or on if there is an expanded roster to get teams underway, the A’s could have options.
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The Oakland A’s said that Jesus Luzardo would not have an innings limit. That may be true after all.