The Oakland A’s are going to have a decision to make when it comes to their starting rotation – whether a four or five man rotation makes the most sense.
The Oakland A’s already have a major question with their starting rotation as to who should get the ball for Game One. An argument can be made for Chris Bassitt, Jesus Luzardo, and Sean Manaea, with those three the obvious favorites for the first three games of the postseason.
However, from that point, the A’s rotation gets more difficult to determine. The trio of Mike Fiers, Mike Minor, and Frankie Montas have all had their moments for Oakland, but have not exactly been consistent this season either.
This leads to a difficult decision for the A’s. With zero days off between the first two rounds, teams will need to determine whether or not they will have a four or five man rotation through the beginning of the postseason. Of course, a sweep in the best of three first round makes that discussion is moot, but it is an interesting debate nonetheless.
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It is a long drop for Montas and where he was at the beginning of the season. The Opening Day starter, he had the type of start that made him a possible Cy Young candidate. However, after he suffered a minor back injury, he has not been the same. He has allowed 24 runs on 32 hits and 11 walks over his past 20 innings.
Fiers leads the A’s with six wins, but his overall numbers are mediocre, with a 4.67 ERA and a 1.389 WHiP in his 54 innings of work. But Fiers has also been much better of late; in his last six outings spanning 34.1innings, he has allowed 14 runs, 13 earned, on 35 hits and ten walks, striking out 27 batters.
Minor was brought in to solidify the A’s rotation at the trade deadline. While he has had his moments, such as throwing the A’s only complete game shutout, he has struggled in every other outing. Overall, Minor has allowed 12 runs on 11 hits and seven walks in his 16.1 innings, striking out 20 batters. He has really been in by the home run, as he has allowed four homers since being acquired.
Given the questions at the back of the A’s rotation, the best option may be to go with four starters, with Fiers in that final spot. Minor has experience in the bullpen, and thrived in that role for the Royals in 2017. Montas would be a great option to piggyback on Fiers in case he starts to get into trouble.
The Oakland A’s will have to figure out their starters for the playoffs. A four man rotation may be their best option moving forward.