Oakland A’s postseason rotation may already be set
By David Hill
With the Oakland A’s pitching Jesus Luzardo in relief on Wednesday, their rotation for the postseason appears to be set.
The Oakland A’s playoff rotation had been starting to fall into place. When Chris Bassitt was given the ball on Friday, his next scheduled turn through the rotation would coincide with the A’s second game in the first round of the playoffs. Given his performance this year as Oakland’s most consistent starter, it is a well deserved start.
Likewise, Sean Manaea‘s start on Wednesday would seemingly put him in line for the first game of the postseason. It would be a chance for redemption for Manaea – he had started the A’s Wild Card Game in 2019 and allowed four runs, including three homers, in just two innings in Oakland’s eventual loss.
It is not much of a surprise that Manaea and Bassitt would be the top two arms for the A’s in the postseason. Manaea has that postseason experience already and is hungry to make up for last year. Bassitt may not be overpowering, but he has been a steady arm and can help right the ship if Oakland drops the first game.
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However, there was some question as to who the third starter would be. Jesus Luzardo has been solid as a rookie, but has had his share of ups and downs this season. Mike Fiers, meanwhile, has put his own rough start behind him, making a case for that third spot in the playoff rotation.
Based on Thursday, it seems as though that outing will belong to Luzardo. He was a surprising summons from the bullpen against the Dodgers, pitching the final three innings of the game. Luzardo struggled in that outing, allowing three runs on three hits and three walks without a strikeout, but he also stayed on his usual schedule.
That schedule could lead to Luzardo having the third game of the postseason. Chances are, he would be on a short leash, but Luzardo has the type of upside that could lead to a dominant outing. He would be the ultimate gamble, but one that could pay off beautifully.
With his outing on Thursday, the Oakland A’s may have lined up their rotation. At the very least, the top three starters appear to be set in place.