The Oakland A’s envision that Jesus Luzardo will one day be the ace of their pitching staff. He could take a major step towards that goal in 2021.
Luzardo tantalized with his potential in his September call up in 2019. Pitching in a relief role, he quickly earned a place in high leverage spots as Bob Melvin did not shy away from throwing the talented lefty into the fire. He allowed just two runs on five hits and three walks in his 12 innings, striking out 16 batters.
That performance led to high hopes for the 2020 season. He posted a solid rookie campaign, with a 4.12 ERA and a 1.271 WHiP over his 59 innings, striking out 59 batters with 17 walks. However, he was very inconsistent, looking like that ace in one start while struggling to get outs in his next outing.
While that was a decent season, the A’s biggest flaw with their 2020 roster was the lack of a true ace for the rotation. It may be unreasonable to become that staff ace in 2021, but so long as Luzardo can show signs that he is heading in that direction, the A’s will be satisfied.
The Oakland A’s need to see more from Jesus Luzardo next year. Taking another step towards being their ace would be just what they need.