Oakland A’s: Determining the ideal starting rotation
By David Hill
The Oakland A’s third and fourth starters
Fourth starter – Frankie Montas
There is no questioning Frankie Montas‘ potential. However, it is fair to question whether or not the Oakland A’s can depend on him over the course of a full season.
Montas has flashed the potential to be an ace. He appeared to have his breakout campaign in 2019, only to have that season interrupted due to a PED suspension. Montas started the 2020 season in strong fashion, but a ‘minor back issue’ caused him to miss a start. From that point, Montas will a shell of the pitcher he was over his first four outings.
To this point, the A’s cannot be certain of what they have. Montas has yet to pitch 100 innings in any major league season, making it risky to slot him in atop the rotation. While he was Oakland’s Opening Day starter last year, Frankie Montas is better served in the back of the rotation until he can prove that he can be the pitcher the A’s hope for.
Third starter – Chris Bassitt
Chris Bassitt seized his opportunity and never let go.
Originally expected to be a depth option for the Oakland A’s, he became the fifth starter when A.J. Puk was unable to begin the season. Bassitt emerged from out of nowhere to become the A’s best starter, a steady, dependable arm in the middle of the rotation.
That is where he should stay for the 2021 campaign. Although he was their best arm, Bassitt is what he is at this point. He is not about to find another gear and become a true top of the rotation arm. But he is valuable to the A’s nonetheless, capable of taking the ball every fifth day and providing six quality innings.