Chris Bassitt possibly on pace for Oakland A’s Opening Day start

OAKLAND, CA - SEPTEMBER 30: Chris Bassitt #40 of the Oakland Athletics pitches during the game against the Chicago White Sox at RingCentral Coliseum on September 30, 2020 in Oakland, California. The Athletics defeated the White Sox 5-3. (Photo by Michael Zagaris/Oakland Athletics/Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CA - SEPTEMBER 30: Chris Bassitt #40 of the Oakland Athletics pitches during the game against the Chicago White Sox at RingCentral Coliseum on September 30, 2020 in Oakland, California. The Athletics defeated the White Sox 5-3. (Photo by Michael Zagaris/Oakland Athletics/Getty Images) /
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Chris Bassitt is not the ideal of a staff ace. The Oakland A’s starter is not someone who throws in the upper 90s or is going to dominate every time out. However, he has done a great job in generating weak contact as he has been a surprisingly effective arm over the past two seasons.

That production may end up paying off. Bassitt is currently slated to make his spring training debut on Wednesday, which would put him on pace for the A’s Opening Day start.

Chris Bassitt goes from afterthought to possible Oakland A’s Opening Day starter

Despite Bassitt’s success in 2019, he was an afterthought heading into the 2020 season. He appeared to be ticketed for a long relief role as A.J. Puk was slated to have the final spot in the A’s rotation. However, injuries changed that plan, forcing Bassitt into the rotation.

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In the end, Bassitt proved to be the A’s most consistent starter. He posted an impressive 2.29 ERA and a 1.159 WHiP over his 63 innings, striking out 55 batters with 17 walks. Bassitt was named the AL Pitcher of the Month for September while earning votes for the Cy Young award and being named as a candidate for the All MLB Team.

Based on his production last year, Bassitt deserves that nod. While other pitchers may have a higher upside or be considered future aces, he has been the one to deliver thus far. He was able to navigate the truncated season without issue, even with the starts and stops due to the pandemic.

Chances are, Bassitt will not be atop the A’s rotation at the end of the season. Should Sean Manaea be back to form, or Jesus Luzardo takes that next step in his development, they could surpass him in the pecking order. But that does not change what Bassitt has been able to accomplish with the A’s.

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Chris Bassitt was the Oakland A’s most dependable starter in 2020. He may have gone from an afterthought to their Opening Day starter.

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