Jesus Luzardo is not a Cy Young contender just yet

SCOTTSDALE, ARIZONA - MARCH 16: Starting pitcher Jesus Luzardo #44 of the Oakland Athletics looks in for a sign as he prepares to throw against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the first inning of the MLB spring training baseball game at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick on March 16, 2021 in Scottsdale, Arizona. (Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images)
SCOTTSDALE, ARIZONA - MARCH 16: Starting pitcher Jesus Luzardo #44 of the Oakland Athletics looks in for a sign as he prepares to throw against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the first inning of the MLB spring training baseball game at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick on March 16, 2021 in Scottsdale, Arizona. (Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images) /
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The sky is seemingly the limit for Jesus Luzardo. He was one of the top pitching prospects in baseball heading into 2020, a young pitcher who is expected to become an ace for the Oakland A’s. Luzardo endured an inconsistent rookie season, but showed enough to warrant the A’s high hopes going forward.

The Oakland A’s are not the only ones with high hopes for Luzardo this year. MLB.com listed him as one of their dark horses for the 2021 AL Cy Young award this season, lofty praise for a pitcher with a total of nine major league starts to his name.

Jesus Luzardo not ready to contend for Cy Young just yet

After showing his brilliance out of the A’s bullpen during his September callup in 2019, Luzardo was inconsistent at best last year. He would seemingly alternate between a solid outing and a shaky one, never really finding the consistency that he needed.

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Yet, it was a solid enough rookie campaign for Luzardo. He posted a respectable 4.12 ERA and a 1.272 WHiP over his 59 innings, striking out 59 batters while issuing only 17 walks. He did have some trouble with the home run ball, allowing nine homers, but the switch to the deadened ball this year should help.

There is plenty of reason for hope that Luzardo will take the next step in the coming year. His secondary pitches were excellent as hitters struggled to make contact with either his changeup or his curve. He has added another curve, a slow curve that he is calling the ‘Turkey Sub’ that could make him even more difficult to face.

But it is far too early to be talking about Luzardo as a Cy Young candidate for this season. He needs to show consistency first, having those solid outings more often than not. Once that happens, then maybe we can begin to look ahead to Luzardo’s eventual candidacy.

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Jesus Luzardo is being touted as a dark horse Cy Young candidate for the 2021 season. As high as his ceiling may be, he is not there yet.

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