With 17 games in as many days, the Oakland A’s were going to have some tough decisions to make with their starting rotation. Activating Mike Fiers earlier this week certainly helped, as he would provide a strong option as a long reliever if nothing else. But Fiers role moving forward had been in question.
The A’s provided a part of that answer on Thursday. They announced that Fiers would get the start on Friday as they temporarily moved to a six man rotation.
Mike Fiers gives Oakland A’s options
Friday’s outing may not be a one and done situation for Fiers. Even though the A’s have generally played well of late, there have been some questions in the rotation. Both Frankie Montas and Jesus Luzardo have been inconsistent this season, and could be in danger of losing their spot in the rotation should Fiers perform well.
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It is also possible that, should the rotation perform well with an extra day of rest, the six man rotation lasts for at least one more turn. While this would cause a potential issue in the bullpen with one less reliever, the A’s starters would hypothetically be able to last further into the game due to that extra day off.
But this all hinges on how Fiers performs in his first outing of the year. The A’s essentially need him to be the pitcher he has been over his career, capable of firing five to six generally worry free innings, while allowing two or three runs. If Fiers can replicate his career 4.04 ERA and 1.261 WHiP, the A’s would be pleased with those results.
It could also cause a question in the rotation. Cole Irvin was expected to be a placeholder until either A.J. Puk was healthy or Fiers was ready, but he has pitched well. Montas and Luzardo have a great deal of potential, even if they have been unable to find consistency. Of course, injuries could play a factor, but the A’s rotation will eventually work itself out.
The Oakland A’s are giving Mike Fiers at least one turn in the rotation. Depending on how well he performs, he may stick in that role.