Chris Bassitt proving 2020 was not a fluke
By David Hill
Chris Bassitt was one of the great stories for the Oakland A’s in 2020. He showed flashes of potential in 2019, but was seemingly on the outside looking in when it came to their rotation last year. However, an injury to A.J. Puk opened the door, and Bassitt never looked back.
Bassitt was exactly what the A’s needed last year. On a rotation plagued by inconsistency, Bassitt emerged as the staff ace. He posted a 2.29 ERA and a 1.159 WHiP over his 63 innings, striking out 55 batters with 17 walks. However, as he had never pitched at anything remotely close to that degree of success, it was fair to wonder whether or not that success would be sustainable.
Chris Bassitt showing that 2020 was not a fluke
Bassitt was entrenched in the A’s rotation for the start of the 2021 season, but he was hardly a given. It was expected that he would regress, becoming a middle of the rotation arm at best. His 2021 campaign was going to be fascinating to watch, especially as the A’s would need him to be so much more.
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Thus far, Bassitt is proving that his 2020 campaign was not a fluke. He has posted a 3.21 ERA and a 1.000 WHiP over his 70 innings, striking out 74 batters with 16 walks. While his ERA may be higher than last year, he has posted a 2.92 FIP, a lower mark than the 3.59 FIP he produced in 2020. Likewise, his strikeout, walk, and home rate rates have all improved as Bassitt is showing that he may be even better this year.
At 32 years old, it is not likely that Bassitt has another level beyond where he currently is. However, he had been expected to be a solid major league pitcher, but his career kept being sidetracked due to injury. Now that he is healthy, the A’s are seeing what he could be.
And that is seemingly a classic late bloomer. Bassitt may well be on his way to his first All Star Game this year, a fitting cap for a performance that few saw coming. His ability to pitch deep into games has been a godsend for the A’s as he is proving that his status as staff ace is well deserved.
There were a lot of questions as to whether or not Chris Bassitt could replicate his 2020 season. He is proving that was not a fluke.