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Monday, October 15, 2018

Projecting the composition of A’s bullpen in 2019

The A’s bullpen was probably the greatest strength of the team in 2018. Oakland’s pen ranked third in Major League Baseball with a 3.37 ERA and second with a .220 opponents’ batting average, while pitching the second most innings in the league.

The bullpen should still be a strength next season, although it will likely look a bit different. Veterans Fernando Rodney and Jeurys Familia are long shots to return, while Shawn Kelley and Cory Gearrin are questionable at best. But the A’s will still have plenty of young and talented arms to close out games in 2019.

First and foremost, All-Star closer Blake Treinen should be back in green and gold. The 30-year-old is under team arbitration control, projected to make around $5.8 million, according to MLB Trade Rumors. That would be a bargain for the best closer in baseball, especially one who’s capable of pitching multiple innings.

For those curious, this is part of a series that NBC Sports BayArea is running- there are quite a few other articles posted considering this basic topic, with more apparently forthcoming.


QLE Posted: October 15, 2018 at 02:39 PM | 7 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: athletics, bullpen, projections

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   1. Walt Davis Posted: October 15, 2018 at 03:42 PM (#5767021)
FWIW, Oak's pen was 3rd in bWAA in the AL with 3.6, close to Hou and Bos. But they A's position players were 1st in the AL with 11.2 WAA, nearly 3 wins ahead of the 2nd place Yanks.

Projecting a bullpen seems a rather (let's go with) challenging thing to do. The A's pen was a "standard" mix of vets who are sometimes good and AAA guys in their mid-20s you've never heard of. And Blake Treinen pitching out of his mind. Four guys topped 60 innings. All told they used 34 pitchers, 27 of which pitched at least once in relief. Partly due to injury, nobody threw more than 160 innings. My projection for next year's A's staff is that they will use at least 27 pitchers, at least half of whom won't top 40 innings so we don't have a clue how they'll do.

I'll also go out on a limb and project that Treinen does not repeat his 0.78 ERA.
   2. BDC Posted: October 15, 2018 at 03:48 PM (#5767031)
   3. Khrushin it bro Posted: October 15, 2018 at 03:54 PM (#5767035)
The A's infield defense is unreal. That's how they got through the season with so many pitching injuries. Not sure if it will work again.
   4. Petunia inquires about ponies Posted: October 15, 2018 at 09:07 PM (#5767213)
But that's just the thing - it shouldn't have to work again. All they have to do to improve their rotation in 2019 is not have 5 of their top 6 starters (roughly, and I'm actually excluding Manaea from that count, since he pitched most of the season: Blackburn, Triggs, Puk, Cotton and Graveman) lose nearly the entire season to injury.
   5. Hecubot Posted: October 15, 2018 at 10:58 PM (#5767336)
All they have to do to improve their rotation in 2019 is not have 5 of their top 6 starters (roughly, and I'm actually excluding Manaea from that count, since he pitched most of the season: Blackburn, Triggs, Puk, Cotton and Graveman) lose nearly the entire season to injury.

The problem is we did lose Manaea and we also lost Gossett, so we blew through not only our rotation but our AAA depth.

As of this moment we have Mengden, Fiers and Luzardo waiting in the wings for a probably April call-up. Montas and Bassitt did okay in limited stints this year, but you certainly wouldn't want to just plug them into the rotation. Jackson and Cahill will probably be offered contracts in the 2M region. You can't really expect any innings out of any of the pitchers who went out with TJ or shoulder surgery this year. So the A's will need to nail a bounce back candidate at a bargain rate in free agency. Which they have excelled at - Kazmir, Hill, Colon, McCarthy - but there's no guarantee.

With Khris Davis getting a big extension or arbitration increase I'm not sure the A's can bolster their rotation much. But will probably have to wait until 2020 when they can lock in Luzardo, Puk - maybe Kaprelien, Mengden, Cotton.

Their need for pitching will probably preclude them retaining Jed Lowrie.
   6. PreservedFish Posted: October 16, 2018 at 08:23 AM (#5767410)
The Formation of Vegetable Mould

I thought maybe you were going in this direction.
   7. PreservedFish Posted: October 16, 2018 at 08:25 AM (#5767413)
The A's infield defense is unreal.

I know that Chapman is the next Brooks Robinson, and Olson is pretty slick, but I'm surprised to hear Lowrie and Semien described this way.

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