OAKLAND, CA - JULY 1: Andrew Bailey #40 of the Oakland Athletics pitches against the Arizona Diamondbacks in the ninth inning during a MLB baseball game July 1, 2011 at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum in Oakland, California. The Athletics won the game 5-4. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Last week, we took a look at our options on offense, and since then, we've seen Chris Carter get actual at bats and Mark Ellis dealt to Colorado. Lets take a look at the other side of the ball, which is especially comforting since, gasp, we got guys coming OFF the disabled list this time! For this time around, we'll go Player by Player for the starting Rotation, and sum up the bullpen.
Brett Anderson (Disabled List) - 4.00 ERA, 3.88 FIP, 1.0 WAR
Anderson is great when he is on, but he is usually off the field. In this sentiment, he is almost as frustrating as Rich Harden. Whenever he is great, he gets injured. I think it is time we started looking to shop our Ace for a new, improved, and healthier one.
Trevor Cahill - 3.28 ERA, 3.84 FIP, 1.4 WAR
Cahill is an enigma in a way. He was awesome last year despite his peripherals saying otherwise, and while he turned those peripherals around this year, he has been much more spotty, mixing in dominance with a string of bad games blamed on poor mechanics. I like Cahill, and its probably a good bet that we keep him around.
Gio Gonzalez - 2.38 ERA, 3.29 FIP, 2.0 WAR
Gio is easily our best pitcher at this point, and not just because of the numbers. He is the healthiest of the new big three, and he has been dominant to boot. It almost makes me not miss Nick Swisher. With his emotions under control, Gio will have a big career ahead of him, though it is interesting that he is the one the A's have yet to sign to a long term deal.
Dallas Braden (Disabled List) - 3.00 ERA, 3.55 FIP, 0.3 WAR
Braden is an interesting guy. He has gone from fringe draft pick to top prospect to emergency starter to lost cause to rotation veteran to Perfecto Braden to the glue that holds the rotation together. unfortunately for Braden, he has the A's medical staff to keep him together, which hasn't gone too well. With the whole episode with the foot, to his recent injuries, Braden will have to come back, hope to perform (and lay off the screwball) and.... then what? Do you deal him when he is finally healthy and good, or will he be a free agent by then? Or will he be buried in the depth chart?
Tyson Ross (Disabled List) - 2.75 ERA, 3.05 FIP, 0.8 WAR
Ross should be due back soon, and the sooner the better. Ross has been dominant in his stint as a starter this year, and the home town hero could be a stalwart in the rotation for years if his arm does not fall off. This is good, because there aren't many pitching prospects coming up from the minors any time soon.
Brandon McCarthy (Disabled List) - 3.39 ERA, 2.45 FIP, 2.0 WAR
McCarthy is doing awesome this year, putting everything together. This is what he was supposed to be when he was with the White Sox, and what the Rangers were trying to trade for when the dealt Danks for him. McCarthy is injury prone, but he is coming off the DL in a couple days, and besides, he's worth it for his tweets.
Rich Harden - 3.00 ERA, 3.11 FIP, 0.1 WAR
So holy crap! Harden came off the DL! And he was dominant! Wait, this seems like when he was on the A's before. It seems that familiar scenery helped Harden get back to the Harden of old. How long he can stay off the DL is a matter of Weeks (I hear he gives a good arm rub). Until then, Harden will be filling in for the rotation. The question of course is, if Harden stays dominant, who goes to the bullpen?
Guillermo Moscoso - 2.51 ERA, 4.68 FIP, 0.1 WAR
Moscoso has been a pleasant surprise filling in for our injured starters, but the FIP and xFIP tell a different story. I think it is safe to say that Moscoso will be bullpen bound, and time will tell if he can pull a Cahill and sustain the shiny ERA in spite of the peripherals.
Josh Outman - 3.10 ERA, 3.70 FIP, 0.6 WAR
Outman has come back from TJ Surgery strong, although with a rather low K/9. I expect him to either be bullpen bound or back to AAA to keep starting.
Graham Godfrey - 4.24 ERA, 4.29 FIP, 0.1 WAR
The gem (can I say that?) of the Scutaro trade (dump), Godfrey is what he is, a fill in Xth starter when all else is injured.
Andrew Bailey - 0.79 ERA, 1.53 FIP, 0.6 WAR
Grant Balfour - 2.48 ERA, 3.37 FIP, 0.3 WAR
Mike Wuertz - 2.49 ERA, 3.57 FIP, 0.2 WAR
Brian Fuentes - 5.09 ERA, 4.10 FIP, 0.0 WAR
Brad Ziegler - 1.86 ERA, 2.32 FIP, 0.6 WAR
Joey Devine - 2.60 ERA, 2.48 FIP, 0.3 WAR
Fautino De Los Santos
Combined with the backup starters, our bullpen is pretty good right now... or it should be, now that Bailey is back. The strange thing is, our bullpen kept failing us, but looking at the stats, the only really bad one is... Fuentes... And Fuentes has the highest inning count of any other relieve on the team. Fuentes's stats show him to be pretty much a LOOGY, or a Ricardo Rincon for old school A's fans. If he is only facing Lefties, he has a pretty ERA, but he still drives everyone who watches him play for their team wild, and incites joy from opposing team's fans, because while he can get lefty's out, righties will cream him. This, more than anything (except, perhaps, the complete lack of offense0, is what killed Bob Geren's tenure with the A's - the insistence of playing your worst reliever in the highest leverage situations in roles which he should not be in.