Dear A.J., Get well soonish

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Good angle! Worth a front page read, IMO. -Nico

OK obviously no one roots for injury, least of all an injury to a player on the team they follow. But here's why I'm (a little bit) happy that Griffin is out, especially since he hasn't had his arm amputated it doesn't seem like a very big deal.

Lets assume the worst for Jarrod Parker -- next start 2015. Tommy Milone takes his spot. Now our rotation looks like this:

Sonny Gray
Scott Kazmir
Dan Straily
A.J. Griffin
Tommy Milone

This actually isn't too different from the rotation we ran out most of last year, post Anderson injury. Well obviously thats not true -- it's entirely different -- but let me explain:

The way I see it Sonny fits (roughly) into Parker's role, Kazmir (roughly) into Colon's, and Straily, AJ and Tommy are all the same guys as last year (hopefully a little better). So not the end of the world, we won a lot of games last year with that sort of uniformly-good-occasionally-great rotation. My rough equivalences are clearly mostly make believe -- there's nothing to say Kazmir will perform anything like Bartolo Colon did last year and who knows how Gray will fare once the league begins to adjust -- but bear with me here...

If you assume that swapping Parker for Milone is really closer to swapping Parker for Gray in last year's May-August rotation, it doesn't seem so bad. The thing is I was all set for "A whole year of Sonny Gray makes this team a lot better." I was really excited about that, and I don't want to let the dream die.

Which is why I'm (a little bit) happy that A.J. will start the year on the DL.

Without A.J. the A's have to give Jesse Chavez, and his substantial reasonable upside, a spot in the rotation. Chavez, in my opinion, gives us a (small) chance of Jarrod Parker like performance. It may not materialize, but he looked really solid all last year and he's been nasty this spring.

I'll put it another way: as far as the depth chart goes we're replacing Parker with Milone and A.J. with Chavez. But I'm hopeful it will feel more like Parker being replaced with Chavez and A.J. by Milone.

Look, even if A.J. wasn't going to start on the DL you could still eventually see Chavez if Milone didn't work out. But this gives us the chance to quickly try out both pitchers and keep whoever earns the spot when A.J. comes back.

With a little luck when Parker does come back we're looking at a rotation of:


So sorry about the tendinitis, A.J. I love you. Get well soon.

Just not too soon.

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