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The 2009 Oakland A's Starting Pitchers?

It's been the unlucky 13 for the Oakland Athletics in 2008.  The A's have had 13 different pitchers start at least one game for the A's this year.  You ready for this list?  Joe Blanton, Rich Harden, Justin Duchscherer, Gio Gonzalez, Kirk Saarloos, Lenny DiNardo, Chad Gaudin, Dan Meyer, Josh Outman, Sean Gallagher, Dallas Braden, Dana Eveland and Greg Smith.

Some of those guys were traded, some were injured and some didn't perform up to expectations.  Yet when I look at that list, I see several pitchers who make me excited about 2009.  Gallagher, Duchscherer, Outman, Eveland and Smith could very well be the opening day rotation for our green and gold next year.

And that doesn't even take guys like Trevor Cahill and Brett Anderson into account who very well could prove to be ready by the end of spring training next year.  Gio Gonzalez could also very well bounce back and have a stellar spring training.  And Dallas Braden has probably at least put himself in the conversation with his pitching performances of late too.

Now it's probably going to take one or maybe two pitchers to possibly get a bat if that's the route Billy Beane and company want to go.  And with the A's history of having injured starting pitchers, the truth is that the team could probably use as many starting pitchers as possible. 

But it's going to make for a fascinating spring training and the good news is that even if the starting pitchers are all healthy, a few of them will be excellent additions to the bullpen.

Now that you've pretty muc h seen all the A's starters at least once this year, who do you think wind up being the starting five on opening day next year?  Course it won't matter much if Beane can't significantly improve this offense this offseason.  But I'll just pretend for a moment that our offense could somehow approach league average and therefore pretend that the starting rotation will matter.