The Oakland Athletics are a club with no shortage of feel-good stories. One of those stories that has flown under the radar is left-handed reliever and starter Drew Pomeranz. In 30 starts with the Colorado Rockies, Pomeranz was an abysmal 4-14 with a 5.20 ERA. The former first rounder's (No. 5 overall) once promising career seemed to be heading in the wrong direction.
Fast forward to 2014 — Drew Pomeranz is helping the Athletics get wins both as a starter and a reliever in the A's bullpen. In 2014, Pomeranz posted a 4-3 record with a 2.58 ERA in 10 starts before going on the DL with a hand injury. In the pen, he posted a 1-1 record with a sparkling 1.62 ERA in 10 relief appearances. Had the A's not traded for big-name starters in July, Pomeranz would've likely still held a spot in the rotation down the stretch.
2015 has been the same story for Pomeranz; he's seen time both as a starter and a reliever. Unfortunately, his numbers as a starter haven't been as sharp as last year, going 2-3 with a 4.40 ERA in 8 starts. This is likely due to the fact that Pomeranz is predominantly a 2-pitch pitcher (fastball/curveball).
With Jesse Chavez emerging as a real deal starter in 2015, Pomeranz once again finds himself in the A's bullpen. This is where he should stay.
Pomeranz has been one of the few bright spots in an A's pen that's posted a 4.15 ERA in 2015, second-worst in the American League. Pomeranz has an astounding 1.18 ERA in 16 relief appearances. Combine that with his 2014 bullpen numbers and you have the grand statistical culmination of a 1.32 ERA in 34⅓ innings pitched.
Dealings during this year's trade deadline may require that Pomeranz resume his services in the starting rotation -- I like Sean Nolin for that extra starter's role, but he just went back on the disabled list in the minors. One way or other, though, it's clear that Pomeranz's real, long-term home is in the A's bullpen.