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Game Thread #41: A’s vs. Indians

Aaron Brooks Farewell Day?

Oakland Athletics v Boston Red Sox Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images

Gifting Aaron Brooks the fifth rotation spot is still one of the A’s most perplexing moves in years. Sure we needed depth, but replacing a good option (Daniel Mengden) with a bad one (Brooks) in order to keep the bad one doesn’t make much sense if you’re trying to win ball games. The strong numbers that Mengden has put up in Vegas hasn’t made the decision look any better.

With Mustache Mengden penciled in for tomorrow’s start, today should the last time we have to sit through another Brooks start. The move to have him pitch today instead of Mengden seems to be aimed at getting Fiers an extra day off after throwing a truckload of pitches to no-hit the Reds on Thursday. The hope is that Mengden stays up and Brooks loses his spot.

The question is whether he’d be better than our 8th bullpen option, i.e. Fernando Rodney. While he’s probably better than Brooks for a single inning, we’ve been lacking a true long-man all season and he could fill that role. I know it’s cool to hate Rodney right now, but I think he can still be a solid reliever in a mid-pressure situation. His underlying metrics say he’s not even half as bad as he’s been (4.02 FIP vs. 8.78 ERA). At his salary, there’s no point in cutting him this early. I’d prefer to just designate Brooks and hope to stash him at Triple-A.

Offensively, the A’s are going to have their hands full today. Trevor Bauer, who quietly dominated last year (I probably would’ve picked him for Cy Young if he hand’t gotten injured), has been looked upon to pick up the slack as Cleveland has lost half of their Big 4 rotation to injuries. Though he hasn’t pitched as well as he did last year, he’s still one of the toughest pitchers to face (10.6 K/9, 0.199 BA against). The A’s lineup has been obnoxiously quiet the past few weeks but they’re showing a little more life recently. Hopefully, with Olson’s presence back, they can continue to build back to being what they were last year, i.e. a top 5 offense.

Today, they’ll have to try once again without Khris Davis.

Here’s Cleveland:

If the A’s wins today, it’ll be the first time this season that the team has won two series in a row. Let’s do it! Let’s go Oakland!