Athletics

Presented By rayratto
Athletics

The Oakland Athletics, who have found that one of the secrets of success in the new baseball is to shed starting pitchers like snakes shed skin, are apparently down to Mike Fiers, Edwin Jackson and Bull Penning.
 
Trevor Cahill is the latest starter to replace old pains with new ones, and now has a back muscle issue according to the San Francisco Chronicle, that will cost him at least his start Saturday in Tampa.
 
In other words, the saga of The Team From What The Hell continues.
 
The A’s have been dancing furiously with a bullpen army and the occasional traditional starter, and amazingly have strengthened their hold on the second wild card spot. And now that they have eight games on the Rays and 8 ½ games on Seattle, it seems oddly fitting that Cahill would the next one to disappear. He has been a very useful performer at home but problematic on the road, and barring a reversal in the American League pecking order, the A’s first three games of the postseason (assuming there will be more than one) will be away from the friendly, if skunky, confines of the Coliseum.
 
It means that unless Brett Anderson, expected to start Thursday against the Orioles, can remain a solid rotation piece, Bob Melvin will probably have to find a second Liam Hendriks, or more important, a second follow to Hendriks. Daniel Mengden has served that role relatively well, but as the rosters shrink back to 25 players, an 18-man bullpen won’t do. Indeed, the A’s will be stretching it much past nine.
 
But this is who they have become this year, and Cahill is as much a metaphor for this inexplicably pleasant season as anyone. The A’s have managed to get better as their rotation gets smaller, and if that is really the secret to success, they could very well be the October spoiler, as in this fictional exchange: “Bob, who’s starting for you tomorrow in Game 6?”
 
“I think we’ll start with Ramon Laureano and then just whoever answers the phone after that.”