Athletics

Why Stewart believes A's rotation is one of best in baseball

Athletics

Where it stands now, the A’s starting rotation is sitting pretty entering the 2021 season.

Chris Bassitt, Jesús Luzardo, Sean Manaea, and Frankie Montas look to be the four main starters in the rotation with A.J. Puk making strong progress in his rehab. NBC Sports California’s Dave Stewart believes the team possesses some of the best arms in the league.

“I don’t think there’s a better rotation than this rotation with the young pitchers, the way that they progressed through the years now," Stewart told NBC Sports California this week. "They’re no longer rookies, they’re guys that have had experience -- both in the playoffs and in 162 game-schedule."

Bassitt had a phenomenal campaign in 2020. He went from simply vying for a rotation spot to being the A’s most dependable starter by the end of the season.

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A 2.29 ERA with 55 strikeouts in 63 innings might not sound like a lot, but the way Bassitt's pitches move vertically makes him a difficult pitcher to face in the box. Especially his curveball.

Luzardo didn’t get a ton of exposure in his rookie season in the shortened 60-game season, but he has a ton of velocity on his fastball and his four-seamer has an insane amount of movement.

He’s someone you’ll want to pay attention to in 2021.

RELATED: Chapman, Puk making strong rehab progress to return to A's

Puk underwent left-shoulder surgery in September to repair a debridement of his labrum and rotator cuff. He looks to join the starting rotation despite his only big-league exposure coming out of the bullpen. 

 

Sean Manaea and Frankie Montas both are due to come back from a season that wasn’t too forgiving also.

“I think their starting rotation is going to be fine, you’re looking at Sean Manaea, Luzardo’s doing to be in there full time, Bassitt’s back, you hope that Puk is going to be part of that rotation and is ready to go,” Stewart said. “When you just look at that group right there, you’re going to be pretty happy.”