In 2019, Chris Bassitt pitched 40 innings less than Oakland’s team leader (Mike Fiers, 184.2).
Yet Bassitt struck out the most batters on his team, by 15.
“I’ve always been a strikeout guy,” Bassitt said via FaceTime last week.
He traces that trait all the way back to high school days, because strikeouts are what scouts noticed.
“That was the cool, flashy thing to do,” Bassitt recalled. “Once I got into pro ball, the older levels, I almost tried to not become a strikeout pitcher, just because the efficiency of pitching.”
The biggest downside of K’s come with overexertion. Bassitt’s mentality actually was actually to routinely avoid going for the punch-out unless it was a two-strike count.
“If you go for strikeouts a lot of the times your pitch count will spike,” Bassitt said. “[Mike] Fiers can eat seven or eight innings with ease, and I’m trying to get seven innings and struggling my butt off doing it.”
There is also a huge conundrum with Chris’ current team.
The A’s sport a Platinum Glover at third, a Gold Glover at first, and two nominees for that award at shortstop and left field. Wouldn’t it be easier to, you know, let the defense do more heavy lifting?
“Oh, I would love it,” Bassitt laughed. “If every person put it in play 1 or 2 pitches in, I’d be so happy.”
[RELATED: Austin Allen embracing three-way catcher competition]
Bassitt’s public service announcement to MLB hitters is this:
“We got some studs on defense, so, please put the ball in play. I would love that.”