Bloomberg Sports' Tommy Rancel reviews Oakland's pitchers and arrives at Trevor Cahill as biggest surprise, Ben Sheets as biggest bust, Gio Gonzalez as 2011 keeper, and cites Cahill as a good candidate for 2011 regression ...
- As mentioned, Cahill has really good traditional stats, but a quick check of his peripherals show he has not been as impressive as those numbers suggest. His 5.31 K/9 IP is poor and his 2.89 BB/9 is acceptable, but only with a higher strikeout rate. In addition to the mediocre control rates, his .237 batting average on balls in play (BABIP) is not likely to be repeated again (league average is typically around .300). Cahill is a fine young pitcher with a terrific groundball rate (55.7% ranks among the league leaders) and plenty of room to improve. But buyers beware next season - his ERA's likely to rise, and 17 or more wins might be a reach.
You think? W/L-wise, Cahill might be the biggest (positive) fluke of this season. It'll be akin to a miracle if he wins 15 games next season. Especially considering the Athletics' chronically anemic hitting.
But yes, Cahill's been the biggest surprise, Sheets has been the biggest bust -- as long as I live, I'll never figure that one out -- and Gonzalez is a keeper.
He's not the only one, though.
Dallas Braden shares Cahill's strikeout rate but has walked roughly 30 percent fewer hitters. Not to mention founding the autonomous region of Bradenia. (Granted, Braden's been both hit-lucky -- like Cahill -- and probably homer-lucky this season, so he's also a candidate for ERA regression.)
And Oakland's best starting pitcher is the guy with the 6-6 record: 22-year-old Brett Anderson. In 48 major league starts, he's got a 3.62 ERA and a 3.32 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Anderson missed two months in the middle of the season with an elbow injury, but since coming off the DL in late July he's pitched as well as ever. The only category he wins is probably "2011 Cy Young candidate if he doesn't get hurt again."