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Friday, May 8, 2009
A's demote 'ace'

Somehow I missed this move the other day: This sort of says it all about the A's, right?

As this season opened, the five guys in the Oakland rotation could boast the grand total of 18 wins in the major leagues ...

Dana Eveland: 11
Dallas Braden: 6
Josh Outman: 1
Trevor Cahill: 0
Brett Anderson: 0

I don't suppose it would have been appropriate to refer to Eveland as the "ace" of the staff, particularly considering his unimpressive K/BB ratio last season (his best season). Still, he was the closest to a sure thing they had ... and of course he's been a disaster. Eveland's not really this bad, but then again it's not clear that he's anything more than a decent No. 4 or 5 starter, even at his best.

You might remember that the A's were my pick to win the West. I figured that two or three of Oakland's young starters would have to pitch well, and so far that's just not happening. They seem to have something in 25-year-old Dallas Braden, but 21-year-olds Trevor Cahill and Brett Anderson -- both of them with sterling credentials -- have essentially flopped. Anderson's struck out only 14 batters in 28 innings, while Cahill has struck out 12 and walked 18 (!) in 33 innings. Neither has pitched even a single inning in Class AAA, and in retrospect it probably was terribly optimistic to believe they could step right into the majors and pitch anything like championship-quality baseball. Instead they're getting on-the-job training, and one can only hope they're tough enough, mentally, to survive the coming maulings.