Oakland Athletics: 60-game season is good news for young pitchers

Oakland Athletics (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
Oakland Athletics (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images) /

The Oakland Athletics will see a few of their young pitchers benefit from a shortened season.

As the Oakland Athletics finally near the start of the 2020 MLB season, excitement surrounding the team continues to grow. And there are few things to be more excited about with this team than its young pitching.

A new era of A’s baseball is ready to begin and it’s being spearheaded by a number of young pitchers who look poised to take over the rotation for years to come.

Players like Jesus Luzardo and A.J. Puk have A’s fans excited about the future. And at this point, it’s pretty clear that the future is indeed now.

However, that future was expected to be limited to some degree in 2020 with both Luzrdo and Puk coming off of injury-riddled 2019 seasons. The plan was to impose pretty strict innings limits for the A’s young pitching prospects.

But now, that likely won’t be necessary.

The Oakland Athletics won’t have to limit their young starters in a shortened season.

A shortened season to just 60 games will create a lot of different changes around the league and in many ways, the game we see this year will be unlike anything we’ve seen before.

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But one of the biggest changes will certainly come with how teams utilize their pitching staff. With just three weeks to prepare for the season, don’t expect starters to be able to go more than four or five innings at the beginning of the year.

And it remains unclear how many starters teams will actually use in their rotations. For the record, A’s pitching coach Scott Emerson has indicated that the team plans on using a traditional five-man rotation.

But nothing is guaranteed.

Either way, it seems clear that the likes of Luzardo and Puk won’t come anywhere near the 200 or so innings limit that would have likely been imposed on them in a typical 162-game season.

The same goes for Sean Manaea who is recovering from a shoulder surgery that forced him to miss essentially all of last season. Luzardo had his rotator cuff and lat injuries, Puk had Tommy John surgery, and Manaea had his shoulder troubles.

But none of the three will be limited in the shortened season.

There are plenty of downsides to the current mess of a situation the MLB and its players have been forced into. But if there is one bright side, it’s that A’s fans won’t have to worry about their young pitchers being limited.

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And that’s something everyone can get behind.