Oakland Athletics’ right-hander Frankie Montas has been declared the Opening Day starter.
The Oakland Athletics are preparing to kick off their 2020 season this upcoming week and we now know who will be taking the reigns to start the campaign.
As first reported by MLB.com’s Martin Gallegos on Saturday, the A’s will call on right-hander Frankie Montas to make the first start of the season when the team takes on the Los Angeles Angels this Friday the 24th.
This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise given how effective Montas was last season prior to his suspension. And in reality, it was the outcome that was widely expected by most people.
Now it’s just been made official.
Montas finished the 2019 season with a stellar 2.63 ERA in 16 starts. He recorded 103 strikeouts in 96 innings pitched while walking 23 batters and surrendering eight home runs.
After a promising 2018, Montas burst on to the scene and looked like one of the American League’s best starters going into the summer. Unfortunately, he would be hit with an 80-game suspension that would cut his season short.
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Still, Montas’ impressive half-season performance was enough to convince the A’s that he should be considered the true ace of the pitching staff. And after seeing what he did last year, it’s hard to argue that notion.
Frankie Montas will start Opening Day, but what about the rest of the Oakland Athletics’ rotation?
The remainder of the A’s starting rotation was also announced on Saturday with Sports Illustrated’s John Hickey being the first to report.
After Montas, the order will go as followed: Sean Manaea, Mike Fiers, Chris Bassitt, A.J. Puk. In addition, the A’s will likely be able to insert top prospect Jesus Luzardo into the rotation once he’s back to full strength.
It’s likely that he would replace Bassitt in that scenario, but a lot of that will depend on how players are performing at that time. Oakland will also have Daniel Mengden to be used as a long-reliever/spot-starter if need be.
The A’s have their options, but they seem content rolling into 2020 with the five pitchers mentioned above. But don’t be surprised to see Luzardo or even Mengden get an opportunity to start down the line.
Anticipation is building with Opening Day only a few days away. And now, A’s fans know who to expect on the mound come Friday.