The 2011 baseball season has seen the Oakland Athletics deal with an overwhelming number of injuries to their pitching staff. Dallas Braden, Brandon McCarthy, Tyson Ross, and Brett Anderson all have gone down with a variety of ailments leading the A’s to dig deep into their farm system. Guillermo Moscoso, Josh Outman and Graham Godfrey have all made extended appearances at the big league level in recent weeks.
Now, Rich Harden is returning to Oakland to join the rotation on Friday, Brandon McCarthy has begun making rehab starts, and Tyson Ross is expected to head out on a rehab assignment in the coming week. As they get healthy, one of the next questions facing the A’s will be what to do with Wednesday night starting pitcher Guillermo Moscoso.
Ideally, Anderson, McCarthy, and Ross will all be healthy at some point in the near future. Anderson is a ways off so that buys some time on a decision, but with the addition of Rich Harden to the rotation, it becomes a question of what to do with him versus Moscoso when McCarthy and Ross are back in the next couple weeks. Of course, this is also assuming Rich Harden stays healthy in his return. It’d be great of he could, but historical patterns indicate otherwise.
In the meantime, Moscoso will look to develop a bit more consistency in order to prevent the A’s from removing him from the rotation in the next few weeks. He faces the Florida Marlins Wednesday night and will be looking to put together a second consecutive solid start. He’s coming off a dominant start against the Philadelphia Phillies in which he went seven innings and gave up no runs, two hits and three walks. He has done some solid work as a long man, but if he can turn into another solid pitching option, the A’s would suddenly find themselves with some interesting trade bait, whether it be Moscoso or one of the other starting pitchers.