The Oakland Athletics are looking to rebuild their franchise after multiple down years and rebuilding typically comes with dealing your proven, veteran players to other teams to acquire younger, cheaper talent. The A's sent starting pitchers Gio Gonzalez to Washington and Trevor Cahill to Arizona, leaving quite the void at the top of their rotation. With few proven pitchers in the mix, Oakland has announced Brandon McCarthy will be the Opening Day starter in 2012.
Susan Slusser of SFGate.com provides the latest update from Spring Training in Phoenix:
Oakland might have many questions, but the identity of the team's Opening Day starter never was in real doubt.
For weeks, all signs pointed to Brandon McCarthy, the top returning healthy A's starter, and on Tuesday, manager Bob Melvin made it official, saying that McCarthy will go March 28 in Japan against the Mariners.
"I thought it was a natural based on what he accomplished last year," Melvin said.
After bouncing around with various clubs around the league, McCarthy finally got a chance to be in the rotation last season in Oakland. While making 25 starts for the A's, the 28-year old posted an ERA of 3.32 (and equally impressive FIP of 3.30) while posting a strong strikeout-to-walk ratio of 4.92, which ranked among the best in the American League.
There will be plenty of extra pressure as the A's take the field in Japan, but there was no better candidate on the roster to handle the starting pitching duties than Brandon McCarthy.
For even more on the team and to discuss the A's with other fans, head on over to Athletics Nation.