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A’s pick Brett Anderson as Opening Day starter

Feb 28, 2013, 12:16 PM EST

Brett Anderson Getty Getty Images

In a move that signals just how well his comeback from Tommy John elbow surgery has gone, the A’s named Brett Anderson as their Opening Day starter.

Anderson had elbow surgery in July of 2011 and returned in August of last season, throwing 35 innings with a 2.57 ERA and 25/7 K/BB ratio while looking every bit like his old self. He also follows me on Twitter–note, that’s a straight-up brag, not a humblebrag–so you know he’s smart with great taste in addition to being a good pitcher.

Anderson will be followed in the A’s rotation by Jarrod Parker, Tommy Milone, A.J. Griffin, Dan Straily, with Bartolo Colon eligible to return from his suspension (and likely bump Straily out of the rotation) a week into the season.

  1. APBA Guy - Feb 28, 2013 at 12:25 PM

    Brett Anderson is a cautionary tale for those who believe that the A’s young pitchers will automatically progress from last year’s workload increases. Anderson, just 25 a few weeks ago, had his highest IP total as a rookie 4 years ago, at 175. Since then the decline in IP has been precipitous: 112, 83, 35 last year, a pattern consistent with classic Verducci effect workload increase leading to injury. Now fully recovered, he hopes that Parker, Griffin, and Milone will escape the pattern this year, or if not, that Beane has enough in the way of reserves to fill in behind those guys. Despite last year’s 94 wins, another playoff run seems unlikely for the A’s, though I’d love to see it happen.

    • scatterbrian - Feb 28, 2013 at 1:17 PM

      I agree we should probably be cautious with expectations, but the Verducci effect isn’t ironclad. It didn’t affect Cahill or Gio.

      • APBA Guy - Feb 28, 2013 at 2:22 PM

        True. I don’t think it’s universal. That’s why I put “cautionary” in there. It can happen. But like you said, it isn’t ironclad. But I think Gio is some kind of freak, he’s got the easiest motion for a guy who throws 95 I can recall seeing. At least the A’s got some good guys in those trades, like the Haren trade, which brought them Anderson (and Car-Go).

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