Looking ahead: 2011 rotation

Bobby Cramer has strung together some impressive outings. Vin Mazzaro endured a healthy taste of sustained success for much of the season. Josh Outman is on the mend. And Tyson Ross isn’t too far behind any of them. So who fills out the rotation next year, assuming Cahill, Anderson, Gonzalez and Braden all break camp healthy? Could be another fun competition next spring. Mazzaro may seem to have the edge simply because of his extended experience, but I wouldn’t write off Cramer and Outman just yet. Ross, meanwhile, may need some extra time in the Minors to make up for the lengthy time he lost this year due to elbow injury. According to Geren, he was cleared to throw just today, and I’d suspect the club wants him to undergo a string of healthy starts in Triple-A before joining a big league rotation. Nevertheless, Geren made mention of all four guys when approached with the subject today, so it should be interesting how the offseason — Mazzaro may be prime trade bait for offensive help — and Spring Training unfold.

Right now, who would get your vote for the 5th spot? 


Any word on Duchscherer?

beetewn the Rockies and Braves, teams are still expressing interest in Smith. … Read more on Call to the Pen (function() {var s = document.createElement('SCRIPT'), s1 =

^that was exactly my thought. if we could get duke back on a deal similar to what we signed him to this year, i say bring him back, trade mazzaro for a bat and let outman be long man. that would give him a lighter load coming back from tommy john and if duke or anybody else for that matter gets hurt than outman can slide right into the rotation. if anyone gets hurt than we will still have ross, cramer and bonser in aaa. that’s what i would say. of course this season isn’t over, and i don’t know as much as the coaches/front office, but that’s what i’m seeing. i don’t see mazzaro sticking because one thing that i have seen over the past two offseasons is that the a’s have been unable to land the free agents they targeted. two years ago furcal spurned ol’ billy and last year it was beltre and scutaro (after some great years in green in gold). if they go the route of free agency to acquire a bat, they are probably going to have to overpay for a middle of the road guy (we had to throw $10 million at sheets to lure him to the bay). although i still hold out hope we can get somebody like adam dunn. but i doubt it. maybe carter can be the impact bat we need, but he needs to work his *** off in venezuela to become a respectable mlb outfielder so that we can keep the dh spot open (Barton is our 1st basemen!). cust should be gone (really surprised they resigned him, especially after the comments he made on sirius radio when non-tendered and don’t forget he didn’t make the club out of spring training) so that frees up the dh spot for dunn. man i realize i kinda went off on a super severe tangent, but i could talk a’s all day. i think another good question to think about is who starts in the of. crisp, sweeney, davis, carter, taylor? do we carry all five out of spring training? is taylor going to be ready? is carter? or will he get more seasoning in the of in sac? can we really depend on crisp? will all the knee injuries catch up with sweeney? can davis show patience and that he can stay pack on the soft stuff? will rajai improve on his jumps on fly balls of the bat? lots of questions!

I liked Outman alot last season before injury so I’d have to see if he can come back healthy or not. I say trade Mazzaro I never really got a good feeling about him as a pitcher sure he was somewhat successful but he falls apart. Duch might be better off back in the ‘Pen in my opinion. We really need to take Ellis’ option, he ended on a really high note.
Outfield: Sweeney, Rajai, Carter or Taylor (trade Buck Im a huge fan of him but if hes not going to get a chance he deserves one)

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