After a disastrous 2015 season in which the club finished at 68-94, its worst record since 1997, the Athletics did a complete overhaul of their bullpen. The only two pitchers who remained in the bullpen were Sean Doolittle and Fernando Rodriguez. Oakland also decided to keep one September call-up in rookie Ryan Dull.
They kept the starting rotation, which had been fairly good in 2015, almost the same, adding a single starting pitcher over the offseason. Regardless, once February 2016 rolled around and it was time to report to spring training, there were new players everywhere.
The A’s hoped to reverse their fortunes in 2016 and started off fairly strong. Slowly, however, things have begun to fall apart, especially in the starting rotation, the place where the fewest changes were made.
After a month and a half of regular-season play, the A’s now find themselves somewhere in the middle of the AL West alongside the also-struggling Houston Astros and Los Angeles Angels, with a record well below the .500 mark (15-21) wondering how everything went awry.
Is it the new players they brought in that are struggling, or the players that they kept around that could use a boost? In order to really find out, now is the perfect time to look at each offseason acquisition and grade them to decipher where the A’s problems really lie. Now that we’ve graded the position players, let’s take a look at the new pitchers on the Oakland Athletics this season: Rich Hill, Marc Rzepczynski, Liam Hendriks, John Axford and Ryan Madson.
To find our how they ended up being graded you can read the rest of my column on Today’s Knuckleball by following the link below: