SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 28: Starting pitcher Jarrod Parker #11 of the Oakland Athletics pitches in the first inning against the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field on September 28, 2013 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
The Texas Rangers have plenty of questions to answer in the next 10 days or so about their starting rotation before the 2014 MLB season begins on March 31. But they aren't the only ones, not even in their own division.
The two-time defending AL West champion Oakland A's, who live off their young pitching, have some problems of their own. Jarrod Parker, a 25-year-old starter who's put together two straight sub-4.00 ERA and double-digit win seasons, is set to undergo Tommy John surgery and will miss the upcoming season. Then, on Tuesday, news came out that free agent signee Scott Kazmir, a tremendous talent who's dealt with arm issues in the past, is experiencing triceps soreness, which is never a good sign.
Rangers manager Ron Washington, who was a coach for the A's before taking the Rangers job, said he knows the A's system well and doesn't expect a drop-off even with the pitching injuries.
“The A’s got pitching,” Washington told reporters. “Now, it just gives one of the other pitching phenoms a chance. They’ve got tons of them. They develop pitching. Yeah, they’re going to miss Parker, but they’ve got pitching. Always have and always will."
“They’re going to be fine. Just because they lost one pitcher doesn’t mean they’re going to fall apart.”