Oakland A’s Acquire Mike Minor

Mike Minor

The Oakland A’s bolster their starting rotation Monday with a trade for right-handed starting pitcher Mike Minor, according to Jeff Passan of ESPN. Levi Weaver of The Athletic reports the team is sending two 2019 draft picks to the Texas Rangers for the 2019 All-Star.

Outfielder Marcus Smith, 19, was drafted in the third round, and he slashed .366/.466/.443 in 29 games in Rookie ball. Third baseman Dustin Harris, 21, was drafted in the 11th round. He slashed .325/.403/.407 in 58 games between the Rookie and Low-A levels.

Minor is 0-5 with a 5.60 ERA and 1.358 WHIP in 35 1/3 innings pitched in 2020. His K/9 is up slightly at 8.9, but his BB/9 also went up from 2.9 to 3.3. His average fastball velocity is down from 92.5 MPH to 90.6 MPH

Rotation Help

The A’s get much needed rotation help. While they boast the second-best staff ERA in the American League, that ranking is inflated by a high-quality bullpen. Their starting pitchers collectively have the eighth-best ERA in the league. Currently, only two of their five starting pitchers have an ERA under 4.00 with 3.72 being the lowest from Chris Bassitt.

Mike Minor comes in with recent success. Although his numbers do not look great in 2020, he finished eighth in the 2019 AL Cy Young voting, posting a 3.59 ERA and striking out 200 batters in 208 1/3 innings. Additionally, he looks to be turning a corner after pitching six shutout innings against the Los Angeles Dodgers in his most recent start on Friday.

The issue with Minor has been consistency. In seven starts, he has allowed zero or one earned runs three times, but he has allowed four or more earned runs in the other four. That includes two starts allowing six. Initially, he was not giving length, either. He failed to complete six innings in his first five starts although he reached six in each of his last two starts.

Deadline Activity

The A’s hope that acquiring Minor pays the same sort of dividends that their 2019 acquisitions did. Last year, they traded for Homer Bailey and Tanner Roark at the deadline.

Bailey thrived in Oakland, pitching to a 3.86 ERA in August and 2.28 in September/October. Additionally, he saw his K/BB ratio jump to 5.33 and 4.22 in those months, as well.

Roark pitched well in August for the team. He recorded a 3.30 ERA with a 1.133 WHIP and 4.50 ERA.

Minor’s struggles this year are alarming, but given how he pitched in 2019 and the A’s recent track record of making impacting, lower profile starting pitching acquisitions, Minor could be a stabilizer for the AL West leaders.

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