Sunday's game did not go as planned, as the Angels were able to outscore the A's seven runs to four.
While it was upsetting and Mazzaro struggled in his second start in a row, it was not horrifying. While he gave up five runs in the game, he was able to last 4.1 innings, which is certainly better than his last outing.
The game made the 23 year old's era jump up to 4.29, which is a respectful number. However, the A's organization did not like this and decided to option the young pitcher down to AAA.
Considering it's September when players get called up to have a chance to get to play in the bigs, (especially on a team like the A's that were 67-69 (Though I will say they still have a chance at the division title)) it is a very confusing move.
Even if it wasn't September, it'd still be a confusing move. Yes Mazzaro's last two starts weren't desirable, but since when are players demoted because of two bad starts?
He's a young pitcher on a young team. Consistency isn't exactly what should be expected.
Considering he had a blister during the last start, he did his job fairly well and I could understand resting him a bit. However, demoting a player who isn't struggling is just silly.
It's going to mess with Mazzaro's confidence, and that's very troublesome for young starters.
The most confusing part about this is the results that Mazzaro's given us. During 18 starts and 21 games this year he's pitched, he has complied a 4.29 ERA, which is good enough for an ERA+ of 95.
While that may not look that good, look at the rest of the team. Due to the fact he is the worst pitcher on the team so far, he's the 5th starter.
For a 5th starter to be pitching around league average, sounds like a nice option to me.
Look at the Phillies. They're in line for a wild-card and have dominant aces in Hamels, Halladay and Oswalt. After that? Good ~5 eras from Blanton and Kendrick.
So would you rather have, a 23 year old pitching a 4.29 or a 29 year old with a 5.25? I don't know about you, but I'd take Mazzaro.
So A's, what gives?
Why demote Mazzaro?
Who are you going to pitch now?
Boof Bonser looks like the only option in the majors and his 5.17 ERA in zero starts doesn't really excite me. (Though it has been very solid since coming to Oakland.)
So you take away a good 5th starter with a high potential and you're likely to replace him with a 28 year old guy that hasn't proven much. Doesn't make much sense to me.
(The only reason I can think that this move was done was for Mazzaro to try to aid their AAA team with the day off, but it's still confusing.)