The Trevor Cahill trade was the first move that Billy Beane made in the offseason, it sent (RHP) Trevor Cahill and (LHP) Craig Breslow to Arizona and in return Oakland received (RHP) Jarrod Parker, (OF) Collin Cowgill and (RHP) Ryan Cook. I originally graded this trade as a B+, citing a slight concern in Jarrod Parker’s control issues.
Jarrod Parker has been the pitcher the A’s had hoped he would, he has started in 11 games for Oakland and of those 11 games he has only surrendered 3 runs or more twice. Parker currently holds a 3-3 record with a 2.70 ERA over 66.2 innings. Although he only has 3 wins on the season, it does not reflect how well he has done so far.
Parker has a 1.9 WAR, which ranks 13th among AL starting pitchers. He has a .255 BABIP and a 3.50 FIP, although his xFIP of 4.41 is pretty poor. Control continues to be a slight issue for the young right-hander, he has a 4.32 BB/9 rate and 1.53 SO/BB ratio.
Collin Cowgill, who was just placed on the DL yesterday with a sprained ankle, has played in 32 games for Oakland. In 108 PA he has a .271/.343/.313 slash line with a .655 OPS and .286 wOBA. He has 1 HR and 9 RBI with 3 SB.
One of his biggest issues is his plate disciple, having only a .46 BB/SO ratio. It’s not really clear whether or not Cowgill will ever be an every day outfielder for Oakland, but he is definitely good enough to be a 4th outfielder for the A’s.
Ryan Cook started the season as a middle reliever for the A’s, not allowing a run through his first 23 innings thrown. With Grant Balfour and Brian Fuentes showing some struggles this season, he has been used as the club’s closer more recently.
Cook has a 2-2 record with a 1.71 ERA and has converted 4 saves in 5 opportunities. While Cook has only allowed 6 runs over 31.2 innings, it may be the defense and luck behind him since he has a very low .157 BABIP.
Cook has had trouble keeping players off base, he has a very high 5.68 BB/9 rate and a low 1.65 SO/BB ratio. Those walks will eventually hurt him, as he showed Friday when he handed out a walk to the first 2 batters he faced.
I do believe that Ryan Cook will be a decent closer down the road, but before that day comes he is going to have to stop handing out those free bases.
Trevor Cahill has had better success this season than last. Over 14 games he has a 6-5 record with a 3.47 ERA and 1.26 WHIP. His strikeouts are slightly up from last season at a 6.65 SO/9 rate and his walks have slightly decreased with a 3.38 BB/9 rate.
The thing I find most interesting about Cahill this season is that his GB rate has increased from last season by a pretty significant amount, last season 55.9% of his outs were ground balls and this season 63% of them are. Naturally, his HR/9 rate has dropped this season from .82 to .40.
Craig Breslow has pitched in 29 games for the Diamondbacks this season and over 30.1 innings he has a 2.97 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP. So far this season, Breslow has allowed almost 3 less hits per nine innings than last, while decreasing his H/9 rate from 10.5 last year to 7.7 this year.
The only number that has increased for Breslow is his 1.13 HR/9 rate, which was at .61 last season for Oakland.
I really like what I have seen from Jarrod Parker this season so far, therefore I am going to have to raise my grade to an A. While I have been pretty hard on Ryan Cook all season, I do think once he gets over his control issues, he will be able to fill the void the A’s have in the closer role.