News: 4 days agoBassitt would likely be brought into the starting rotation if Jesus Luzardo (illness) isn't cleared before Opening Day, Martin Gallegos of MLB.com reports. "He showed he's a real weapon last year," Melvin said of Bassitt. "It wasn't an easy role. He had to acclimate to it. All guys that were starters want to be starters. They want that routine. Then realizing you have to do things differently, buying in is the big thing. He bought in and realized how important he is to the team. When we talk about starters, you have to include him."
Spin: The 31-year-old has worn several hats since joining the Athletics back in 2015, including logging 50 starts over that span. Half of those came last season, when Bassitt forged a 10-5 record, 3.18 ERA and 1.19 WHIP across 144 innings. With Luzardo having tested positive for COVID-19 and now forced to self-isolate for a minimum of 14 days, there's an outside chance the talented southpaw misses at least his first turn through the rotation. If so, Bassitt is a very likely candidate to step in, given his extensive starting experence and solid body of work in that capacity.
ESPN Fantasy Projection: Bassitt bounced between the minors and majors from 2014-18 before settling in as a full-time member of Oakland's starting staff last season. The right-hander made 25 starts, posting a 3.95 ERA (4.51 FIP) and a .234 BAA. For the first time in his career, he was an above-average strikeout pitcher, as his 23.0 K% was nearly three ticks higher than his 2018 mark. The improvement was partly due to a gain in his fastball velocity, which averaged 93.5 mph last season. He also did well limiting hard contact, holding opposing batters to an 87 mph average exit velocity. In what may have been a precursor to his 2020 role, Bassitt logged five scoreless innings out of the bullpen near the end of the campaign, striking out nine. Pitching in relief would help solidify Bassitt's place in the majors but would put a significant dent in his fantasy value.