Athletics top pitching prospect Jesus Luzardo not ruled out for rotation, GM says

first_imgThe Athletics may inject some young blood into their starting rotation to begin the year.Oakland general manager David Forst told the San Francisco Chronicle on Friday he would not rule out lefty Jesus Luzardo for the team’s opening-day starting rotation. David Forst says A’s not ruling out Jesus Luzardo for season-opening rotation, adding it’ll be based on whether he’s ready, not service time. At this point, there is certainly room for him.— John Shea (@JohnSheaHey) January 25, 2019Luzardo is the top left-handed pitching prospect in baseball, according to MLB Pipeline and started the Futures Game for the World Team.He is coming off of a season in which he struck out 129 batters in 109 1/3 innings while posting a 2.88 ERA across three levels. He ended the year at Triple-A Nashville. Related News MLB hot stove: Yankees could still add starter to bolster rotation depth, report says The Athletics will likely keep a close watch on his innings though as he is three years removed from Tommy John surgery. The 109 1/3 innings were a career high.Forst said the team will not consider service time in promoting Luzardo.Many teams will wait a few weeks into the season to promote players so they can gain one extra year of team control. The A’s have two guaranteed starters in their rotation to begin the year in Mike Fiers and Marco Estrada.Ace Sean Manaea underwent shoulder surgery at the end of 2018 and could miss a large portion of the 2019 season.Other options for a rotation spot include Daniel Mengden and Frankie Montas. A.J. Puk, the Athletics’ No. 2 prospect, could also factor in though he is coming off of surgery as well.last_img