Sports: Marco Estrada ready to be A’s next starter with a bounce-back season - PressFrom - Canada
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SportsMarco Estrada ready to be A’s next starter with a bounce-back season

15:30  11 february  2019
15:30  11 february  2019 Source:   sfchronicle.com

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- When Marco Estrada was looking for a team to sign with as a free agent this winter, he found the A ’ s checked a lot of boxes: Good clubhouse, a A left hip injury last season caused some of Estrada ’s existing back issues to flare up and though he made 28 starts , he didn’t enjoy good results, going

Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Marco Estrada (25) throws against the Oakland Athletics in the first inning of their MLB game at the Coliseum in Oakland OAKLAND — The A ’ s had great success taking a chance on pitchers coming off bad years last season , and it appears they’re looking to recreate that


MESA, Ariz. — When Marco Estrada was looking for a team with which to sign as a free agent this winter, he found the A’s checked a lot of boxes: good clubhouse, a need for starting pitchers, a solid young core, and, oh yeah, they’re coming off a postseason appearance.

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Marco Estrada is coming off the worst season of his career. The 35-year-old right-hander went 7-14 with a 5.64 ERA and 1.43 WHIP in 28 starts His changeup has always been one of the best pitches in the league. He' s a guy we fully expect to bounce back and be near the top of our rotation for 2019."

As for Estrada , he’ll be looking to bounce back from a pair of less-than-effective seasons . Lower body and back issues may partially have been to blame, so returning to full health could make a difference in and of itself. Otherwise, it’ s a question whether Estrada can hold off the hands of time for at least one

“They won 97 games,” Estrada said. “That means a lot. It’s not easy to do. It was a pretty easy decision, to be honest with you.”

On Jan. 25, the A’s inked Estrada, a 2016 All-Star with Toronto, to a one-year deal worth $4 million. On Sunday, as the team’s pitchers and catchers reported to Hohokam Stadium, A’s manager Bob Melvin said he’d like to target at least three starters initially for the rotation and Estrada is among them.

“He’s a guy we brought in, at least as we’re sitting here now, to be one of those guys,” Melvin said.

Signing with Oakland also brings some other perks for Estrada, 35. He’s coming to a big ballpark, the Coliseum, after spending his 11-year career pitching in smaller stadiums in Milwaukee and Toronto, not to mention the AL East in general the past four years.

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Marco Estrada figures to be a front-line starter they had sought. "We've known for a while we needed to add at least one more starter and have been talking to Marco ' s representatives since around the time of the winter meetings," general manager David Forst said Friday, a day before the club' s Fan

“It’s nice to come to the West and having the home field being one of the bigger ballparks,” he said, adding, “I’m really excited about the foul territory.”

Then there’s the A’s defense, which boasted four Gold Glove finalists in the infield and which was right at or near of the top of most defensive rankings. Estrada’s previous team, the Blue Jays, was one of the worst defensive teams in the league last year.

“I think it would help any team out when you have a defense like that,” Estrada said of Oakland’s fielders.

The A’s have a history of identifying strong bounce-back candidates among free agents, including Rich Hill, Scott Kazmir and Trevor Cahill in recent years, and Estrada is aware that Oakland can be a positive experience for an older starter.

“I know they’ve done really well,” Estrada said. “I guess it’s my turn. I’m going to try to be one of those guys. Hopefully, I can bounce back and pitch much better than I did last year. I think just being healthy will help a lot.”

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The A ' s are counting on Marco Estrada to have a bounceback season in 2019 and stabilize the top of their starting rotation. Estrada went 7-14 with a 5.64 ERA and 1.43 WHIP, striking out 103 and walking 50 in 143 2/3 innings. But the A ' s are confident the veteran right-hander can get back to his

After spending three seasons as a long reliever and alternative starter , Estrada was named to the his next start , he took a perfect game into the 8th, which ended when Logan Forsythe hit a weak Estrada opened the 2016 regular season on the disabled list with a back injury.[20] He made his

“When he’s healthy, he’s tough,” Melvin said. “He’s got a good changeup, good off-speed stuff. He reads hitters’ swings. He has a nice track record.”

A left hip injury last season caused some of Estrada’s existing back issues to flare up, and though he made 28 starts, he didn’t enjoy the results, going 7-14 with a 5.64 ERA.

“It was tough. I probably shouldn’t have tried to pitch after something like that,” he said. “I’ve got to be a little smarter about things like that.”

A’s reliever Liam Hendriks can vouch for Estrada; the two were teammates in Toronto. Hendriks recalls disputes trying to get Estrada not to pick up the dinner tab all the time. “He wouldn’t let me pay, which was mean,” Hendriks said.

Hendriks was in Toronto in 2015 when Estrada was the Blue Jays’ top starter, putting up a 3.13 ERA. “You look at the stuff he was able to do — there were a couple of changeups that still haven’t gotten to the plate yet,” Hendriks said. “He’s an extremely talented guy and I’m excited to see what he does, especially with our defense.”

“You’re only saying that because I’m right here,” Estrada interjected.

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The A ' s are counting on Marco Estrada to have a bounceback season in 2019 and stabilize the top of their starting rotation. As previously noted, Estrada 's changeup is still highly effective. Getting out of the AL East should certainly help, as will pitching at the Coliseum with a great defense behind him.

Marco Estrada figures to be a front-line starter they had sought. Estrada and Oakland agreed to a million, one-year contract Friday, giving the club a veteran presence. Left-hander Sean Manaea pitched a no-hitter against Boston on April 21 in a bright start to a season that ended with the ace

“One hundred percent,” Hendriks said with a laugh.

Though Estrada has a strong shot one of the top three starter spots, Hendriks also is likely to be starting games again, too — as the A’s opener. He joked Sunday that he’d like to appear in 81 games this season, reasoning that he could pitch every other day.

“I could picket-fence it for a really long time,” he said. “It will be interesting to see the numbers about the effectiveness — I don’t have any clue about how many times it will happen, but all I know is I’ll be ready to pitch whatever situation arises.”

Susan Slusser is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. Email: [email protected] Twitter: @susanslusser

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