Editor's note: For the past few weeks, NBC Sports California has been analyzing a different A's player each day to project their numbers for next season.
Yusmeiro Petit proved to be extremely valuable last year in Oakland.
Petit, 34, lived up to his reputation as a workhorse, pitching 93 innings out of the bullpen, the third most of any reliever in the majors. He finished the season 7-3 with a 3.00 ERA and 1.01 WHIP, striking out 76 and walking 18.
Petit enters his 12th big-league season with a career ERA of 4.14 and a 1.20 WHIP. The veteran right-hander can pitch in just about any situation, including a spot start if necessary. We might even see him serve as an opener in 2019, or possibly the pitcher who follows an opener.
Petit was especially effective down the stretch last season, allowing just one run and six hits in his last 12 outings. He also did a masterful job retiring left-handed batters, limiting them to a meager .183/.232/.379 slash line. That could be especially important in 2019, as Ryan Buchter is currently the only southpaw in the A's bullpen.
Petit throws four effective pitches and mixes them well. According to FanGraphs, he threw his fastball just 47.7 percent of the time last year, while utilizing his slider, curveball, and changeup about equally.
Baseball Reference projects Petit to go 5-3 with a 3.44 ERA and 1.14 WHIP in 2019. They predict him to strike out 74 and walk 21 in 81 innings.
While the A's figure to lean heavily on their bullpen again this year, we expect a slight reduction in Petit's workload. However, we think he will still be effective and his versatility should once again make him valuable.
Projection: 6-3, 3.07 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, 72 K, 19 BB, 86 IP