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Has any team in major-league history ever done what the Oakland Athletics are trying to do? Probably not.
Well, now they've done it. Thanks to a ruling by Major League Baseball, Travis Blackley is a rookie.
Now, just looking at Travis Blackley's career, you probably would have assumed he was a rookie. After all, Blackley entered this season with only 34⅔ innings in the majors, all of those innings come in eight starts spread over two non-consecutive seasons. But there are a bunch of technical details regarding rookie eligibility, and either it took a while to sort those out or somebody gave Blackley a special exemption.
Anyway, despite being 29 years old, Blackley does pass the rookie sniff test.
Why does this matter?
At this moment, the Oakland Athletics' rotation consists of five rookies. In order, beginning Wednesday night:
It's uncommon for a team to use five rookie starters at once. I suppose it has happened a few times over the years, though. Especially late in the season, on a team that's rebuilding.
The A's aren't rebuilding. They've got a two-game lead in the Wild Card standings. According to Baseball Prospectus, they've got an 83-percent chance of winning a Wild Card. There is a considerable chance that, one month from now, the A's will be playing in the World Series. And I have to think, however far they advance in the tournament, they'll be the first team in postseason history with an all-rookie starting rotation.
I don't really have any analysis for you. It just seems like something everyone ought to know.