A team with a starting-pitcher ERA of 4.76 (22nd in the major leagues) in a given season usually isn't thought of as a potential fountain of pitching value, but for various reasons, the Oakland Athletics' starting pitchers are likely to be undervalued in preseason fantasy drafts. With a favorable home park and a very good expected defensive lineup (highlighted by a starting outfield of Rajai Davis, Coco Crisp and Ryan Sweeney), the conditions are right for a much better overall performance from the A's staff. Let's look at each rotation candidate: Ben Sheets: Considering he missed all of last season after elbow surgery and hasn't thrown 200 innings in a season since 2004, Sheets likely will be overlooked in most drafts. But his production when healthy has been undeniable. After undergoing surgery to repair a torn flexor tendon in February 2009, Sheets impressed enough in an offseason throwing audition to land a $10 million contract from the A's, and he's ready to go full-throttle during camp. He touched 92 mph in his workout, which is right about where he left off before his surgery, and showed he still could break off some good curves.
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