The A’s have done just minor tinkering to their bullpen by adding lefties Alan Embree (free agent) and Jay Marshall (Rule 5 Draft).Â 23 year old righty Huston Street found last season to be a little tougher than his rookie season.Â He was 4-4 with 1 hold, 37 saves, a 3.31 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP in 69 games for the A’s in 2006.Â Batters only hit .238 against Street and he only walked 13 batters in 70.2 innings so he’s been good at limiting baserunners.Â Still, you’ve got to wonder how Street will respond to choking in the ALCS against the Tigers.Â Will he forget about it and continue to be a good stopper or will it eat him up like it did to Brad Lidge in Houston?Â Only time will tell, but I tend to think he will have a good season in 2007 for the A’s.
29 year old righty Justin Duchscherer has been a good set-up man since joining the Oakland A’s during the 2003 season.Â He was 2-1 with 17 holds, 9 saves, a 2.91 ERA and a 1.10 WHIP in 53 games for the A’s in 2006.Â Batters only hit .244 against him and he only walked 9 batters in 55.2 innings and that’s why he’s so successful.Â Look for him to have another good season for the A’s in 2007.
32 year old righty Kiko Calero also had a solid season setting up for the A’s in 2006.Â He was 3-2 with 23 holds, 2 saves, a 3.41 ERA and a 1.28 WHIP in 70 games last season for the A’s.Â Batters only hit .231 against Calero last season and he whiffed an amazing 67 batters in 58 innings for the A’s.Â Look for Calero to again provide late inning support for the A’s bullpen.
37 year old lefty Alan Embree had his best year since 2002 last year so the A’s rewarded him with some cold, hard cash.Â Embree was 4-3 with 16 holds, a 3.27 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP in 73 games for the San Diego Padres last season.Â Batters only hit .249 against him last season and he whiffed 53 batters in 52.1 innings last season which shows that he still has good stuff.
24 year old righty Chad Gaudin came out of nowhere and had a good season for the A’s in 2006.Â He was 4-2 with 11 holds, 2 saves, a 3.09 ERA and a 1.45 WHIP in 55 games last season.Â Batters only hit .222 against Gaudin but he walked an amazing 42 batters in 64 innings last season.Â I don’t see anyway Gaudin will be productive again this season unless he cuts his walks in half this season.
27 year old lefty Ron Flores was 1-2 with 1 hold, 1 save, a 3.34 ERA and a 1.28 WHIP in 25 games for the Oakland A’s.Â Look for Flores to probably start the season in AAA ball as he’s caught in a numbers game for the A’s despite pitching well for them last season.
34 year old righty Jay Witasick had a rough year in 2006.Â He was 1-0 with 2 holds, a 6.75 ERA and a 2.03 WHIP in 20 games for the A’s last season.Â Batters hit .281 against him and he walked 21 batters in only 22.2 innings.Â Don’t expect much from him in 2007 as he’s never really been that good of a pitcher in the majors.
24 year old lefty Jay Marshall was selected by the A’s in the Rule 5 Draft and they want to keep him.Â He pitched in A ball last season and he was 5-1 with 4 saves, a 1.02 ERA and a 0.87 WHIP.Â He also held batters to a .210 batting average against him.Â If he can make the leap he will probably be nothing more than a mop up man this season but he could be much more in the future for the A’s.