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Oakland Athletics MLB News - A’s Baseball Blog » 2007 » March

Will rookie manager keep the A’s rolling?

Blogged under Bloglockers, Front Page, Positional Preview for Season by chinmusic on Thursday 29 March 2007 at 1:02 am

This is just a hunch, but getting rid of Ken Macha because he didn’t want to be Billy Beane’s puppet will be a mistake by the A’s. Bob Geren is an ex-catcher that has managed a lot in the minor leagues. He has managed 7 years in the minor leagues and he has compiled a 452-390 (.537) record there. But, the majors are a big leap for a manager so it will be interesting to see how Geren does this season.

The Oakland A’s bullpen looks deep for the 2007 season

Blogged under Bloglockers, Front Page, Positional Preview for Season by chinmusic on Tuesday 27 March 2007 at 3:12 pm

The A’s have done just minor tinkering to their bullpen by adding lefties Alan Embree (free agent) and Jay Marshall (Rule 5 Draft). 23 year old righty Huston Street found last season to be a little tougher than his rookie season. 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. Batters only hit .238 against Street and he only walked 13 batters in 70.2 innings so he’s been good at limiting baserunners. Still, you’ve got to wonder how Street will respond to choking in the ALCS against the Tigers. 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? 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. 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. Batters only hit .244 against him and he only walked 9 batters in 55.2 innings and that’s why he’s so successful. 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. 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. Batters only hit .231 against Calero last season and he whiffed an amazing 67 batters in 58 innings for the A’s. 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. 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. 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. He was 4-2 with 11 holds, 2 saves, a 3.09 ERA and a 1.45 WHIP in 55 games last season. Batters only hit .222 against Gaudin but he walked an amazing 42 batters in 64 innings last season. 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. 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. 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. Batters hit .281 against him and he walked 21 batters in only 22.2 innings. 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. He pitched in A ball last season and he was 5-1 with 4 saves, a 1.02 ERA and a 0.87 WHIP. He also held batters to a .210 batting average against him. 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.

The Oakland A’s release Ricky Ledee

Blogged under Arrivals & Departures, Bloglockers, Front Page by chinmusic on Tuesday 27 March 2007 at 12:52 am

The A’s released Ricky Ledee as he was caught in a numbers game. Ledee was 4 for 11 (.364 batting average) in Spring Training so he might be able to catch on with someone this season.

The Oakland A’s sign Colby Lewis

Blogged under Arrivals & Departures, Bloglockers, Front Page by chinmusic on Sunday 25 March 2007 at 10:04 pm

The A’s have signed 28 year old starting pitcher Colby Lewis after the Washington Nationals released him earlier in the week. Lewis has a 12-13 record with a 6.76 ERA and a 1.87 WHIP in 46 games (33 starts). Look for Lewis to start the season in the minors and the A’s will be in deep trouble if they need him at any point of the season because he’s proven that he’s not a good major league pitcher.

The Oakland A’s rotation will be fine if they all stay healthy

Blogged under Bloglockers, Front Page, Positional Preview for Season by chinmusic on Monday 19 March 2007 at 9:45 pm

The A’s really need Rich Harden to stay healthy if they’re going to have any chance of competing this season because of the loss Barry Zito to free agency. 26 year old righty Dan Haren pitches more like an ace than anyone on the A’s staff so he’s the real #1 starter until someone else takes it away from him. Haren was 14-13 with a 4.21 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP in 34 starts for the A’s in 2006. Haren whiffed 176 batters and only walked 45 in 223 innings for the A’s last year but he did allow 31 homers and he’ll need to cut that number down a little bit to become a bona-fide ace. Look for Haren to win 15-17 games this season with a sub-4.00 ERA and a nice WHIP for the A’s in 2007.

25 year old Rich Harden has the stuff to be a #1 starting pitcher in the majors but he’s starting to look more like Mark Prior & Kerry Wood than Johan Santana. Harden has only started over 30 games once in his four year career. Harden was 4-0 with a 4.24 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP in only 9 starts last season for the A’s. Major leaguers only hit .191 against him last season and he whiffed 49 batters in only 46.2 innings in 2006. If Harden stays healthy in 2007 he has the potential to be an all-star but that’s a huge if. It’s much more likely that he will win 10-12 games and miss half of the season.

35 old righty Esteban Loaiza didn’t pitch too well for the A’s after getting a huge 3-year contract out of them. He was 11-9 with a 4.89 ERA and a 1.42 WHIP in 26 starts in 2006. Loaiza gave up 179 hits last season in only 154.2 innings and he allowed opponents to hit .288 against him. Loaiza will need to limit his walks like he did last season when he allowed only 40 to be successful in 2007 because he doesn’t have good enough stuff to throw the ball by batters anymore. Look for another year of around a .500 record and an ERA in the high 4.00’s.

26 year old right Joe Blanton will be the #4 starter for the A’s in 2007. Blanton had a disappointing second full season despite going 16-12 with a 4.82 ERA and a 1.54 WHIP in 31 starts. Blanton gave up an amazing 241 hits in 194.1 innings and let batters hit .309 against him last season. Look for Blanton not to pitch as bad as he did in 2006 or as good as he did in 2005 as he’s probably somewhere in between as a pitcher but the A’s will take that. Look for Blanton to win 12-14 games in 2007 with an ERA between 4.00-4.20.

Soon to be 28 year old lefty Joe Kennedy had the job as #5 starter going into camp but it seems likely that he will not hold onto it after his poor performance so far this Spring. He pitched in relief last season for the A’s and he had a good season. He pitched in 39 games for the A’s and was 4-1 with a 2.31 ERA and a 1.34 WHIP in 2006. Look for Kennedy to pitch decent for the A’s but it will likely be in relief because of his poor spring.

26 year old lefty Brad Halsey will also battle for the #5 starting spot for the A’s despite pitching most of the season out of the bullpen in 2006. Halsey was 5-4 with a 4.67 ERA and a 1.63 WHIP in 52 games (7 starts) for the A’s in 2006. Halsey would not be a good choice for the A’s to put into the rotation because he just allows too many baserunners.

24 year old righty Jason Windsor tore through the minors last year for the A’s and put himself into the competition for the #5 starter job for the A’s this year. Windsor was 17-2 with a 3.63 ERA and a 1.30 WHIP in 26 starts in AA+AAA for the A’s last season. He also whiffed 158 K’s in 151.1 innings. Windsor pitched in 4 games (3 starts) for the A’s last season and it didn’t go well as he had a 6.90 ERA and a 1.90 WHIP. He also allowed a .375 batting average to major league hitters. It could have just been nerves as Windsor will have a good shot to make the A’s rotation at some point in 2007.

The A’s hand RF over to Nick Swisher to start the season

Blogged under Bloglockers, Front Page, Positional Preview for Season by chinmusic on Thursday 8 March 2007 at 12:45 pm

Due to the injury to Mark Kotsay, 25 year old switch hitting Nick Swisher will start in RF this season for the A’s. He played in 157 games last season and he hit .254 with 106 runs scored, 35 homers, 95 RBIs and a .864 OPS. He only played one game in RF last season and he didn’t make an error. Swisher played in 79 games in LF last season for the A’s and he made 3 errors while showing outstanding range so he should be able to handle RF for the A’s defensively. Look for Swisher to continue putting up big power numbers for the A’s but he will never hit for a high average unless he cuts down on his whiffs big-time. He struck out 152 times last season for the A’s.

33 year old Ricky Ledee has a good chance to make the A’s as a reserve outfielder. He can handle all three spots on defense. The lefty swinger needs to get his swing back as he played in 70 games last season for the New York Mets & Los Angeles Dodgers and he only hit .188 with a .571 OPS. He’ll be nothing more than a back up player if he makes the A’s as he never converted his potential into results on the major league fields.

Bobby Kielty will also likely play some right field when he returns from injury. He played 31 error-less games in RF last season for the A’s but he showed below average range.

Milton Bradley also could return to RF when Mark Kotsay returns sometime after June. He played in 94 games in RF last season for the A’s and he showed good range while making 4 errors.

The A’s depending on Bradley in CF

Blogged under Bloglockers, Front Page, Positional Preview for Season by chinmusic on Thursday 8 March 2007 at 12:32 pm

With Mark Kotsay out of action for at least the first two months of the 2007 season, the A’s are converting Bradley to CF. Last season Bradley played in 96 games for the A’s and he hit .276 with 53 runs scored, 14 homers, 52 RBIs, 10 stolen bases and a .818 OPS. He played in 94 games in RF last season and he showed good range while making 4 errors, so he might be able to be at least average on defense in CF until Kotsay returns. The A’s are walking on thin ice here as Bradley has only played over 140 major league games once in his 7 year major league career. He also is a huge head case that could get suspended by the league or team on any given day as he’s a strange, angry dude most of the time. That being said, he still is a good baseball player when focused on his job.

31 year old lefty swinging Mark Kotsay will miss at least the first two months of the 2007 season. He played in 127 games last season for the A’s and he hit .275 with 57 runs scored, 7 homers, 59 RBIs and a .719 OPS. He played in 127 games in CF last season for the A’s and he only made 2 errors but he showed below average range there, but that could have been because of his bad back. Look for Kotsay to be a solid player when he returns from injury.

A bunch of riff raff now have a chance to make the A’s as a back up CF. Hiram Bocachica, Charles Thomas and Ricky Ledee all could see action in CF at some point in 2007. Bocachica will not be available to the A’s until May 1st as he refused a minor league assigment earlier in the off season.

The Athletics lose Mark Kotsay

Blogged under Bloglockers, Front Page, Injuries by chinmusic on Thursday 8 March 2007 at 12:19 pm

Starting centerfielder Mark Kotsay will have surgery to repair a herniated disk in his back and will miss at least 8-12 weeks. He will be out until at least June and maybe the entire first half of the 2007 season. The loss of Kotsay will cause a domino effect on the line up defensively for the A’s as Milton Bradley will move to center field from right field, Shannon Stewart will start in left field, Nick Swisher will be the full time right fielder and Dan Johnson will likely be the starter at first base. The A’s will miss the hard nosed Kotsay in center field and near the top of their line up.

Looking like a platoon in LF this season for the A’s

Blogged under Bloglockers, Front Page, Positional Preview for Season by chinmusic on Saturday 3 March 2007 at 10:05 pm

It’s looking like the A’s will platoon Bobby Kielty and Shannon Stewart in LF this season. 33 year old Shannon Stewart will play against right handed starting pitchers this season for the A’s. He had an injury filled season last year for the Minnesota Twins as he only played in 44 games. He hit .293 with 2 homers, 21 RBIs and a .715 OPS last year. Stewart only made 1 error in 34 games in LF last season but he didn’t show much range and he has a noodle for a throwing arm. Look for Stewart’s average to rebound into the .290’s this season for the A’s.

30 year old switch htting Bobby Kielty will start in LF against lefty starting pitchers if he’s healthy enough to start the season. He mashed lefties to the tune of a .325 batting average last season with 7 homers, 20 RBIs and a .965 OPS in only 117 at bats against them. Overall Kielty played in 81 games and he hit .270 with 8 homers, 36 RBIs and a .770 OPS last season. He played 44 games in LF last season and he showed good range there and only made 1 error. Look for Kielty to have another solid season as long as they limit his at bats against right handed pitchers this season.Â

25 year old Ryan Goleski was a Rule 5 Selection off of the Cleveland Indians roster. He played 125 games between A+AA ball last season and he hit .306 with 27 homers, 106 RBIs and a .948 OPS. The A’s would like to keep him if he can help them at all this season.

Bobby Kielty could miss the start of the season

Blogged under Bloglockers, Front Page, Injuries by chinmusic on Friday 2 March 2007 at 5:57 pm

Outfielder Bobby Kielty will miss 3-6 weeks after having arthroscopic surgery on his left knee. Kielty was going to see less playing time this season with the addition of Shannon Stewart, but, look for him to be in the line up somewhere against left handed pitching for the A’s. He hit .325 with 7 homers, 20 RBIs and a .965 OPS in only 117 at bats against lefties last season.Â

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