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Oakland Athletics MLB News - A’s Baseball Blog » 2008 » March

The over/under for the Oakland A’s has been set at 73.5

Blogged under Bloglockers, Front Page, General, Positional Preview for Season by chinmusic on Monday 24 March 2008 at 6:44 pm

The Vegas oddsmakers have set the over/under for the Oakland A’s at 73.5 wins for the 2008 season. With the pop gun offense that the A’s will likely have in 2008 combined with the possible horrid starting rotation if Rich Harden doesn’t stay healthy….I have to advise everyone to take the under.

The Oakland A’s bullpen appears in semi-decent shape for 2008

Blogged under Bloglockers, Front Page, General, Positional Preview for Season by chinmusic on Monday 24 March 2008 at 6:41 pm

24-year old righty Huston Street is the best pitcher in the bullpen by far but he’s on the trading block right now. He pitched in 48 games for the A’s last season and he was 5-2 with 16 saves, a 2.88 ERA and a 0.94 WHIP. He still whiffed 63 batters in only 50 innings which shows that he still has great stuff despite being injured for a chunk of the 2007 season. The A’s would be smart to keep him and let him save 30-40 games for them.

38-year old lefty Alan Embree did a solid job of replacing Huston Street when he was injured last season. He pitched in 68 games for the A’s last season and he was 1-2 with 17 saves, a 3.97 ERA and a 1.26 WHIP. Look for Embree to be either the top lefty setup man for the A’s or the closer if they trade Huston Street.

35-year old righty Keith Foulke is trying to make a comeback after missing the 2007 season due to injury. He has pitched in 588 games (8 starts) in his major league career and he is 41-34 with 190 saves, a 3.30 ERA and a 1.07 WHIP.

33-year old Kiko Calero is a good relief pitcher when he is healthy. He pitched in 46 games for the A’s last season and he was 1-5 with a 5.75 ERA and a 1.65 WHIP. He has now pitched in 241 games (1 start) in his major league career and he is 12-10 with 7 saves, a 3.55 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP. Look for Calero to rebound in 2008 for the A’s as long as he can stay healthy.

27-year old righty Andrew Brown is out of options so the A’s will likely keep him on the roster, but he has good stuff. Brown pitched in 33 games for the A’s last season and he was 3-3 with a 4.54 ERA and a 1.32 WHIP. He whiffed 43 batters in only 41.2 innings which shows that he has good stuff. Look for him to help the A’s in 2008.

27-year old righty Santiago Casilla is also a talented reliever. He pitched in 46 games for the A’s last season and he was 3-1 with 2 saves, a 4.44 ERA and a 1.30 WHIP. He whiffed 52 batters in 50.2 innings last season which shows that he has good stuff just like Andrew Brown does.

25-year old lefty Jay Marshall was a Rule 5 Pick last season by the A’s who carried him all of last season despite the fact that he looked overmatched. He pitched in 51 games last season for the A’s and he was 1-2 with a 6.43 ERA and a 1.71 WHIP. Look for him to start the season in AAA.

24-year old righty reliever Joey Devine has a nice upside. He pitched in 10 games for the Braves last season and he was 1-0 with a 1.08 ERA and a 1.80 WHIP. He was dominant in AA+AAA ball last season as he pitched in 50 games and he was 5-4 with 20 saves, a 1.89 ERA and a 1.05 WHIP. He also whiffed 78 batters in 57 innings which shows what kind of stuff he has. He will likely help the A’s bullpen at some point in 2008.

PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE 2008 SEASON: B

The Oakland A’s starting rotation is in a state of flux for the 2008 season

Blogged under Bloglockers, Front Page, General, Positional Preview for Season by chinmusic on Monday 24 March 2008 at 6:28 pm

The A’s starting rotation will likely be very young as only one projected starter (Justin Duchscherer-30) is over 30 years old. That means there will likely be a lot of growing pains. 27-year old righty Joe Blanton will likely be the team’s ace as long as he isn’t traded. He started 34 games for the A’s last season and he was 14-10 with a 3.95 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP. He should have won more games last season but the A’s offense was horrible. The A’s would be smart to keep Blanton the whole season as he is a workhorse who will give them a lot of innings.

26-year old righty Rich Harden is penciled in as the #2 starter right now but a lot of teams have been scouting him this spring. He pitched in 7 games (4 starts) for the A’s last season and he was 1-2 with a 2.45 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP. Harden is starting to look more and more like Kerry Wood and Mark Prior with every season he can’t stay healthy. Harden is good when he pitches as he has pitched in 84 games (76 starts) in his 5-year major league career and he is 31-18 with a 3.60 ERA and a 1.26 WHIP. The smart thing might be to convert Harden into a reliever like the Cubs are doing with Kerry Wood but they don’t have that luxury with the rotation in as bad a shape as it is now.

25-year old righty Chad Gaudin had a decent season in his first as a full-time starter for the A’s last season. He started 34 games last season and he was 11-13 with a 4.42 ERA and a 1.53 WHIP. Gaudin has to throw more strikes as he walked 100 batters in 199.1 innings last season and that often leads to big-time trouble.

30-year old righty Justin Duchscherer is converting back into a starting pitcher this season for the A’s. He pitched in 17 games (0 starts) for the A’s last season and he was 3-3 with a 4.96 ERA and a 1.59 WHIP. Duchscherer has now pitched in 197 games (5 starts) in his major league career and he is 21-16 with 14 saves, a 3.44 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP. I have my doubts that he will have success as a starter as his stuff isn’t good enough to get batters out 2-3 times per game and that’s the reason he was converted from starter to reliever in the first place.

24-year old lefty Dana Eveland appears to have won the #5 starting job over Lenny DiNardo. Eveland pitched in 5 games (1 start) for the Diamondbacks last season and he was 1-0 with a 14.40 ERA and a 2.60 WHIP. Eveland did pitch well in the minors last season. He pitched in 9 games (7 starts) last season in A+AAA ball and he was 1-0 with a 1.65 ERA and a 1.29 WHIP. Look for DiNardo to get his job back in the rotation soon as Eveland just isn’t that good.

28-year old lefty Lenny DiNardo will start this season in the bullpen but he’s likely to be back in the starting rotation at some point. He pitched in 35 games (20 starts) last season for the A’s and he was 8-10 with a 4.11 ERA and a 1.42 WHIP. He pitched much better than anyone thought he could last season.

22-year old lefty Gio Gonzalez was the prize in the Nick Swisher trade and he could make his major league debut at some point this season. Gonzalez started 22 games in AA last season and he was 9-7 with a 3.18 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP. He only allowed 116 hits and whiffed 185 batters in only 150 innings last season.

24-year old lefty starter Greg Smith almost won a job in the A’s starting rotation in spring training. He will likely get a quick call to the majors if any A’s get injured. He started 22 games in AA+AAA ball last season and he was 9-5 with a 3.54 ERA and a 1.29 WHIP.

The A’s have brought back Kirk Saarloos. The 29-year old righty pitched in 34 games (3 starts) for the Reds last season and he was 1-5 with a 7.17 ERA and a 1.71 WHIP. If the A’s need him this season they are in big, big trouble.

24-year old lefty Dallas Braden just doesn’t appear to have the stuff to succeed in the major leagues. He pitched in 20 games (14 starts) for the A’s last season and he was 1-8 with a 6.72 ERA and a 1.62 WHIP. He also started 13 games in AA+AAA ball last season and he was 3-3 with a 2.84 ERA and a 1.01 WHIP. He also whiffed 87 batters in 76 innings in the minors. He appears to be a famous AAAA pitcher, too good for AAA but not good enough for the majors.

26-year old lefty Dan Meyer also will get a chance at some point this season. He has been a huge disappointment since being acquired in the Tim Hudson trade from Atlanta. He pitched in 6 games (3 starts) for the A’s last season and he was 0-2 with a 8.82 ERA and a 1.78 WHIP. He also started 22 games in AA+AAA ball last season and he was 8-2 with a 3.39 ERA and a 1.37 WHIP. Don’t expect miracles out of him in 2008.

PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE 2008 SEASON: D

RF belongs to Travis Buck if he can stay healthy for the Oakland A’s

Blogged under Bloglockers, Front Page, General, Positional Preview for Season by chinmusic on Friday 21 March 2008 at 11:53 pm

24-year old lefty swinging Travis Buck showed off his potential in an injury marred rookie season last year. Buck played in 82 games for the A’s last season and he was 82 for 285 (.288 avg, .851 OPS) with 41 runs scored, 7 homers and 34 RBIs. Buck also didn’t make any errors in 65 games in RF for the A’s last season but he showed poor range in the field.

Jack Cust also might play some in RF this season. He played in 48 games in RF last season for the A’s and he made 3 errors while showing poor range.

PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE 2008 SEASON: C-

CF is a spring training free for all for the Oakland A’s

Blogged under Bloglockers, Front Page, General, Positional Preview for Season by chinmusic on Friday 21 March 2008 at 11:49 pm

The Oakland A’s have 4 outfielders competing for the CF job this spring. They are: Chris Denorfia, Ryan Sweeney, Carlos Gonzalez and Jeff Fiorentino. 27-year old righty swinging Chris Denorfia looks like the front runner. He didn’t play last season due to injury. He has played in 67 games in his major league career and he is 40 for 144 (.278 avg, .740 OPS) with 22 runs scored, 2 homers and 9 RBIs.

23-year old lefty swinging Ryan Sweeney was one of the higher ranked prospects in the White Sox system coming into last season. He played in 15 games for the White Sox last season and he was 9 for 45 (.200 avg, .598 OPS) with 5 runs scored, 1 homer and 5 RBIs. He also played in 105 games in AAA last season and he was 107 for 397 (.270 avg, .746 OPS) with 50 runs scored, 10 homers, 47 RBIs and 8 stolen bases.

22-year old lefty swinging Carlos Gonzalez was a big key in the Dan Haren trade with the D-Backs. He played in 130 games in AA+AAA ball last season and he was 144 for 500 (.288 avg) with 72 runs scored, 17 homers, 86 RBIs and 10 stolen bases.

25-year old lefty swinging Jeff Fiorentino didn’t play in the majors last season. He played in 126 games in AA ball last season and he was 123 for 426 (.282 avg, .791 OPS) with 68 runs scored, 15 homers, 65 RBIs and 8 stolen bases. He has played in 32 games in his major league career and he is 21 for 83 (.253 avg, .663 OPS) with 15 runs scored, 1 homer and 12 RBIs.

PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE 2008 SEASON: D-

Emil Brown looks set in LF for the Oakland A’s

Blogged under Bloglockers, Front Page, General, Positional Preview for Season by chinmusic on Friday 21 March 2008 at 11:40 pm

33-year old righty swinging Emil Brown will likely be the starting LF for the Oakland A’s this season. He played in 113 games for the Royals last season and he was 94 for 366 (.257 avg, .647 OPS) with 44 runs scored, 6 homers, 62 RBIs and 12 stolen bases. He has led the Royals in RBIs in each of the last 3 seasons averaging 76.3 RBIs per season. Brown showed outstanding range in 78 games in LF but he made 6 errors and that’s way too many.

Jack Cust could also get some time in LF this season. He played in 14 games in LF for the A’s last season and he made 1 error while showing poor range, but he can hit.

PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE 2008 SEASON: C-

The Oakland A’s release Matt LeCroy

Blogged under Arrivals & Departures, Bloglockers, Front Page, General by chinmusic on Monday 17 March 2008 at 5:37 pm

The A’s have released Matt LeCroy after it was apparent that he wasn’t going to make the A’s final roster. He played in 3 games this spring for the A’s and he was 0 for 2 with a walk. With no legit position to play on defense it made sense for the A’s to get rid of LeCroy.

The DH position should be productive for the Oakland Athletics in 2008

Blogged under Bloglockers, Front Page, General, Positional Preview for Season by chinmusic on Saturday 15 March 2008 at 11:26 pm

29-year old lefty swinging Jack Cust came out of nowhere last season for the A’s. He played in 124 games for the A’s last season and he was 101 for 395 (.256 avg, .912 OPS) with 61 runs scored, 26 homers and 82 RBIs. Cust did whiff 164 times last season so he could be prone to some long slumps but when he’s hot is quite something to behold.

34-year old righty swinging Mike Sweeney was signed in the off-season to provide another bat for the A’s. He played in 74 games last season for the Royals and he was 69 for 265 (.260 avg, .719 OPS) with 26 runs scored, 7 homers and 38 RBIs. Sweeney is a career .299 hitter with a .861 OPS in 1,282 career games in the major leagues.

PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE 2008 SEASON: B-

3B could be a problem spot again for the Oakland A’s in 2008

Blogged under Bloglockers, Front Page, General, Positional Preview for Season by chinmusic on Saturday 15 March 2008 at 11:21 pm

30-year old lefty swinging Eric Chavez is already being dogged by injuries this spring and it will be hard for the A’s to count on him. He played in 90 games for the A’s last season and he was 82 for 341 (.240 avg, .752 OPS) with 43 runs scored, 15 homers and 46 RBIs. Chavez didn’t let his injuries hurt his fielding as he only made 6 errors in 88 games while showing above average range.

28-year old lefty swinging Jack Hannahan did a decent job filling in for Chavez last season. He played in 41 games for the A’s last season and he was 40 for 144 (.278 avg, .793 OPS) with 16 runs scored, 3 homers and 24 RBIs. Hannahan only made 3 errors in 41 games at the hot corner but he showed sub par range.

PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE 2008 SEASON: C-

Will Bobby Crosby stay healthy in 2008 for the Oakland Athletics?

Blogged under Bloglockers, Front Page, General, Positional Preview for Season by chinmusic on Saturday 15 March 2008 at 11:16 pm

28-year old righty swinging Bobby Crosby has only averaged 91 games per season the last three years and that just won’t get it done. He played in 93 games last season for the A’s and he was 79 for 349 (.226 avg, .619 OPS) with 40 runs scored, 8 homers, 31 RBIs and 12 stolen bases. Crosby played in 92 games at SS for the A’s last season and he made 14 errors while showing above average range.

Donnie Murphy will likely get a lot of playing time at SS this season with Marco Scutaro no longer on the A’s. Murphy played in 31 games at SS for the A’s last season and he made 5 errors while showing below average range.

PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE 2008 SEASON: D

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