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Oakland Athletics MLB News - A’s Baseball Blog » 2011 » January

The Oakland Athletics appear to be in good shape behind the plate for 2011

Blogged under Bloglockers, Front Page, General, Positional Preview for Season by chinmusic on Saturday 29 January 2011 at 5:17 pm

27-year old righty swinging Kurt Suzuki will be the starter behind the plate for the A’s in 2011. He is a tad overrated though. He played in 131 games for the A’s last season and he was 120 of 495 (.242 avg, .669 OPS) with 55 runs scored, 13 homers, 71 RBIs and 3 stolen bases. He only walked 33 times while whiffing 49 times so he’s a hacker who makes a lot of contact. I think his numbers could improve a little bit due to the fact that he will be batting in the middle of the order instead of near the top in 2011. Suzuki made 8 errors and he had 7 passed balls inn 123 games behind the plate last season for the A’s, so he does have some things to work on defensively. Despite having the reputation for having a big arm, Suzuki only threw out 10 of 85 (11.8%) runners trying to steal on him. A’s pitchers love throwing to him though as they had a 3.29 ERA with Suzuki behind the plate.

28-year old righty swinging Landon Powell will need to have a good spring to hold off Josh Donaldson for the backup catcher gig on the A’s in 2011. Powell played in 41 games for the A’s last season and he was 24 of 112 (.214 avg, .608 OPS) with 13 runs scored, 2 homers, 11 RBIs and 1 stolen base. Powell has decent power but he won’t likely ever hit for a good batting average. Powell made 6 errors in only 38 games behind the plate for the A’s last season but he didn’t have any passed balls. Powell threw out 4 of 26 (15.4%) runners trying to steal on him last season and A’s pitchers had a 4.45 ERA with him behind the plate.

25-year old righty swinging Josh Donaldson came into last season as the A’s #14 prospect coming into 2010 according to Baseball America. Donaldson played in 86 games in AAA-ball last season and he was 70 of 294 (.238 avg, .812 OPS) with 52 runs scored, 18 homers, 67 RBIs and 3 stolen bases. Donaldson looked a tad overmatched in his first taste of the majors last season. He played in 14 games for the A’s last season and he was 5 of 32 (.156 avg, .487 OPS) with 1 run scored, 1 homer and 4 RBIs. Donaldson whiffed 12 times for the A’s as he sometimes looked lost at the plate. Donaldson made 1 error and 1 passed ball in 7 games behind the plate for the A’s last year. He threw out 2 of 6 (33.3%) runners trying to steal against him last season and A’s pitchers had a 3.99 ERA with Donaldson behind the dish. Donaldson has a much higher ceiling than Powell so he will beat him out if he has a good spring.

PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE A’S CATCHERS IN 2011: B-

The Oakland Athletics sign Andy LaRoche

Blogged under Arrivals & Departures, Bloglockers, Front Page, General by chinmusic on Tuesday 25 January 2011 at 10:53 am

The Oakland A’s have signed 27-year old righty swinging 3B Andy LaRoche to a minor league deal. He played in 102 games for the Pirates last season and he was 51 of 247 (.206 avg, .555 OPS) with 26 runs scored, 4 homers, 16 RBIs and 1 stolen base. LaRoche has now played in 363 games in his first four years in the majors and he is 244 of 1,087 (.224 avg, .641 OPS) with 123 runs scored, 22 homers, 108 RBIs and 8 stolen bases. LaRoche was once one of the most highly thought of prospects at 3B so maybe all he needs is a change of scenery to live up to his potential. This was a nice low risk/high reward signing for the A’s. They will give him a shot to win a job on the bench this spring.

The Oakland Athletics DFA Steven Tolleson

Blogged under Arrivals & Departures, Bloglockers, Front Page, General by chinmusic on Thursday 20 January 2011 at 12:39 pm

The A’s have designated 27-year old righty swinging infielder Steven Tolleson for assignment. Tolleson played in 25 games for the A’s last season in his first taste of the majors and he was 14 of 49 (.286 avg, .748 OPS) with 5 runs scored, 1 homer and 4 RBIs. He also played in 80 games in AAA-ball last season in which he was 97 of 292 (.332 avg, .915 OPS) with 52 runs scored, 9 homers, 43 RBIs and 8 stolen bases. The A’s will likely try to deal Tolleson because he might not make it through waivers.

The Oakland Athletics DFA Clayton Mortensen

Blogged under Arrivals & Departures, Bloglockers, Front Page, General by chinmusic on Tuesday 18 January 2011 at 4:37 pm

The Oakland Athletics designate 25-year old righty starting pitcher Clayton Mortensen. Mortensen pitched in 1 game (1 start) for the A’s last season and he was 0-0 with a 4.50 ERA and a 1.33 WHIP. He pitched in 7 games (all starts) in his two years with the A’s and he was 2-4 with a 7.22 ERA and a 1.69 WHIP. The A’s won’t miss Mortensen much as they needed his roster spot for Grant Balfour.

UPDATE: (1/25/2011) - The A’s have dealt Mortensen to the Colorado Rockies for 23-year old righty starting pitcher Ethan Hollingsworth. Hollingsworth pitched in 27 games (all starts) in A+AA-ball last season and he was 12-8 with a 3.69 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP. He has now pitched in 68 games (65 starts) in his first three years in the minors and he is 24-24 with a 4.33 ERA and a 1.35 WHIP. The A’s did good to get something for Mortensen rather than losing him on waivers.

The Oakland Athletics sign Brian Fuentes

Blogged under Arrivals & Departures, Bloglockers, Front Page, General by chinmusic on Monday 17 January 2011 at 11:19 am

The A’s have signed 35-year old lefty reliever Brian Fuentes to a 2-year deal. Fuentes pitched in 48 games (0 starts) for the Twins & Angels last season and he was 4-1 with 24 saves, a 2.81 ERA and a 1.06 WHIP. He only gave up 31 hits last season in 48 innings while whiffing 47 batters which shows that he still has it. Fuentes has now pitched in 551 games (0 starts) in his first 10 years in the majors and he is 22-33 with a 3.41 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP. This was another outstanding signing for the Oakland A’s who are going to have one of the best bullpens in the majors in 2011.

The Oakland Athletics sign Grant Balfour

Blogged under Arrivals & Departures, Bloglockers, Front Page, General by chinmusic on Friday 14 January 2011 at 2:22 pm

The Oakland A’s have signed 33-year old righty reliever Grant Balfour to a 2-year, $8.1 million dollar deal with a club option for 2013. Balfour pitched in 57 games (0 starts) for the Rays last season and he was 2-1 with a 2.28 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP. He only gave up 43 hits in 55 1/3 innings while whiffing 56 batters last season showing just how nasty he is. Balfour has now pitched in 261 games (1 start) in his first 7 years in the majors and he is 19-10 with 8 saves, a 3.81 ERA and a 1.29 WHIP. This was a great signing for the A’s as Balfour gives them another solid reliever to work late in games for them.

The Oakland Athletics acquire Guillermo Moscoso from the Rangers

Blogged under Arrivals & Departures, Bloglockers, Front Page, General by chinmusic on Saturday 8 January 2011 at 2:32 pm

The A’s have acquired 27-year old righty reliever/starter Guillermo Moscoso from the Rangers for 23-year old righty reliever Ryan Kelly. Moscoso pitched in 1 game (0 starts) for the Rangers last season and he was 0-0 with a 27.00 ERA and a 6.00 WHIP. He also pitched in 23 games (22 starts) in AAA-ball last season for the Rangers and he was 7-7 with a 5.18 ERA and a 1.55 WHIP. Moscoso has now pitched in 11 games (0 starts) in parts of two years in the majors and he is 0-0 with a 4.30 ERA and a 1.71 WHIP. The A’s had just recently acquired Ryan Kelly from the Pirates so he won’t get to put on a A’s jersey, even for a day. I like this deal for the A’s as Moscoso could help them at some point in 2011 while Kelly is quite some time away from his major league debut.

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