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

The Oakland Athletics are going to find out if Bob Geren is the right guy to lead them in 2011

Blogged under Bloglockers, Front Page, General, Positional Preview for Season by chinmusic on Friday 25 March 2011 at 4:35 pm

Until now, 49-year old manager Bob Geren hasn’t had a lot to work with. That is about to change in 2011 as he will have one of the best pitching staffs in all of baseball. He also has some new position players who should give a nice boost to the offense. The A’s were 81-81 last year (50%) last year which allowed them to finish in 2nd place in the A.L. West, ahead of the Angels and Mariners. The A’s are now 307-340 (47.4%) in Geren’s first four years managing the team. Unless the A’s make a serious run at the playoffs in 2011, I don’t see Geren sticking around much longer as the manager.

The Oakland Athletics have a great bullpen set up for 2011

Blogged under Bloglockers, Front Page, General, Positional Preview for Season by chinmusic on Friday 25 March 2011 at 4:29 pm

The A’s are absolutely loaded in the pen for 2011. It all starts with 26-year old righty closer Andrew Bailey. Bailey pitched in 47 games (0 starts) for the A’s last year and he was 1-3 with 25 saves, a 1.47 ERA and a 0.96 WHIP. He has now pitched in 115 games (0 starts) in his first two years with the A’s and he is 7-6 with 51 saves, a 1.70 ERA and a 0.91 WHIP. Bailey has only given up 83 hits in his first 132 1/3 innings in the majors while whiffing 133 batters and walking 37. He is flat out one of the most dominating relievers in all of baseball when healthy. The problem is that he has proven to be a tad brittle so far in his major league career, and he’s a tad sore right now.

35-year old lefty Brian Fuentes will be the top lefty set-up man and an insurance policy against Bailey’s health in 2011. Fuentes pitched in 48 games (0 starts) for the Angels & Twins last year and he was 4-1 with 24 saves, a 2.81 ERA and a 1.06 WHIP. He has now pitched in 551 games (0 starts) in his first 10 years in the majors and he is 22-33 with 187 saves, a 3.41 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP. Fuentes has only given up 427 hits in his first 525 innings in the majors and he has whiffed 573 batters which shows just how nasty he can be.

33-year old righty Grant Balfour will likely be the top righty set up man for the A’s this year. Balfour pitched in 57 games (0 starts) for the Rays last year and he was 2-1 with a 2.28 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP. Balfour only allowed 43 hits while whiffing 56 batters in only 55 1/3 innings last year which shows how nasty he can be. Balfour has now pitched in 261 games (1 start) in his first 7 years in the majors and he was 19-10 with 8 saves, a 3.81 ERA and a 1.29 WHIP.

30-year old lefty Craig Breslow has turned into a very solid reliever for the A’s. He pitched in 75 games (0 starts) for the A’s last year and he was 4-4 with 5 saves, a 3.01 ERA and a 1.10 WHIP. Breslow has now pitched in 135 games (0 starts) in his first two years with the A’s and he is 11-9 with 5 saves, a 2.84 ERA and a 1.05 WHIP.

32-year old righty Michael Wuertz had a rough year in 2010 as he was dealing with injuries. Wuertz pitched in 48 games (0 starts) for the A’s last year and he was 2-3 with 6 saves, a 4.31 ERA and a 1.41 WHIP. He has now pitched in 122 games (0 starts) in his first two years with the A’s and he is 8-4 with 10 saves, a 3.19 ERA and a 1.11 WHIP. He has only given up 87 hits while whiffing 142 batters in his first 118 1/3 innings for the A’s, which shows that he’s really good at missing bats. I expect him to rebound for the A’s in 2011 if he can just stay healthy.

31-year old righty Brad Ziegler pitched in 64 games (0 starts) for the A’s last year and he was 3-7 with 3 saves, a 3.26 ERA and a 1.35 WHIP. He has now pitched in 180 games (0 starts) in his first three years with the A’s and he is 8-11 with 18 saves, a 2.51 ERA and a 1.35 WHIP. Ziegler has been very hittable the last couple of years, so he’s going to have to step up if he wants to win a job in the A’s pen in 2011.

27-year old lefty Jerry Blevins gives the A’s one of the deepest bullpen corps of lefties. Blevins pitched in 63 games (0 starts) for the A’s last year and he was 2-1 with 1 save, a 3.70 ERA and a 1.48 WHIP. He has now pitched in 125 games (0 starts) in his first four years with the A’s and he is 3-5 with 1 save, a 3.97 ERA and a 1.34 WHIP.

27-year old righty Joey Devine hasn’t pitched in last two seasons due to injury. He last pitched in 2008 with the A’s when he worked in 42 games (0 starts) in which he was 6-1 with 1 save, a 0.59 ERA and a 0.83 WHIP. Devine has now pitched in 67 games (0 starts) in his first four years in the majors and he is 7-2 with 1 save, a 2.48 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP. If Devine is ready to go in 2011, he can give the bullpen a major boost.

23-year old righty Tyson Ross comes into this season as the A’s #4 prospect according to Baseball America. Ross pitched in 26 games (2 starts) for the A’s last year and he was 1-4 with 1 save, a 5.49 ERA and a 1.50 WHIP. He also pitched in 6 games (6 starts) in AAA-ball and he was 2-1 with a 3.55 ERA and a 1.38 WHIP. Ross will need injuries in the pitching staff for him to get to Oakland in 2011.

PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE A’S BULLPEN IN 2011: A

The Oakland Athletics will likely have a really solid starting rotation in 2011

Blogged under Bloglockers, Front Page, General, Positional Preview for Season by chinmusic on Tuesday 15 March 2011 at 12:39 pm

23-year old righty Trevor Cahill had a true breakout season for the A’s in 2010. He started 30 games for the A’s last season and he was 18-8 with a 2.97 ERA and a 1.11 WHIP. Cahill has now started 62 games in his first 2 years with the A’s and he is 28-21 with a 3.76 ERA and a 1.27 WHIP. Cahill has to be very fine with his control and command because he doesn’t whiff a lot of guys. Hopefully he will be able to build off of last season, as he was incredible most of the year.

23-year old lefty Brett Anderson is going to be a star if he can just stay healthy. He brings a 95+ mph heater to the table as well as a knee buckling breaking ball. Anderson started 19 games for the A’s last season and he was 7-6 with a 2.80 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP. Anderson has started 49 games in his first two years with the A’s and he is 18-17 with a 3.57 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP. Anderson will be the best starting pitcher on the A’s as early as 2011.

25-year old lefty Gio Gonzalez, like Cahill, had a true breakout year for the A’s in 2010. Gonzalez started 33 games for the A’s last season and he was 15-9 with a 3.23 ERA and a 1.31 WHIP. He has now pitched in 63 games (57 starts) in his first three years with the A’s and he is 22-20 with a 4.43 ERA and a 1.47 WHIP. Control has been a big issue with Gonzalez so far in his major league career as he has walked 173 batters in 333 1/3 innings in the majors. He needs to tighten up his control a bit to reach his full potential, which is pretty awesome.

27-year old lefty Dallas Braden threw a perfect game last season for the A’s. He was also solid the rest of the year, despite not getting a lot of run support. Braden started 30 games for the A’s last year and he was 11-14 with a 3.50 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP. He has now pitched in 91 games (76 starts) in his first four years with the A’s and he is 25-35 with a 4.20 ERA and a 1.33 WHIP. Braden doesn’t have the kind of stuff that Brett Anderson or Gio Gonzalez has, but he knows how to pitch and that more than makes up for his lack of top shelf stuff.

27-year old righty Brandon McCarthy looks like he will be the A’s #5 starter coming into the 2011 season. McCarthy pitched in 11 games (9 starts) in AAA-ball last season and he was 4-2 with a 3.36 ERA and a 1.10 WHIP. He last pitched in the majors back in 2009 with the Rangers. McCarthy has pitched in 110 games (56 starts) in his first five years in the majors and he is 20-24 with a 4.56 ERA and a 1.36 WHIP. The A’s hope that McCarthy will be a late bloomer for them in 2011.

29-year old righty Rich Harden is also in camp trying to win a job with the A’s. Harden pitched in 20 games (18 starts) for the Rangers last season and he was 5-5 with a 5.58 ERA and a 1.66 WHIP. Harden has pitched in parts of six years with the A’s (2003-2008) in which he appeared in 97 games (89 starts) and he was 36-19 with a 3.42 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP. If Harden can stay healthy (and that’s a huge if!) he could help the A’s at some point in 2011.

26-year old lefty Josh Outman will likely start the season in AAA-ball as he missed all of last season due to Tommy John Surgery. Outman has pitched in 20 games (16 starts) in his first two years with the A’s and he is 5-3 with a 3.77 ERA and a 1.29 WHIP. He has a huge upside if he can just stay in one piece in 2011.

31-year old lefty Bobby Cramer got his first taste of the majors late in 2010 with the A’s and he looked good. Cramer started 4 games for the A’s last season and he was 2-1 with a 3.04 ERA and a 1.10 WHIP. He also pitched in 29 games (27 starts) in AAA-ball last season and he was 15-5 with a 2.71 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP. Cramer will likely need an injury or two to get him into the A’s starting rotation in 2011.

28-year old righty Anthony Lerew will likely start the season in AAA-ball and have to work his way back to the show. Lerew started 6 games for the Royals last season and he was 1-4 with a 8.54 ERA and a 1.63 WHIP. He has now pitched in 20 games (11 starts) in parts of 5 years in the majors and he is 1-7 with a 7.48 ERA and a 1.76 WHIP.

PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE A’S STARTING ROTATION IN 2011: A-

David DeJesus is hoping to make a good impression for the Oakland A’s in 2011

Blogged under Bloglockers, Front Page, General, Positional Preview for Season by chinmusic on Tuesday 8 March 2011 at 8:52 am

31-year old lefty swinging David DeJesus is taking over as the A’s new starting RF in 2011. DeJesus played in 91 games for the Royals last season and he was 112 of 352 (.318 avg, .827 OPS) with 46 runs scored, 5 homers, 37 RBIs and 3 stolen bases. His season was cut short due to thumb surgery. DeJesus has a career batting average of .289 with a .787 OPS in his first 8 years in the majors, so the A’s can expect him to at least hit that well in 2011. DeJesus played in 70 games in RF for the Royals last season and he didn’t make any errors while showing slightly above average range. He also had 4 assists there, showing a stronger arm than most runners thought he had. DeJesus will give the A’s a nice bat near the top of the batting order in 2011.

26-year old lefty swinging Ryan Sweeney will back up DeJesus in 2011. Sweeney played in 82 games for the A’s last season and he was 89 of 303 (.294 avg, .725 OPS) with 41 runs scored, 1 homer, 36 RBIs and 1 stolen base. He is a good contact hitter but he doesn’t have much thump in his bat. Sweeney is good with the glove as he didn’t have any errors in 80 games in RF for the A’s last season while showing average range. Sweeney has a solid arm too as he had 4 assists while playing RF in 2011. Unless the A’s see a rash of injuries in the outfield, Sweeney’s P.T. is going to get cut a lot in 2011.

25-year old righty swinging Michael Taylor comes into this season as the A’s #10 ranked prospect according to Baseball America. Taylor played in 127 games in AAA-ball last season and he was 126 of 464 (.272 avg, .740 OPS) with 79 runs scored, 6 homers, 78 RBIs and 16 stolen bases. He played mostly in RF in the minors last season but he can also handle playing LF and CF, which gives him a better chance of getting to Oakland at some point in 2011.

PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE A’S RF IN 2011: B

The Oakland A’s are banking on Coco Crisp in 2011

Blogged under Bloglockers, Front Page, General, Positional Preview for Season by chinmusic on Tuesday 8 March 2011 at 8:43 am

31-year old starting CF Coco Crisp played really well when healthy last season. Crisp played in 75 games for the A’s last season and he was 81 of 290 (.279 avg, .779 OPS) with 51 runs scored, 8 homers, 38 RBIs and 32 stolen bases. The A’s really need him to stay healthy in 2011, because he was very productive for them. Crisp played in 73 games in CF for the A’s last season and he had 2 errors and 2 assists while showing slightly above average range. Crisp is one of the best all around players on the A’s so they need him to stay in one piece this year.

31-year old David DeJesus is going to be the A’s starting RF in 2011, but if Crisp gets hurt again in 2011 he would likely shift to CF. DeJesus played in 19 error-free games in CF for the Royals last season while showing excellent range there.

PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE A’s CF IN 2011: B

The Oakland Athletics need Josh Willingham to stay healthy in 2011

Blogged under Bloglockers, Front Page, General, Positional Preview for Season by chinmusic on Tuesday 8 March 2011 at 8:36 am

32-year old righty swinging starting LF Josh Willingham is a good player but he always seems to get hurt. Willingham played in 114 games for the Nationals last season and he was 99 of 370 (.268 avg, .848 OPS) with 54 runs scored, 16 homers, 56 RBIs and 8 stolen bases. In his last five years, Willingham is averaging 127 games played, 63 runs scored, 20.4 homers and 66.2 RBIs per year. Willingham plays hard in LF (he’s a converted catcher) as he only made 1 error in 108 games in LF last season while showing average range. He has a good arm for LF as he had 7 assists last season. The A’s hope that Willingham can stay healthy this season because he’s a good hitter.

28-year old righty swinging Conor Jackson will be Willingham’s backup in 2011. Jackson played in 60 games for the A’s & D-Backs last season and he was 49 of 208 (.236 avg, .663 OPS) with 25 runs scored, 2 homers, 16 RBIs and 6 stolen bases. He is a career .276 hitter with a .777 OPS in his first 6 years in the majors, so he’s a lot better hitter than he showed last year. Jackson only had 1 error in 52 games in LF last season while showing good range. Jackson had 3 assists while in LF as he has a pretty good arm.

24-year old righty swinging Chris Carter is the A’s #2 prospect heading into this season according to Baseball America. Carter played in 24 games for the A’s last season and he was 13 of 70 (.186 avg, .585 OPS) with 8 runs scored, 3 homers, 7 RBIs and 1 stolen base. Carter also played in 125 games in AAA-ball last season and he was 120 of 465 (.258 avg, .894 OPS) with 92 runs scored, 31 homers, 94 RBIs and 1 stolen base. Carter had 2 errors in 22 games in LF for the A’s last season and he showed pretty awful range. Still, if Willingham gets hurt again in 2011, the A’s are likely going to give Carter his big shot.

PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE A’s LF IN 2011: B

The Oakland Athletics are hoping that Godzilla still has some fire in his bat

Blogged under Bloglockers, Front Page, General, Positional Preview for Season by chinmusic on Thursday 3 March 2011 at 2:33 pm

36-year old lefty swinging Hideki Matsui is going to be the A’s full time DH in 2011. Matsui played in 145 games for the Angels last season and he was 132 of 482 (.274 avg, .820 OPS) with 55 runs scored, 21 homers and 84 RBIs. He has been a very good hitter in the majors during his career so far. He has played in at least 142 games in six of his eight years in the majors and in those seasons he is averaging 86.0 runs scored, 24.0 homers and 101.2 RBIs per year. Matsui is also one of the best clutch hitters in baseball, so he is a good bet to lead the A’s in RBIs if he can stay healthy enough to play in around 140 games this year.

PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE A’S DH IN 2011: B

The Oakland Athletics are hoping for more production out of 3B in 2011

Blogged under Bloglockers, Front Page, General, Positional Preview for Season by chinmusic on Thursday 3 March 2011 at 2:27 pm

29-year old righty swinging Kevin Kouzmanoff will be back as the A’s starting 3B in 2011. He played in 143 games for the A’s last season and he was 136 of 551 (.247 avg, .679 OPS) with 59 runs scored, 16 homers, 71 RBIs and 2 stolen bases. Kouzmanoff has averaged 59.3 runs scored, 18.8 homers and 79.3 RBIs per year in his last four seasons so you know what you’re getting with the bat out of him. He made 12 errors in 142 games at 3B for the A’s last season and he showed pretty good range. Kouzmanoff isn’t going to make the All-Star team any time soon but he’s not that bad either.

27-year old righty swinging Andy LaRoche was once one of the better 3B prospects in all of baseball but that time has appeared to pass him by. LaRoche 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. He played in 54 games at 3B last season and he made 10 errors while showing outstanding range. The A’s hope that a change of scenery will spur LaRoche to get his career going in the right direction.

27-year old righty swinging Adam Rosales can also play 3B for the A’s if the need arises. Rosales played in 5 error-free games for the A’s last season and he showed outstanding range there.

PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE A’S 3B IN 2011: C

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