30-year old righty swinging DH/1B Billy Butler is the forgotten man of the Oakland A’s so far in 2016. Butler has played in 8 games so far this year for the A’s and he is 4 of 22 (.182 avg, .513 OPS) with 1 run scored. He is in the second year of a 3-year, $30 million dollar deal, so they A’s won’t likely cut him…..they will likely just waste him on the bench. Butler played in 151 games for the A’s last year (the first of his big contract) and he was 135 of 538 (.251 avg, .713 OPS) with 63 runs scored, 15 homers and 65 RBIs. Only an injury will probably get Butler out of the Dog House in 2016.
The Oakland A’s have placed 31-year old righty swinging 3B Danny Valencia on the 15-day disabled list due to a strained left hamstring. Valencia has played in 14 games for the A’s so far this year and he is 15 of 51 (.294 avg, .698 OPS) with 5 runs scored, 0 homers and 2 RBIs. He has now played in 61 games in his first 2 years with the A’s and he is 67 of 234 (.286 avg, .845 OPS) with 38 runs scored, 11 homers and 39 RBIs. Lefty swinging Chris Coghlan will likely get the first shot to replace Valencia at 3B while he’s out of action.
29-year old lefty reliever Sean Doolittle came into this season as the Oakland A’s closer, but he has not pitched well enough to keep the job so far this year. Doolittle has pitched in 7 games (0 starts) for the A’s so far this year and he is 1-2 with 1 save, a 6.35 ERA and a 1.59 WHIP. Doolittle has given up 7 hits (3 homers) and he has walked 2 batters while whiffing 5 in his first 5 2/3 innings for the A’s, as he has been getting hit hard. The A’s were worried that this might happen which is part of the reason why they signed 35-year old righty reliever Ryan Madson as a free agent over the winter. Madson has pitched in 6 games (0 starts) for the A’s so far this year and he is 0-0 with 3 saves, a 3.00 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP. He has given up 6 hits and 1 walk while whiffing 5 batters in his first six innings, as he has been impressive. It looks like Madson will be taking over for Doolittle as the A’s closer.
The Oakland A’s tried to boost the offense over the winter by trading for 29-year old lefty swinging 1B Yonder Alonso, 28-year old righty swinging OF Khris Davis and 30-year old lefty swinging 2B/OF Chris Coghlan. But the results so far have been very unimpressive from this trio. Alonso has played in 9 games for the A’s so far this year and he is 3 for 26 (.115 avg, .269 OPS) with 0 runs scored, 0 homers and 2 RBIs. He has also whiffed 7 times without walking even once. Davis has played in 9 games for the A’s this year and he is 5 for 30 (.167 avg, .419 OPS) with 1 run scored, 0 homers and 0 RBIs. He has whiffed an amazingly awful 14 times this year while only walking once. Coghlan has played in 7 games for the A’s this year and he is 4 for 23 (.174 avg, .478 OPS) with 1 run scored, 1 homer and 3 RBIs. He has whiffed 7 times without walking even once so far this year. Alonso, Davis and Coghlan are a combined 12 of 79 (.152 avg) with 2 runs scored, 1 homer and 5 RBIs. Even more troubling is the 28 whiffs to only 1 walk! That is not how you play Moneyball!
The Oakland Athletics have gotten pretty good work out of their starting pitchers so far this year. Righty Sonny Gray is the ace and he is 1-0 with a 1.29 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP after one start. He was sick last week and that’s why he has only started one game so far this year. Lefty Rich Hill was not good in his first start, but he was electric in his second one. He is 1-1 with a 3.12 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP so far this year. Righty Chris Bassitt has also started two games for the A’s so far this year and he is 0-0 with a 2.92 ERA and a 1.46 WHIP. Righty Kendall Graveman pitched really well in his first start, but he was still the losing pitcher. He is 0-1 with a 3.38 ERA and a 0.75 WHIP so far this year. Lefty Eric Surkamp was not involved in a decision in his first start of the year. He is 0-0 with a 4.15 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP. So the A’s starting pitchers so far are a combined 2-2 with a 2.87 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP. The A’s hope that they keep up the good work.
The Oakland A’s bullpen was outstanding against the Chicago White Sox, despite the teams 1-2 start. The seven relievers of the A’s are a combined 0-1 with 1 save, a 0.75 ERA and a 0.83 WHIP so far this year. They have combined to pitch 12 innings in which they have allowed 10 hits, 1 run (it was earned) and they have whiffed 7 batters while walking none. The only reliever to give up a run for the A’s so far this year has been Sean Doolittle.
The Oakland A’s are going to call up 28-year old lefty Eric Surkamp to start Friday against the Mariners in Seattle. He will be replacing Felix Doubront in the rotation. Surkamp pitched in 1 game out of the pen for the Dodgers last year and he was 0-0 with a 10.80 ERA and a 1.50 WHIP. He also pitched in 27 games (16 starts) in AAA-ball for the White Sox and Dodgers last year in which he was 12-3 with 1 save, a 3.39 ERA and a 1.30 WHIP. Surkamp has now pitched in 43 games (7 starts) in his first four years in the show and he is 4-3 with a 6.47 ERA and a 1.72 WHIP. In those seven starts in his career, he is only 2-3 with a 7.36 ERA and a 1.98 WHIP. Don’t expect miracles out of Surkamp.
22-year old lefty swinging 1B/OF Matt Olson comes into the 2016 season as the Oakland A’s #6 prospect according to Baseball America. Olson played in 133 games in AA-ball last year and he was 116 of 466 (.249 avg, .826 OPS) with 82 runs scored, 17 homers, 75 RBIs and 5 stolen bases. Olson has now played in 455 games in his first four years in the minors and he is 411 of 1,647 (.250 avg, .851 OPS) with 294 runs scored, 86 homers, 310 RBIs and 11 stolen bases. Olson has also walked 313 times so far in the minors, as he has bought into the A’s patient approach policy at the plate. I see him playing for the A’s at some point in 2016.
The Oakland Athletics have placed 28-year old lefty starting pitcher Felix Doubront on the 15-day disabled list due to a sprained left elbow. Doubront pitched in 11 games (8 starts) for the A’s last year and he was 2-2 with 1 save, a 5.81 ERA and a 1.44 WHIP. He pitched in 16 games (12 starts) overall for the Blue Jays and A’s last year in which he was 3-3 with 1 save, a 5.50 ERA and a 1.48 WHIP. Doubront has now pitched in 118 games (85 starts) in his first six years in the show and he is 31-26 with 4 saves, a 4.89 ERA and a 1.48 WHIP. No word on who will replace Doubront in the starting rotation yet.
UPDATE: (4/11/2016) – The Athletics have lost Felix Doubront for the rest of the 2016 season, as he will undergo Tommy John surgery tomorrow.
The Oakland A’s have sent 22-year old righty swinging 3B Matt Chapman and 27-year old lefty swinging Andrew Lambo to the minors. Chapman comes into this season as the A’s #3 prospect according to Baseball America. Chapman played in 80 games in A-ball last year and he was 76 of 304 (.250 avg, .907 OPS) with 60 runs scored, 23 homers, 57 RBIs and 4 stolen bases. He has now played in 134 games in his first two years in the minors and he is 127 of 511 (.249 avg, .821 OPS) with 83 runs scored, 28 homers, 77 RBIs and 6 stolen bases. Lambo played in 20 games for the Pirates last year and he was 1 for 25 (.040 avg, .191 OPS) with 1 run scored. Lambo has now played in 59 games in his first three years in the show and he is 18 of 94 (.191 avg, .530 OPS) with 8 runs scored, 1 homer and 3 RBIs. Lambo has the better chance of playing for the A’s in 2016, but Chapman has a much higher upside.
UPDATE: (4/4/2016) – The A’s have called up Andrew Lambo to replace Felix Doubront (DL) on the active roster.