Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Getting to Know a Rival: Oakland Athletics

Next up in this 'mini-series' I guess you could call it are the Oakland A's. Last time, we looked at the Angels. The A's won't be much of a threat this season, but they do have a few guys that could get something done if they are healthy.

Manager: Bob Green
2007: 75-86, 3rd place
Coming In: OF Emil Brown, RHP Joey Devine, Of Carlos Gonzalez, LHP Gio Gonzalez, LHP Dana Eveland, OF Ryan Sweeney, LHP Brett Anderson
Packed Their Bags: RHP Dan Haren, OF Nick Swisher, OF Mark Kotsay, DH Mike Piazza, OF Shannon Stewart, INF Marco Scutaro, RHP Colby Lewis

Projected Lineup
C: Kurt Suzuki
1B: Dan Johnson/Deric Barton
2B: Mark Ellis
3B: Eric Chavez
SS: Bobby Crosby
LF: Ryan Sweeney/Emil Brown
CF: Chris Denorfia
RF: Travis Buck
DH: Jack Cust

Projected Rotation

1: Joe Blanton
2: Rich Hardon
3: Chad Gaudin
4: Justin Duchscherer
5: Lenny DiNardo

Projected Bullpen
LRP: Dan Meyer
MRP: Alan Embree
MRP: Kiko Calero
MRP: Joey Devine
MRP: Keith Foulke
SU: Andrew Brown/Santiago Casilla
CL: Huston Street

Offensive Outlook: The A's aren't interested this year, as they dealt away Nick Swisher, Mark Kotsay, and Marco Scutaro (among position players) for prospects, as once again the A's try to rebuild. I look at this lineup, and nobody sticks out to me. Erik Chavez was, key word 'was', a solid player. Injuries have dismatled his career, as they have to most of the A's. If guys like Mark Ellis and Dan Johnson can produce some decent numbers than maybe the middle of the order has a shot. Jack Cust showed some sort of power ar one point last year, and everyone jumped on to his bandwagon. He could be worth 20 HR's if he's lucky. The rest of those in the batting order are nothing to be afraid of. Kurt Suzuki and Bobby Crosby could do something, but that would take a few steps. It's hard to expect more then three or four runs a game with this offence. Heck, three or four may be wishfull thinking...

Rotation Outlook: Same as above. The A's dealt away Dan Haren, so they're done. Joe Blanton could so something. On the average team he could be a legitamite ace, and seeing as the A's are below average, so that shoots Blanton's value through the roof. He had some trade interest, but the A's are holding on to him for now. We'll see what happens come deadline day 2008. Rich Harden was once a great pitcher, but his career has been slaughtered by injuries. He has ace potential, but not too much of that has come through. The rest of the rotation..... That says it all. Gaudin, Duchscherer, and NiDardo aren't much more than decent relief pitchers at best. No pressure to perform, so who knows what can happen.
Bullpen Outlook: As I mentioned, the A's most decent (don't know if that's grammatically correct) reliever is Huston Street, who blew outas a rookie. That about sums it up. He had a great rookie year, and then blew out his arm. End of story. The rest of the bullpen are either has-beens, Embree, and Foulke, or youngs minor leaguers who only have a shot because there isn't anyone else. I can't say much about Devine, Meyer, Casilla, Santiago, or Calero, but they fit into that second category. Don't expect anything from this bullpen. Foulke and Embree could be flipped for more prospects, and the others could come out and show something. That's best case scenario. Prognosis: Another season in the botton half of the AL West is about as good as it's going to get. As I mentioned a few times in this post, the A's gave up on 2008 a while back when he first traded Dan Haren, and the rest of the players sent out for prospects. Nothing doing here. The only problem with the A's, is that the Mariners will likely find some sort of problem with the A's that they can't solve. Your thoughts?

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