Quickly to the positive side. Brett Anderson just pitched a two-hit complete game shutout and the A’s beat the Red Sox in Fenway 6-0. Seriously impressive.

Back to the headline…

I would like to get the opinions from you guys on how you think the A’s management is doing. There have been many young players called up and down this and last season, who thinks this affects the overall confidence and talent of the prospect? Also who thinks the A’s are letting talent waste away elsewhere.

Travis Buck is the latest to be sent back down to the minors after the A’s acquired another outfielder in 29-year-old Scott Hairston.

Here’s my list of players that could-of-been but probably wont because they haven’t been given a chance.

Travis Buck, Daric Barton, Gregorio Petit, Erik Patterson, Aaron Cunningham, Tommy Everidge (isn’t getting younger), and Jay Marshall. All these guys are having good minor league seasons, some great (Everidge, Patterson, Marshall) but some have noticeably struggled since being called up and down. Barton and Petit are the most obvious.

What are your thoughts?

*Update* to the player to be named late in the Hairston deal. The two pitchers the Pad’s will choose from are Dana Eveland and the prize in the Rich Harden deal, Sean Gallagher. How bad is the deal if they give up Gallagher?

Post info: By KFinkas on July 6th, 2009
Comments: 11 Comments »
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This post comes directly after the A’s victory over the Dodgers on Monday.

A’s spring record 11-6

The squad was shortened today as more cuts were made ( not exactly affecting today’s post ). Nothing unexpected or out of the ordinary, a few good players were sent to their expected camp.

Now the competition…

Right field will either go to Jack Cust or Travis Buck or will Giambi or Garciaparra force Daric Barton to the minors?

What I would like to see if I had the choice is Buck in right with Cust DH’ing.  I know this would force Barton to Sacramento for more seasoning but Giambi is a first baseman, not Barton.  The A’s first baseman should at least hit for power and drive in runs, two things were unsure of with Barton. The only  criteria Barton has for sure is his defense, but we don’t need any more defense!

Right Field: Buck is the man to take over the final starting position in right because ( if healthy ), he can hit for average, has some pop, plus he covers plenty of ground out there in right. No argument for Cust manning right, I just don’t want to see it ( I know I’m in denial).

The remaining positions are -most likely- reserve positions (aside from third temporarilly, which belongs to Garciaparra thanks to Chavy’s health ). It looks like Rajai Davis will be depth in the outfield, once-prospect Landon Powell seems to have finally made the club as Kurt Suzuki’s back up ( based on the Bowen release), and Bobby Crosby as a “utility” guy. That leaves us two open spots.

So the infield could use another back-up, maybe a solid defender such as Gregorio Petit or Jack Hannahan, and the last spot will be between Denorfia, and Cunningham ( from what I’ve heard ).

I’ll take Petit for his bat and defense, and Denorfia for his upside ( and stellar play in WBC ).

Cunningham will be fine in tripple A for a while until the A’s need his depth.

So the 2009 opening day roster looks like this:( no particular order )

1st: Giambi

2nd: Ellis

SS: Cabrera

3rd: Garciaparra

Catcher: Suzuki

Reserves: Crosby, Petit, Powell, Denorfia, Davis

Rotation:All I know for sure is that there’s 5 anyone’s guess after Eveland and Braden.

Bullpen:Wuertz, Springer, Casilla, Blevins, Ziegler, Devine.

Post info: By KFinkas on March 16th, 2009
Comments: 4 Comments »
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A’s spring training record as of March 10, 7-5-1

As Spring Training continues for the A’s, not much has changes in the way of competition. The fifth (and possibly fourth) starting position is still up in the air, nobody has claimed it, though at times many have pitched well. Let’s again look into those fighting for a spot in the A’s rotation taking into account only those who in reality have a shot out of camp plus a sleeper.

Non-roster invitee Edgar Gonzalez Innings pitched  6 ERA 3.00

Josh Outman: innings pitched 6 2/3 ERA 4.05

Gio Gonzalez: innings pitched 61/3 ERA 5.68

Jerome Williams: innings pitched 7 ERA 5.14

SLEEPER:

Vince Mazzaro: innings pitched 5 ERA 0.00

So is there anyone you would feel comfortable having in the five spot to start the season?

Hopefully things will clear up in terms of competition, but as it looks right now, Gio Gonzalez is out of the mix. He has looked good at times but once he faces the slightest but of adversity, he becomes “wild thing” again.

Jerome Williams seems to be a long shot at best to make the rotation although early on he was impressive so who knows, he might still be considered.

For the remaining three, Josh Outman, Edgar Gonzalez, and Vince Mazzaro. Of the three, Outman was considered as a top candidate for the position to start the spring, yet he has lacked consistency, but he’s my pick to win the spot. Not on impressiveness, rather the lack of consistency from the rest. Also I could see the A’s giving Edgar Gonzalez a chance as well because of big-league experience, and Mazzaro on the fact that he’s been pitching great all spring, and he’s a ground ball pitcher.

Let me know your opinions on the rotation.

Part 2 :outfield/reserve up next

Post info: By KFinkas on March 10th, 2009
Comments: 6 Comments »
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Sunday’s game against Arizona clouded things just a little more for Oakland manger Bob Geren.

As the spring continues, the competition for the final spot in the Oakland rotation will be where most attention is focused. Today the A’s had another look at Edgar Gonzalez a long shot candidate but a candidate nonetheless.  I wouldn’t say his outing was completely forgettable because he did strike out four and issued zero walks. Gonzalez went 3 innings, giving up two runs on four hits most likely making the battle for the final spot that much more foggier. Those up for the final position, both Gonzalez’, Outman, Williams, ( now you can say Vincent Mazzaro) have all had up and down appearances.

Mazzaro, (All alone in the two solid outings category) held the D-BACK’S scorless in two relief innings of work, surrendering one hit and striking out three. Of the “little three” in the A’s minor Leauge system (Mazzaro, Trevor Cahill, Brett Anderson) Mazzaro is the oldest. I have to believe that the chances of Mazzaro making the club out of spring are small however;  if he continues to out pitch those in front of him (both Gio and Edgar Gonzalez, Josh Outman, and Jerome Williams) we could be seeing an early glimpse of what the A’s farm system can yield.

You had to assume that Outman had the upper hand until today (two runs surrendered, four hits etc.) because his previous start was excellent. Now on the other hand, Gio Gonzalez -since only appearing once- might have the upper hand on Outman and the gang mainly because he’s next in line to pitch. If he can forget about his first appearance and dominate like most expected him to he might have a chance. Now personally, I don’t see Gonzalez doing so unless he can get over his mental episodes and just pitch.

So the race continues, who will pitch themselve into a starting gig for the A’s remains to be seen. Would anyone mind seeing Vin Mazzaro? if not, what would the A’s do with Gio Gonazalez and Josh Outman? There’s only room for one more lefty in the bullpen. Could this be the last we see of Gio if he fails to overcome himself? Hope not becasue he’s done nothing for his value on the trade market.

Post info: By KFinkas on March 1st, 2009
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Let’s forget about today’s home opener shall we.

The A’s leaving nine on base leaves an acrid 2008-like taste in my mouth, anyone else? Chavez wasn’t even in the lineup (add two to three more). At least we saw Matt Holiday and promising prospect Aaron Cunningham drive in runs and the important pitchers mostly doing their jobs.

The A’s took the loss Friday eight to five to the Brewers in their spring home opener.

The goods: Dana Eveland going two innings without surrendering a hit.

The surprise: Jerome Williams going two giving up only one hit.

And the bad: A’s hitters with men on base (obviously).

If a trend is emerging early out of camp, it’s the Oakland starters. They’re doing an impressive job early on, while the relievers in many cases are not. Obviously most relievers showcased so far are long shots to make the club so fear not worry warts, it’s just spring training. After all If we look at last years spring training record, and how the A’s finished in the 2008 regular season, we might want to see them lose more often. Well at least until I get down there.

All sarcasm put to the side, Chavez’ health will probably determine the fate of the offense. If Chavez proves healthy, we could conceivably looking at four 25 plus homer seasons in the starting lineup. Holliday, Giambi, Cust, Chavez, and Crosby could make it five, but don’t take my word on the last guy.

The lineup to my likes ( baring any trades):

1.Ryan Sweeney

2.Mark Ellis (if healthy)

3.Jack Cust

4.Matt Holliday

5.Jason Giambi (AKA “the bouncer)

6.Erik Chavez (if healthy)

7.Bobby Crosby

8.Travis Buck

9.Kurt Suzuki
Now it’s possible the A’s acquire Orlando Cabrera and Aaron Cunningham wins the starting spot over Buck so keep that in consideration. This lineup if healthy will score runs no doubht, but is it better than the Angels? I say yes. tell me what you think.

Post info: By KFinkas on February 27th, 2009
Comments: 2 Comments »
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As the first day of official spring ball wrapped up, Josh Outman has the edge for the final spot in the rotation. Today’s starter Outman (as I reported earlier) went two strong innings allowing a hit while fellow fifth spot competitor Gio Gonzalez didn’t fare as well, giving up an earned run on two hits with a strike out.

Crosby began his quest today, (remember the whole vendetta thing?) to change the minds of his doubters, by hitting a home run in his first at bat. Crosby finished the day with one hit in two at bats with a strikeout.

Travis Buck hit a two-run homer and dark horse candidate Vin Mazzaro held the Bre-Crew scoreless in an inning of relief. Does anyone think Mazzaro has a shot at winning the fifth spot out of camp?

The game ended in a tie, three after ten innings.

Post info: By KFinkas on February 25th, 2009
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The fifth starting positional battle is underway with left Josh Outman leading the way. 2 scorless innings

Gio Gonzalez is next as planned.

Bobby Crosby starts things off nicely with his first hit a big fly.

After  inning two, it is A’s 1 Brewers 0

Post info: By KFinkas on February 25th, 2009
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Hello baseball fans

I am here to introduce myself as a new Blogger to Athleticshomeplate.com. My name is Kevin and I will be a voice here for the upcoming 2009 season; however I will begin with spring training. A little something about myself: (Skip it if you’d like) I first began writing about baseball through message boards like most, but became infatuated and then infuriated with baseball writers who cover your local team, yet have favorable ties to the opposition. So now I will begin and thanks for visiting my blog.

The first official scrimmage begins Wednesday, February 25th, in Phoenix at Maryvale Baseball Park. For those of you who are attending, drop a line here to inform me about any worthwhile moments or experiences.

To more relevant news: SS Oakland Athletics

The most compelling story of the off season (and spring for that matter) for me is Bobby Crosby’s status as the starting short stop for the A’s. The pitching rotation is all but set with the fifth starter likely to go to Gio Gonzalez or will it be the other Gonzalez, Edgar? The non-roster invitee looked impressive in a sample intrasquad game today, who knows? I digress.

Crosby and the Short-Stop position gets my attention. Word’s out that Crosby has a vendetta!

Crosby-who has yet to fullfil his potential- is hard at work, attempting to put to good use the former “Bash Brother” Mark MCgwire’s  batting instruction.  From what I’ve seen in the media reports, naysayers-especially GM Billy Bean- have lost all faith in the former ROY. This alone has sparked Crosby and so far, he’s shown a significant change in his stance, swing, and approach. From camp, many are saying he looks good. For Crosby though, is this what has hampered his success, his swing, or has it been his frequent pine riding on the disabled list? I guess we’ll know sooner rather than later, or A’s fans wont have to worry if Orlando Cabrera agrees to a lesser contract, one or the other.

I’d like to here why anyone would appose a swap of Cabrera for Crosby. Say Cabrera agrees to a $4MM and the A’s pass Crosby’s service’s to another team, and cover half of his salary around $2.5MM. Sure the home runs might not be there but the average and OBP will. What is there to dislike?

Since this is my first post here, I assume there should be some feedback???

Well chomp on that for a while and I’ll be back for more.

Post info: By KFinkas on February 24th, 2009
Comments: 2 Comments »
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Pitchers Gio Gonzalez and Greg Smith have been optioned to Triple-A Sacramento by the Oakland Atheltics.  Both young pitchers are highly regarded in the Athletics minor leagues, and both will be on the big league roster this year or next year I’m pretty sure.

Instead of having them sit on the bench or out in the bullpen, they will be getting their full innings down in the minor leagues.  Look for one of the two to be called up the first time the Athletics call up a starting pitcher.  My guess would be on Smith over Gonzalez right now.

Athletics Blog

Post info: By TheSmallBallWay on March 17th, 2008
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Aaron Cunningham who was trying to earn a spot on the big league roster with the Oakland Athletics will start the season in the disabled list as he broke his left wrist while sliding into a base.  Another reason why head first slides 90% suck…

It was going to be hard for Cunningham to make the big league roster this year and he will more then likely come of the disabled list and start playing in double a ball.

In some other Athletic news from Spring Training, it doesn’t look like Eric Chavez will be making his 10th straight opening day start for the Athletics.  Chavez still isn’t running and isn’t responding too well after receiving an epidural last week.

Post info: By TheSmallBallWay on March 10th, 2008
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