Oakland Athletics 2011 Preview

2010 Record: 81-81

2011 Projected Roster

  • Catchers: Kurt Suzuki, Landon Powell
  • Infielders: Daric Barton, Kevin Kouzmanoff, Mark Ellis, Cliff Pennington, Adam Rosales
  • Outfielders: Coco Crisp, David DeJesus, Josh Willingham, Hideki Matsui, Conor Jackson, Ryan Sweeney
  • Starters: Brett Anderson, Gio Gonzalez, Trevor Cahill, Dallas Braden, Brandon McCarthy(Rich Harden)
  • Bullpen: Andrew Bailey, Brian Fuentes, Grant Balfour, Michael Wuertz, Craig Breslow, Brad Ziegler, Joey Devine

Notable Signings

  1. Hideki Matsui: 1 year, $4.25M
  2. Brian Fuentes: 2 years, $10.5MM
  3. Grant Balfour: 2 years, $8.1MM
  4. Josh Willingham: traded for two players
  5. Rich Harden: 1 year, $1.5MM

Notable Losses

  1. Ben Sheets
  2. Justin Duchscherer
  3. Jack Cust
  4. Rajai Davis
  5. Vin Mazzaro

Top Prospects

  1. Chris Carter: OF
  2. Grant Green: SS
  3. Michael Taylor: RF
  4. Michael Choice: OF

Key Position Battles

  • 5th Starter: Brandon McCarthy vs. Rich Harden vs. Josh Outman – McCarthy and Harden are both injury risks, Harden more so than McCarthy, but the A’s are hoping for one of them to stay healthy and snag the 5th starter spot this season. It would have been Harden’s spot if he had not already gone down with a lat injury. He simply can not be relied upon to stay healthy and pitch consistently anymore. McCarthy has pitched well this spring and should be able to hold off Josh Outman(4-1 and 3.28 ERA in limited time in 2010) who should start in AAA. Outman will storm into action if McCarthy goes down, as well. 5th Starter: Brandon McCarthy

Many believe that the Oakland Athletics have the best rotation in the American League and they very well may but here is what I think about them. Brett Anderson needs to prove that he can stay healthy for a full season(and if healthy his upside is limitless,) Trevor Cahill will not be able to sustain the .235 BAbip that he pitched to last year(meaning no sub-3.00 ERA) and Dallas Braden is quite overrated. They could end up being extremely dominant, with a lot of their success being attributed to playing in that park out in Oakland, which eats batters alive. With that being said, Gio Gonzalez should continue to progress into an absolute stud; he just needs to reign in his control a bit and he will be the AL’s biggest strikeout artist. Although improved from last year, Oakland’s offense is still a bit of a train wreck. The additions of David DeJesus, Josh Willingham and Hideki Matsui will certainly help add some pop but they all have injury risks and that ballpark could easily sap all of them of their offensive prowess. The fact of the matter is Kevin Kouzmanoff led the team in long balls last season with a mere 16. Year of the pitcher or not that is pretty pathetic. I do not expect much out of their offense this season so that rotation and a bullpen that sports a handful of closer caliber arms; Andrew Bailey, Brian Fuentes, Grant Balfor and Brad Ziegler, will have to carry Oakland if they have any hopes of making it back to the post season. The pieces that will make up their bullpen this year combined for a robust 60 saves last season. Another team, which I expect a slight improvement out of but not playoff caliber.

WTP Projected 2011 Record: 83-79

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About jacarfagno

Live, Breathe, and Bleed Baseball
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