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Wednesday 18th Oct 2017

I noticed both Perry Van Hook and Rob Leibowitz alluded to Billy Beane's moves, or sort of lack of for Billy Beane, this Hot Stove Season.

Funny, as when I saw that Beane obtained 32-year old Josh Willingham, I started scratching my head right away.

So, here is what I think.

Beane has indeed had trouble keeping outfielders healthy over the past years, and he has also had trouble getting production out of first base.

Travis Buck hurt himself out of a gig, and Ryan Sweeney has yet to play a full season despite three attempts. The door towards reincarnation was opened for Conor Jackson when he was swapped to Oakland, but Jackson dropped the knob. And, well, we knew Coco Crisp would get there, and he did, as did newly acquired David DeJesus.

So, right now, the Athletics have three true flychasers with Crisp, DeJesus, and Sweeney.

But then they have some of those LF/RF/1B kind of guys with Willingham and Jackson, both of whom can spell Daric Barton should the first sacker not generate enough sock.

So, it really looks like they have five interchangable parts, and in the process are not unlike the Giants of last year, who could move outfielders and infielders around the diamond while their good young pitching stifled every bat in sight.

With Adam Rosales there to back second, third, and short (although I actually think Rosales will earn the shortstop spot and Cliff Pennington will play the utility role) Oakland looks ok to me. Like the Giants, they do not have a star, but everyone on their squad pretty much has a track record and knows how to play the game.

Right now that looks like a good path.



0 #3 Michael July 2010-12-18 21:40
But the fact remains they still have 3 OFers who have shown to be injury prone. And there are some who believe, myself included, that staying healthy is part of a skill set. And Matsui is not suited for the OF. While I think Billy did what he could to bring in some pop he still has a problem of keeping his OF healthy. But, I'd rather have his club for 2011 than the likely Greinke-less Omaha (err I mean KC) Royals.
0 #2 Lawr Michaels 2010-12-18 20:56
true on barton. his drawback is no pop, and oakland is about 1.5 power hitters away from being dangerous.

then there is the chris carter conundrum, for if carter can play, he becomes the first baseman.

at least this way there is a lot of flexibility. last year the outfield really suffered, and cust was not even there the first six weeks of the season.

will be fun to see. obviously, good pitching can take a team a long way as the giants proved last year.
0 #1 John Korzen 2010-12-18 19:04
I agree the team looks to be on a good path. Beane seems to be nicely addressing the team's need for more runs scored (only 663 last year).

My hunch is that Barton will not get spelled much even if he does not develop power next year. He had a .393 OBP (fifth best in the AL), plays great defense, and is only 25 years old. Adding Willingham, Matsui, and DeJesus should make it more likely that Barton gets driven in more often and make it easier for the team to have a regular first baseman without many homers.

The team lost Rajai Davis as well as Jack Cust, so adding Willingham, DeJesus, and Matsui equals a net gain of one offensive regular (putting aside quality comparisons - just comparing numbers of regulars).

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