Sunday, March 2, 2008

A Preview A Day Keeps the Winter Away, #3

For the month of March I will be doing a season preview, with a new team each day, going in alphabetical order by team so I can save the Yankees for last, because I am, in fact, that devious.

As this is a Yankees' blog, the previews for AL East teams will be more detailed than those of AL Central and AL West teams, and any AL team previews will be more detailed than NL team previews, save maybe for the Mets. Each preview will involve consideration of how much 'threat' a team is to the Yankees, for fairly obvious reasons.

Up Today: The Oakland Athletics

The Oakland Athletics of 2007 were the victims of bad luck. Really bad luck. If there was a poster team for "ravaged by injuries", the A's would easily fit the description.

Even now, just looking at a team depth chart, there are a lot of first aid crosses: Chavez, Brown, Sweeney, Harden, Duscherer and Gaudin.

The A's did lose Dan Haren in the off-season, but when your GM is Billy Beane, you're generally going to get something good in return, and the A's...well, they seem to have gotten the entirety of Arizona's farm system: Brett Anderson, Dana Eveland , Greg Smith, Chris Carter, Aaron Cunningham and Carlos Gonzalez. (Thank you ESPN!)

I'm not going to pretend I know anything about these prospects, because, well, I don't, but for the 2008 season, losing Haren who was the starting pitcher in the 07 All-Star Game for the NL, is a blow to the starting rotation, at least in the early goings of the season. Anderson, Eveland and Smith are all starters, but it is still too early to see how they will come out--though Smith pitched well in his most recent outing and Eveland surrendered one run on four hits in two.

As for the line-up, well, the A's did score 23 runs in their exhibition game versus San Fransisco, but a)Barry Zito was pitching, and b)Bonds isn't on the Giants any more.


The big key for the A's in 2008 is simply to stay healthy. I know I said that about the Angels the other day, but with the A's, it really resonates. If they stay healthy, while it's far from the team that won the AL pennant in 06, they can be a contender in the AL West. Injuries, however, and you're looking at a likely repeat of last season. Unfortunately for them, the injuries have already struck.

Threat to the Yankees: Yellow, Exercise Caution.

Right now, it seems very unlikely that the A's would be able to post a better record than Seattle or Anaheim for the division and maybe even more unlikely that they'd post a better record than Detroit, Cleveland, Boston or New York for the Wild Card.

However, the Yankees do still have to play them during the course of the regular season, and trips out west never tend to be a lot of fun.

Trivia tidbit: Our first win in 1998 came in Oakland.


I will not be able to catch today's game. I will try to post notes when I get back later in the afternoon, but I don't know what time that will be, so for that I do apologize. Mike Mussina is scheduled to start.

1 comment:

  1. I don't expect too much from the A's. Supposedly they got some good young talent in their off-season trades, but they may not even be on the major league roster. I think this is a rebuilding period for the A's.

    Rebecca - good luck on your exams!