Documenting the Athletics – From Philadelphia, to Kansas City, to Oakland and Finally to Fremont
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Bobby Kielty is going to have knee surgery and he’ll be out anywhere from three to six weeks.Â Kielty is one of those guys I just keep waiting to for to have a breakout season but it’s never quite worked now.Â Now his season is already off to a rough start.Â Mark Kotsay is also dinged up and he’s going to get an MRI done on his back.
Eric Chavez was the focus of a player profile today at Baseball Prospectus.Â It’s a great look at where Chavez has been, the hype he’s received and how things haven’t quite gone as planned.Â I’m still a huge Eric Chavez fan though and this was a great read.
Christina Kahrl recently took a look at the A’s chances in 2007, running down some of the things that could go wrong and the positives surrounding the ball club.Â It’s a very nice “half glass full” look at the team and while I think the A’s can get it done and win the AL West, we all know that it hasn’t meant a hill of beans in the past because of the post-season woes.Â It is interesting how Milton Bradley has emerged as the team’s leader now, at least on offense and there’s no defined ace.Â Regardless, the A’s have talent and this is going to be a fun season.
This is a nice profile on A’s reliever Chad Gaudin.Â While PECOTA expects Gaudin to take a step back in 2007, having a solid Gaudin in there as another option coming out of the pen will go along way towards a repeat of the AL West title in 2007.
Buster Olney recently listed five pitchers in a blog post that he thinks could have a huge impact on the team and Rich Harden comes in at number two.Â He talks about Harden’s injury problems and that with Zito gone, Harden is now the number one guy.
Also, John Sickels posted the results of a community projection for Harden.Â They have himÂ having a very solid season but with only 141 innings and 23 starts, which wouldn’t cut it for me, or for the A’s.Â Harden will have to top that if the A’s are going to make a run in the West in 2007.
Reporting day is Friday for pitchers and catchers and while the bulk of the work will start on Saturday, a lot of eyes will be on new A’s manager Bob Geren.Â For now, Geren says he’s not going to change much.Â Geren has the advantage of having the same bullpen and pitching coaches as the team had last year so there will be some continuity.
The A’s have been pretty quiet the past couple of weeks but for better or worse, they made another signing.Â This time it’s another injury prone player in Shannon Stewart.Â Stewart signed a one year, $2.5 million deal with the A’s.Â I’m not sure what the A’s have planned for Stewart but he’s an almost .300 hitter and he can provide a solid right handed bat if he’s healthy.Â He’ll also take a walk, which is why the A’s probably liked him.Â I could see him being a very good fourth outfielder or an even filling in at DH.
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