Documenting the Athletics – From Philadelphia, to Kansas City, to Oakland and Finally to Fremont
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The A’s were shut down today in a 2-0 loss to the Angels.Â All four A’s hits were singles in what was a complete shut down.
The good news is, Danny Haren had a nice start for the A’s.Â He lasted only 4 1/3 innings, but he gave up justÂ one run on sixÂ hits with three strikeouts in 4 1/3 innings in what was his final start of the spring.Â The A’s scrimmage their Triple A club tomorrow and they have just three real spring games left.Â
Tim Brown at Yahoo recently talked about how good of a spring Rich Harden is having.Â Of course we all know the young starter has had his share of injuries the past couple of years and now with Barry Zito gone, guys like Harden have to step up if the A’s are going to win another AL West title.Â Bud Black says that Harden has the best stuff in the game and I’m willing to agree we just have to make sure he’s on the mound to take advantage of it.
Rich Harden was at his best this spring as he pitched five solid innings today against the White Sox.Â He struck out seven and he gave up only a single run on five hits and two walks.Â
Lou Merloni and Marco Scutaro provided most of the offense for the A’s today.Â Merloni hit his first homerun of the spring and he drove in three runs while Scutaro had two hits, a walk and three runs.
Joe Blanton throws for the A’s tomorrow.Â It’s a home game against the Royals.
In a very cool column, Hardball Times columnist Carlos Gomez takes a look at Rich Harden’s mechanics.Â You get video and everything and there’s a lot of good stuff here.
There’s no doubt that having a healthy Bobby Crosby and Rich Harden would go a long way towards the A’s repeating their AL West title in 2007.Â In a recent article by Jerry Crasnick, he runs down all of the injuries the A’s had and then profiles Rich Harden and Bobby Crosby because they’ve missed big chunks of time in the past.Â It’s more a reminder to A’s fans because we’ve lived it but with this team has done despite all of these injuries is pretty amazing.Â Hopefully this year is the year that it all falls into place.
In an ongoing series at MiLB.com, Lisa Winston takes a look at the Athletic’s minor league system.Â She touches on how deep the A’s system is andÂ there are a couple of profiles on players who are expected to play at each of the minor league levels.Â There’s info. on Travis Buck, Marcus McBeth and she predicts the the best position player will be Jermaine Mitchell and the best pitcher will be Jared Lansford.
The Hardball Times kicked off their season preview series today with a look at a couple of AL West teams.Â Sal Baxamusa, who did a great job of covering the A’s during the playoffs for the website, took on the five main questions that the A’s have going into the season.Â He touches on everything from the departure of Barry Zito and Frank Thomas as well as who the surprise performer of 2007 could be.Â The final prognosis is that the Angels are probably the team to beat and we should expect a bit of a rebuilding year for the A’s in 2007.
The Athletics now have a hole in their outfield because Mark Kotsay is out for atÂ up toÂ three months after he has his back surgery.Â Kotsay was more like a fourth outfielder plus last year.Â Kotsay hasn’t quit picked things up since his last solid year in 2004.Â It looks like Milton Bradley will shift back to center and then we’ll see a combination of Bobby Kielty, Shannon Stewart and Nick Swisher out in right field.Â I’ve always been a Bobby Kielty fan so it’d be nice if he could finally show what people thought he might do back a couple of years ago.
The A’s were held to two runs on five hits yesterday in their second spring loss of the season.Â Mike Piazza had an RBI double and that was the only extra base hit for the team.Â He then got hit on his left elbow for his troubles and his status is uncertain.Â Even more troubling, Lou Merloni was plunked in the head.
Joe Blanton had a mixed couple of innings.Â He gave up a run and five baserunners but he struck out four.Â The A’s take on the Cubs today and Joe Kennedy will get the start.
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