The A’s will enter the new year as an upgraded team thanks to a series of additions this offseason, but the team will need to stay healthy in 2011 if they are to catch the Texas Rangers in the AL West. The A’s finished the 2010 season on a winning note, as the team won four-straight to finish at 81-81. Injuries to Eric Chavez, Ben Sheets, Justin Duchscherer, among other star players, plagued the team in 2010, and the team needs a relatively healthy 2011 campaign to stay competitive.
When you think about it, it’s almost freakishly amazing how many players had stints on the DL this year for Oakland: Brett Anderson, Chavez, Duchscherer, Adam Rosales, Sheets, Kurt Suzuki, Ryan Sweeney, and the list goes on and on…
That is unacceptable, to say the least. The A’s signed Ben Sheets last offseason to a one-year, $10 million deal, and did not get much out of the signing. The A’s cut ties with Sheets along with Chavez, who spent most of the season on the DL after revealing he had two-bulging disks in his neck.
Anderson, 22, signed an extension with the team, and is figured to be the team’s future ace, but he too experienced his shares of injuries this year. Anderson went 7-6 with a 2.80 ERA this year, but appeared in only 19 games. The A’s also got a scare from Kurt Suzuki, who spent a brief amount of time on the DL this year. Suzuki’s stats took a dip as well this year, as he hit just .242 after hitting .274 in 2009.
With 2011 only hours away, however, many fans are probably hoping that the A’s stay healthy for most of the upcoming season. The team is pitching-rich, and should have no problem shutting down opposing offenses, but if the team continues to battle the injury bug that seems to thrive in Oakland, then the A’s could find themselves in a rough situation in 2011.
Texas did lose Cliff Lee, but they’re still the heavy hitting Rangers, and they are probably the favorites heading into the new year. The Angels, who finished under .500 for the first time in a long time, are the front-runners for landing Adrian Beltre (A’s reportedly out of the running), so they’ve got a chance to rebound in 2011. The A’s are an improved ball club, but if the team fails to stay healthy again in 2011, that seemingly won’t matter. In order to compete this year, the A’s are going to have to stay healthy.
Topics: A's, A's DL, Adam Rosales, Ben Sheets, Brett Anderson, Disabled List, DL, Eric Chavez, Justin Duchscherer, Kurt Suzuki, MLB, MLB 2010, New Years, New Years Resolutions, Oakland A's, Oakland A's Players, Ryan Sweeney