With the start of the A’s and Giants Bay Bridge Series game approaching tonight. Many A’s fans are left wondering if Oakland will be able to pull off playoff status and possibly win the 2011 World Series. Well, there will be no straight and accurate answers for this one. However, with the likes of Hidecki Matsui and Josh Willingham, the team may have a fighting chance to share that title with the team, that A’s fans do not like to mention, on the other side of the bay.
When you examine this years team and that of the recruiting that A’s management accomplished, you will see that they followed a similar path that the Giants used in getting both veteran and rookie players to play for them.
Manager Bob Geren has expressed that he is pleased with the recruitment that took place this year. “We have a good team. The offseason was fun because every time we acquired somebody, via trade like DeJesus or a free agent like Matsui, it felt like with every building block we kept getting stronger and stronger.”
Trades were a popular this past winter and many fans believe that this was exactly what the team needed. As we all know the A’s did not do well in the areas of home runs due to it’s lackluster offense and ended up rounding off the 2010 season with a .500.
As a result of last season’s stats the A’s aquired players Matsui, DeJesus and Willingham in order to cover the problem areas of outfield play, while Matsui was signed as a DH.
Seasoned A’s pitcher Dallas Braden agrees that the changes are all good and will help the team in the long run. “We’ve got a bullpen put together where the game is — in all seriousness — almost five innings for a starter. With the options we have lined up there, that’s ridiculous. When we can put up runs and add some arms to the mix, that’s when our chances get a lot better. That’s all stuff that’s still on paper. It’s all great in theory. We have all the components. We need to put them all together, though, and see how they run.”
Also worth mentioning are the pitchers that round out the A’s line up and their impeccable records. Trevor Cahill, Gio Gonzalez and Brett Anderson all had pretty good ERA’s last season. Cahill went 18-8 with a 2.97 ERA. While both Gonzalez and Anderson proved that they are still worthy to play in Oakland with their ERA’s both averaging in the mid to upper 2’s.
Also, we cannot forget about Dallas Braden with his perfect game last Mother’s Day. He has the opportunity to improve and has said that he is always learning from the other players when it comes to pitching.
I think it should be a great 2011 run for the A’s and am looking forward to going to this Sunday’s game against the Mariners. Baseball season is now in session… now if we can only do something about all of this rain!
Tags: A's Baseball A's Blog A's Lineup A's News A's Offense A's Pitching A's Starting Rotation Bay Bridge Series Bob Geren Dallas Braden David DeJesus Gio Gonzalez Hideki Matsui San Francisco Giants Trevor Cahill