The Bob Melvin era is finally underway in Oakland. Shortly after the Athletics announced Melvin’s three-year deal with the team, the team announced on Friday that coaches Joel Skinner, Ron Romanick, and Gerald Perry would not be returning next year. According to CSN Bay Area, it’s expected that Melvin, who took over the managing duties after the A’s fired Bob Geren in June, will bring in his own staff.
The vacant positions Melvin is set to help fill includes bench coach, pitching coach, and hitting coach. Oakland will retain, however, first-base coach Tye Waller and third-base coach Mike Gallego for next season.
The biggest surprise here for me is the letting go of Romanick, who helped lead a young Oakland pitching staff to some respectable numbers in 2011. The Athletics ranked 10th in baseball in ERA (3.71) and 7th in quality starts (94), but the team’s pitching was a bit shaky at times during the second-half. Still, Romanick handled the staff pretty well this year, but he was a part of the staff brought in by Geren.
Offensively, the A’s never found much success, or at least on a consistent basis under Perry. That move, to me, makes sense. The A’s scored fewer runs this season than they did in 2010, even though the lineup featured the likes of Hideki Matsui, Josh Willingham, and David DeJesus this year. As a team, the A’s hit .244/.311/.369 this year.
It’ll be interesting to see who Melvin adds for next year’s staff. With these coaching changes, the A’s 2011-12 offseason has officially begun! What a journey this offseason promises to be!