Crazy 8′s: 8 Observations From the A’s First 8 Games

Apr 13, 2012; Seattle, WA, USA; Oakland Athletics head coach Bob Melvin reacts after the game against the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field. Oakland defeated Seattle 4-0. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-US PRESSWIRE

Following the team’s 4-0 win over the Seattle Mariners on Friday night, the A’s reached the .500 mark as well as the division’s No.2 spot. Yes, the A’s are in second place. It’s likely only a split-second type of situation for the Athletics, but in this long season, it’s important to enjoy the little things.

In fact, through the team’s first eight games the A’s have hit eight home runs and have done other little things that have impressed me so far this year. The A’s are not a team with a stacked offense or an experience rotation, but they are a young team with the potential to surprise its fans on occasion.

With that, I’ll start listing eight of the things that I’ve observed so far this season. Some are good things and some things, like Yoenis Cespedes‘ strikeouts are not as inspiring.

  1. As I’ve noted above, the Athletics have hit a total of eight, yes eight, home runs this year. Those players responsible for that total include outfielders Yoenis Cespedes (3), Jonny Gomes (2), Josh Reddick (1), and infielder Jemile Weeks (2). That total is an impressive one for the gold-and-green hitters.
  2. Brandon Allen played in just three games before getting the boot. Wasn’t too happy about that considering the team put Daric Barton back in charge at first base following Allen getting DFA’d. Allen proved last season that he at least had the potential to provide the team with a little bit of power and defense, but Barton seemingly remains a favorite among Oakland’s front office.
  3. Through the team’s first eight games, Cespedes has hit three home runs and collected 7 RBIs. It seems the A’s will get plenty of help in the power department this year from Cespedes, who was signed for $36 million over four-years this past winter.
  4. While the power is definitely there with Cespedes, so are the strikeouts. The highly-touted outfielder is simply striking out way too much. He’s got eight strikeouts so far this month (16-at bats) and 11 strikeouts this season. Three of his six hits this year have been home runs. While the potential to be good is there with Cespedes, the A’s should be worried with the youngster’s strikeout rate.
  5. Bartolo Colon is off to a better start than I expected. In fact, the A’s veteran pitcher improved to 10-1 with a 1.91 ERA in his career at Seattle’s Safeco Field. Three starts into the 2012 season and Colon is already 2-1 with a 3.72 ERA over 19.1 innings pitched. We’ll see if his body holds up once the summer months roll in, but right now, the A’s should be happy they’re getting anything from Colon.
  6. Tom Milone is Oakland’s best pitcher…for now. He’s definitely talented and the A’s wanted him for a reason when they decided to trade All-Star starter Gio Gonzalez to the Washington Nationals this past offseason. Milone has pinpoint accuracy and draws a lot of comparisons to fellow soft-throwing lefty Dallas Braden. Whomever he mimics, Milone is a strong option to have in the starting rotation for the Athletics.
  7. Scoring runs will yet again prove difficult for the offense. Even though the team has done a relatively good job flexing some of its muscles, the A’s, entering Friday, ranked 22nd in runs with 21 scored. They also ranked 28th in batting average (.195), 27th in on-base percentage (.270) and 27th in slugging (.275). Guys like Cespedes, Reddick, Weeks, and a few others will be responsible this year for turning around the team’s sluggish offense.
  8. Kila Ka’aihue is still hanging around. Eight games in and he’s still on the roster. That could change, though, when the A’s will be forced to announce a No.5 starter for their rotation. Still, I remember claiming that Ka’aihue would open the season with a spot on the roster way back in the offseason. I feel way smarter now.

What have you noticed so far? Hit the comment box below and let us know!

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Follow me on twitter @oaklandace75 and for more A’s related analysis, stories, and opinions, follow us on twitter @FS_SwinginAs or like us on Facebook.

Topics: A's, A's News, A's Rumors, MLB, Oakland A's, Oakland A's MLB, Oakland Athletics, Yoenis Cespedes

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