The A’s found what could be considered their 2012 saving grace midway through the 2011 season when they hired Bob Melvin as their manager. His quiet yet confident approach and “never too high nor low” managing style led the 2012 Athletics to the American League West Championship. The rest of the current coaching staff consists of: hitting coach Chili Davis, pitching coach Curt Young, first base coach Tye Waller, third base coach Mike Gallego, bench coach Chip Hale, and newly installed bullpen coach Darren Bush. Here are the reasons why I think the coaching staff (minus Bob Melvin since it is obvious he will return) should stay or go.Chili Davis- Davis had his first season as the A’s hitting coach in 2012. The offense continued to have the ups and downs a typical A’s offense over the past few seasons has withstood. The only difference in this year’s team was the offense muscled up and hit the ball out of the ballpark more often. While some of the increase in power production can be accredited to Yoenis Céspedes and Jonny Gomes, the bulk of the credit should lie on Davis’ shoulders. He got Josh Reddick to become an above average power hitter, Yoenis Céspedes to become a better batting average hitter, Chris Carter to finally lay off off-speed pitches low and outside, among other successes. Davis’ work was extremely effective and he should be back in Green and Gold for many years to come. Curt Young- What can anyone say about Curt Young. He is outstanding. He has dealt with rookies and pitchers trying to make comebacks and turned them into success stories. He led a staff that at one point consisted of all rookies (Jarrod Parker, Tommy Milone, A.J. Griffin, Travis Blackley, and Dan Straily) to a postseason berth. The entire pitching staff finished with the second lowest earned run average in the American League. Relievers such as Jerry Blevins had career years. Late inning relievers were developed in Sean Doolittle and Ryan Cook. His work is unmatched and he will be back in Oakland as long as he wants. Tye Waller- Waller is a mainstay now at first base always with a smile and a stop watch. With speed at the top of their lineup in Coco Crisp and possibly Jemile Weeks the job Waller does will become exponentially more important. The times he calculates and records (from how long the pitcher winds up to how long their stretch delivery is) are very crucial in the success of the base runners. It allows them to be better informed of what pitch and what count is best for them to steal. Waller has done a great job so far and he should be around for the next couple of seasons. Mike Gallego- Gallego is the third base coach and part time infield coach. He is a former Athletic who played in the infield over the course of his career. Over the past few seasons and unsettling pattern has developed with Gallego however. Gallego chooses the wrong time to send runners or hold runners on the base paths with the biggest blunder happening against Detroit in the ALDS last season. Stephen Drew hit a ball in the gap in right center field. It went all the way to the wall. Remember Drew had only played a quarter of a season at this point coming back from a horrendous ankle injury. With his speed not all the way back, Gallego still decided to wave Drew around second to go to third. The only problem is the ball was already being relayed back to the cutoff man who easily made the throw to third to get Drew by a decent amount. To truly understand the blunder you have to see the play but needless to say it was an egregious mistake that cost the A’s a huge rally and possibly the game. This has been a constant problem for Gallego and at some point it will cost him. He will probably return barring an unforeseen manager position opens up (he has been mentioned as a candidate for the Colorado Rockies position). However, for how long he stays in Oakland will be up to him making the adjustments and correcting the mistakes he has been making the past few seasons. Chip Hale- Chip Hale and Bob Melvin have been long time time friends ever since their time in Arizona with the Diamondbacks (they held the same positions) some years ago. With Melvin being fairly calm and not being ejected very often Hale did not have much of a chance to see game action. However he was an extremely helping hand in getting Melvin’s message across as well as giving words of the wise when needed. He is one of the best bench coaches a team could have and as long as he does not pursue a managing position he should have the same role for as long as Bob Melvin remains the A’s manager.
Darren Bush (Not Pictured)- Bush was the Triple-A Sacramento manager this season leading them to a Pacific Coast League Championship. He dealt with a lot of the A’s current roster at some point or another including a decent portion of the pitching staff. From Jarrod Parker early on in the season, to Jim Miller, Evan Scribner, Pedro Figueroa, and Dan Straily among others Bush had a major hand in sculpting the players that eventually were contributor’s for the A’s at the Major League level in 2012. Putting Bush in charge of the bullpen duties seemed like a no brainer. The bullpen coach last season, Rick Rodriguez, was offered another position within the Minor League portion of the franchise. No word has come if the change was made out of performance failure or rather just a change of face. Regardless expect Bush to be an excellent bullpen coach that will stick around the A’s for awhile.