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Sunday Musings 3/9: Athletics Spring Training is in Full Swing

Since last Sunday’s musings, the Oakland Athletics went 4-3-1 on the diamond. Even with a record barely over .500 for the week, there is plenty to be optimistic about heading into the 2014 season.

First off, they scored a total of 36 runs in their 8 games, for an average of 4.5 runs/game. Billy Burns is still the highlight of Athletics camp with a .321 AVG in 28 at-bats, but he is being joined in the spotlight by Sam Fuld, who’s batting .304. Both players are trying to make their mark this spring, and are vying for the 4th OF spot on the Opening Day roster should Craig Gentry start the season on the DL. If it comes down to these two players, and they still have similar stats in 3 weeks when camp breaks, Sam Fuld will most likely be the guy that gets the call. Fuld has major league experience, while Burns has only been as high as Double-A. However, Burns’ speed could be his ticket to the majors if the Athletics are thinking outside of the box.

Jarrod Parker rebounded from an awful first outing by tossing 3.1 innings and allowing only 2 hits. One of those hits was a HR. He also walked 2, but his command should be well in hand by opening day.

In Friday’s game, Scott Kazmir made his first appearance of the spring for the green and gold. He was stellar. He pitched 3 innings, gave up 2 hits and K’d 2. After Kazmir was finished for the day, Jesse Chavez came in and pitched 4 innings, giving up a lone hit and striking out 4. With his work this spring, Chavez has nearly solidified a spot as the long-man in the bullpen.

Not all news is good news from Phoenix however.

Sonny Gray currently has a 12.00 ERA and a 3.00 WHIP.

Coco Crisp is struggling to get hits. He does have 5 walks and 2 runs scored.

Daric Barton left Saturday’s game due to injury.

On a broader scale, there is reason to be excited for the coming 2014 season in Oakland. In 2012, the Athletics were the kings of walk-off victories. Last week, the A’s tallied a walk-off victory against the Giants. This week, the A’s came back in the 9th against the Diamondbacks to force a tie. While a tie isn’t as dramatic as a win, it’s still better than a loss. This also shows that the Athletics have a whole farm system of players that plays until the last out is recorded.

Lastly, the Giants lost 18-3 to the Mariners (SS) on Saturday. If this made you happy, check out this article on why the Athletics will be better than the Giants in 2014.

Thank you for reading! -Jason Burke

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