Yesterday morning, a lady at the gas station who noticed my Oakland Athletics hat stopped and asked me, “when are we going to get a new closer?” At first I had no clue what she was talking about, but then realized, she was talking about the A’s. I started to think about all my friends and family that have questions about the A’s that I can speculate on. That is the motivation for this next segment. Here are some of the questions, and my answers to these questions…
When are the A’s going to send (Daric) Barton down?
Daric Barton has not hit very well to this point in the season. In fact, his batting average (.137) is the 2nd worst in the American League with those that have at least 50 at bats. But Barton adds a lot to the Athletics defensively deficiencies at first base. With Brandon Moss and Alberto Callaspo available to play first base, there isn’t much defensively there. In AAA-Sacramento the Athletics have Nate Freiman available to play first base. Freiman had a horrible month of April in Sacramento. He hit .204 and had an OPS of .593. In the last 6 games Freiman has hit .429 and has 9 RBI for the Rivercats. If he can continue to heat up in May, Nate Freiman may be ready for the trip to Oakland soon, which means Barton may be soon on his way out.
Eric O’Flaherty was signed this offseason by General Manager Billy Beane and Company just 8 months after Tommy John Surgery. O’Flaherty, a left-handed relief pitcher, is due back sometime in June. There is a lot that can happen between now and then. Keep in mind that relief pitcher Drew Pomeranz has a couple of options left (meaning he can be sent to the minor leagues without risk of losing him to another team) as does Tommy Milone and Dan Straily if Pomeranz is asked to start. This is a good problem to have for Manager Bob Melvin and Beane. Time will tell as O’Flaherty gets closer to returning.
How long do the A’s let Milone and Straily struggle?
Just like the Barton question, the A’s obviously need to have someone to replace Milone and/or Straily before the A’s pull them out of the rotation. As of now the A’s have very few options. Drew Pomeranz (as mentioned earlier), Josh Lindblom and Arnold Leon may be asked to start for a struggling Milone or Straily but they all have flaws. Pomeranz hasn’t pitched more than 6 innings in a Major League game since July of 2012, Josh Lindblom has an ERA of 7.64 in AAA-Sacramento and Arnold Leon will make his Major League Debut later today. My best guess to replace our struggling pitching is to explore the waiver wire and better yet the trade market. The A’s have a surplus at catcher, with Derek Norris, John Jaso and Stephen Vogt (once healthy). They also have a surplus of bullpen arms, especially with the return of O’Flaherty coming soon. My best guess is to package John Jaso and someone like Fernando Abad to a team like the Nationals for Doug Fister. Fister has been rumored to turn down a contract extension from Washington and is a product of the west coast (attended Merced Junior College). Other candidates can include pitchers like James Shields (KC), Paul Maholm (LAD) or Francisco Liriano (PIT).
This will conclude this segment of “Ask The Kid!” If you have questions that you would like addressed shoot me an email at [email protected]. Thanks to all my Friends and Family for your questions!
Until next time A’s fans… Lets Go Oakland. #LGO