Tag Archives: Oakland Athletics

2014 AL West Team

To be quite honest, creating a “Preseason All AL West Team” is a futile exercise.  If you are looking for an MLB season preview, full of sound analysis and predictions, this isn’t it.  But I’m a visual learner, and there is some value in seeing where the power is in the division, position by position.  Of course this isn’t an exact science, no predictions are, and only 2 players are selected per position, so you have a guy like Kyle Seager, the M’s second best position player, not making this list thanks to Beltre and Donaldson.   So ya, take this for what it is.  A quick snapshot of the division headed into 2014.  Although I should point out, by forecasting who has the most 1st and 2nd teamers, I correctly guessed the order of finish in the division last year!

My selection process looks at last year’s performance as well as projections for the upcoming season, and anticipated playing time. Some of the picks are obvious and others are less obvious, so of course I’d love to hear your thoughts too.

2014 AL West Team

Taking the visualization one step further, here’s a super scientific bar graph intended to show the separation between teams, by awarding 2 points for a 1st team selection, and 1 point for a 2nd team selection.

2014 AL West Graph

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by | March 15, 2014 · 9:05 pm

2013 AL West Team

Unlike some college sports, pro sports don’t come out with pre-season 1st and 2nd teams, but if the AL West had its pre-season team, this is how I think it would shake out. Clearly this is not a perfect method to predicting the AL West in 2013, and by season’s end the 1st and 2nd team selections will look different. But, it does provide a snapshot of how the division stacks up. My selection process looks at last year’s performance as well as potential this upcoming year, and projected impact/playing time. Some of the picks are obvious and others are less obvious, so of course I’d love to hear your thoughts too.

2013 AL West

A couple bullets:

  • It is hard to find much separation at the top between Oakland, Texas, and LAA. All 3 have playoff potential, but from this breakdown I would also suggest the Mariners are closer to the good teams in the division, rather than the bad (Houston).
  • Say what you want about Oakland’s 2012 season being an anomolye, but it’s hard to criticize the roster Billy Beane has been assembled this year. The A’s don’t have a lot of star power but they are solid at every position, and have a ton of depth, which will surely be an asset at some point.
  • The positions that were hardest to find a clear cut 1st and 2nd team selection were Catcher, DH, and the 2nd team OFs and Starting Ps. At catcher, Montero projects to have the most playing time and potential, so I gave him the honors. You could make a case for Jaso and Pierzynski too. The same is true between Kendrys Morales, Berkman, and Trumbo, but the numbers suggest Morales (when healthy) is the best option in the group. David Murphy is a nice player, as is Coco Crisp, Franklin Gutierrez, and Chris Young. Take your pick, I went with Murhpy. Starting pitching was a bit of a toss up to when you start picking the 8th-10th best in the AL West. I tried hard to justify an Astro but simply could not. Iwakuma was my 10th selection, but it could have easily gone to Derek Holland, Jason Vargas, or really any Oakland starter.
  • In order to visually quantify the separation between teams based on these picks, I’ve awarded 2 points for a 1st team selection, and 1 point for a 2nd team selection. Here’s how it shakes out on a fancy bar graph.

    graph

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Filed under Mariners, Predictions, Uncategorized

2012 AL West Team & Winter Wrap-Up

Unlike NCAA sports, pro sports don’t come out with pre-season 1st and 2nd teams, but if the AL West had its pre-season team, this is how I think it would shake out. My selection process looks at last year’s performance as well as potential this upcoming year, and often I use the sabermetric WAR to break ties. Some of the picks are obvious (Pujols), and others are less obvious (DH), so of course I’d love to hear your thoughts too.

A quick analysis shows that Texas is the class of the division, with more 1st team selections than the rest of the west combined. Anaheim has good 2nd tier depth, solid pitching, and balance. Texas and Anaheim each have 8 1st or 2nd team selections of the possible 10 positional categories, and of the 14 pitching spots, a whopping 11 are Rangers (6) and Angels (5). The M’s are a distant 3rd, but a ways ahead of the re-building A’s, who are loaded with average players but no star power whatsoever.

I wanted to take this chart one step further, and visually quantify the separation between teams based on these picks. To do so, I’ve simply awarded 2 points for a 1st team selection, and 1 point for a 2nd team selection. Here’s how it shakes out on a bar graph.

Lastly, here are team by team offseason wrap ups, after the jump… Continue reading

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Game Recap – 4/13/2010

Doug Fister: Hero

A night after a brutal home opener loss to Oakland, the Mariners sent Doug Fister to the mound in desperate need of a good outing, not only for the team, but for himself. His last outing at Oakland was not good. (4 innings, 6 hits, 3 walks…). This night though, Fister delivered, and delivered bigtime. 8 strong innings. 4 K’s, no walks. He had pinpoint control, working the counts in his favor, throwing strikes. 100 pitches, 71 strikes. Awesome efficiency. I felt he kept the A’s on their heels all night, not being predictable. This is the type of outing we all hoped for! Ah, but as we know with this version of the Mariners, great pitching is only half the battle. Gotta score runs!

As the game wore on, I grew increasingly frustrated with our hitters, especially with RISP. Rob Johnson looked lost multiple times at the plate, as did Lopez with two men on in the 5th. I think it was the most uninspired at bat of Lopez’s career (ok, total overstatement, but that is how I felt at the time watching it live…). Now, I will say Brett Anderson is a flat out stud. He has wicked good stuff, so chopped liver like Johnson and Wilson will naturally look bad, but Lopez is a decent hitter, and Anderson made him look silly. The thing that really made me mad was just the lack of aggression in Lopez’s at bat. It was infuriating to witness.

The next two innings the Mariners proceed to put men on base. The A’s pitchers repeatedly made mistakes with walks and hit batsmen. But the Mariners could not deliver, no clutch hitting at all. It was a foregone conclusion as I watched this game, I kept telling myself there is no way Jack Wilson can get the ball out of the infield, or Figgins getting caught stealing, it was a trainwreck. Ahh, until the 8th inning…

Milton Bradley: Hero

Lopez got his third hit of the night to lead off (ironic that he looked great three of four at bats, but the one in the 5th was just terrible, odd stuff…), then Sweeney worked the count and drew a walk. Up comes Milton Bradley. (I want Milton to succeed. For him, but mostly for the Mariners sake!). Batting left handed, Milton just looks more comfortable at the plate. Boom. 3 run blast to deep right. I went nuts, like we just won the division or something. I guess when run scoring has become such a laborious task for Seattle, seeing a massively clutch home run late in the game made me giddy with excitement. Welcome to Seattle Milton. You start doing things like you did last night and you’ll be loved here. We are simple folk, really.

Ok, on to the Heroes and Goats!!!! YEAH!!!

Hero(s): Doug Fister & Milton Bradley. Not sure if I can pick two, but these guys are the clear cut heroes of the night. The M’s needed Fister to step up, and he did, as well as Bradley. Well done fellas.

Goat: Rob Johnson. 4 LOB, 3 K’s. What else is there to say. He did call a nice game with Fister, but at some point that excuse wears terribly thin, we need hitting from the catcher spot, and Johnson was a complete bust at the plate last night.

–Joe

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Game Recap – 4/8/2010

I will make this as short as possible, because frankly I am not sure how many folks actually watched the game (day game), and it was brutal to listen to and follow.

Doug Fister started the game and only went 4 innings, 96 pitches. That tells the story right there. 56 strikes, 40 balls, not many swings-and-misses. Oakland was able to put the ball in play and force the issue offensively. Now, Oakland has no power, it was a lot of singles and doubles, and running the bases (sounds like what the M’s would like to do…). Davis, Barton and Ellis did all the damage for Oakland…

The Mariners on the other hand struggled yet again offensively. Brett Anderson took a shutout into the 7th inning. (An aside: If you look at Fister’s and Anderson’s lines for the game, they are also identical, yet Anderson was much more effective. That speaks volumes to how bad the Mariners hitting is right now…) Tuiasosopo played well at 1B, had 2 hits and an RBI. That’s a GREAT day for a Mariner right now. Good for him, I like his bat in the M’s lineup. Hopefully Wak can fit him in more. Gutierrez and Sweeney had the other RBIs. I like what Guti is doing at the plate. Overall though the offense sucks right now at generating runs. Trying to tag Figgins up at 1B to 2B on a fly ball to right really shows the hand Wak is playing, and what he is saying to the team: I know we will struggle to score so Ichiro and Figgins must steal and tag up all the time or we’ll never score. That’s a tough spot to be in. Other teams know this and are very aware of the steals and tag-ups.

Hero: Matt Tuiasosopo. He had two hits, an RBi and played 1B well. Sounds like a good day. (Jesus Colome is a close second, 3 very solid innings out of the pen…)

Goat: Doug Fister. Gotta go more than 4 innings. We all know the bullpen will be (is?) over-worked, so Fister only going 4 really sucks.

There is nothing else to observe from this stinker. (I really want to be optimistic, but this game set me back a bit…)

–Joe

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Filed under M's Game Recaps, Mariners