Everything seemed to be going right for Grant Desme. After a solid year in Class A ball, Desme was the MVP of the Arizona Fall League, hitting 11 home runs in 27 games. Apparently he wasn’t satisfied, because he decided to retire today so that he may enter the priesthood. Just our luck.
Desme was a multi-tool weapon on offense. Not only did he show power, but he also had plenty of speed. He was going to be our first 40-40 guy since Canseco in ‘88. This is really a big loss for the A’s organization.
A lot of people in the media have called the Roy Halladay/Cliff Lee trade a 3-team “blockbuster”. In reality, the deal actually involved 4 teams. The A’s received Michael Taylor from the Blue Jays in exchange for infielder Brett Wallace just a day after the Halladay deal went down, essentially making it an extension of the same deal since Taylor never even had a chance to be introduced to his new ball club in Toronto after being dealt from the Phillies. Michael Taylor was one of the Phillies top prospects and has tremendous size and a lot of potential. Some have said he’s a too big for baseball, but I think if he develops a consistent swing he could really be dangerous. Here’s a video clip of him completing the cycle with a home run in AAA last season:
Jack Cust has been the most productive A’s hitter over the past 3 years, and I think it’s time we got rid of him. The number one reason why is that he’s a DH. Being a valuable hitter at DH really doesn’t mean that much anymore. There are a dozen productive hitters who will be looking for teams this offseason who can only really play if they’re DH. That makes Cust’s value over any ol’ replacement very low. Cust is also expensive for someone who can’t play in the field, or does poorly when he tries to.
Oakland is loaded with young talent that can play outfield and share time in a DH role if needed. I’ve never been a big fan of having a player who only plays DH, because they really need to produce a lot at the plate to make up for the fact that they’ll hurt your team if you ever put a glove on their hand. The only DH over the past 15 years who I think added a lot of value to his team was Edgar Martinez, and that was only because he was such a spectacular hitter in his prime. A just above-average hitter at DH takes up a roster spot and much needed payroll, and the team would be better off using the DH as a sort of half-rest day for the true position players. Let the starting catcher DH once a week, and have the outfielders share DH duty the rest of the time. We’ve got plenty of outfielders, and they’re too valuable to have full-time positions on the bench.
I’ve got nothing against Jack Cust, I just don’t think he fits in with the way I would want to handle the DH on the club. The A’s can still get value for him now, so I think they should do it. They won’t lose much in the short term, and they’ll gain a lot in the long term.
The A’s have signed Shawn Chacon to a minor league deal. Chacon pitched for the Astros for part of last season before he was released following an altercation where he threw the Astros GM to the ground. Chacon has been pitching for the Newark Bears of the Independent League this season, where he has posted a mediocre ERA of 4.29. Don’t expect to see him make the leap to the big leagues any time soon.
The Athletics used the 13th overall pick in the 2009 MLB Draft on Grant Green, the shortstop from USC. Green is tall for a shortstop at 6′3″, but he’s a bit underweight for his height at just 180 lbs. Despite being lanky he still has home run power and he’s a plus fielder. He was originally projected to go in the top 5, but he probably dropped to #13 because he’s a Scott Boras client, so he’ll probably demand a fairly large signing bonus. Let’s hope the A’s can afford him, because there’s a ton of upside on this young kid. Here’s a video proving his home run ability:
In a scene that is becoming all too familiar, the A’s blew a 3-1 lead in losing to the Rangers 5-4 on Tuesday night. The A’s are now at 7-11 on the season and looking up in the AL West. Once again it appears that depth in their lineup is going to be a problem for them this season. In last night’s game, the top 4 guys were a combined 7 for 16, while the bottom 5 slots were 3 for 20. You just can’t get much production when it’s only coming from the top. Once a team reaches the A’s 5 hitter, it’s like we’re giving them 2 free innings of scoreless ball.
Leadoff hitter Ryan Sweeney had a solo home run in the game, and shortstop Orlando Cabrera added a 3 for 4 performance.
Perhaps it’s too early to be pessimistic about the A’s chances this season, or maybe I’m just being a realist. The A’s found a way to lose yesterday despite figuring out Yankees starter CC Sabathia. They jumped out to a lead, blew it, and then regained the lead several more times in the game before finally succumbing in 14 innings on a Melky Cabrera walk-off homer. The final score of 9-7 might suggest the A’s found some offense, but it’s a bit misleading since this was a 14-inning game. They were shut down by the Yankees bullpen for the final 7 innings, and they have won of the worst lineups in baseball right now. They acquired 2 sluggers in the offseason, but the whole team only has 4 home runs in the first 14 games. There are several individual players in baseball who have more home runs than that right now. They just had a 3-game set in the new Yankee Stadium, which apparently has a wind-tunnel effect that blows balls out to right field, and they still didn’t manage to let the ball fly. My grandmother hit one out in an exhibition game last week, and she’s barely able to walk. Just put the ball in the air and the wind currents will take it.
The A’s are now 5-9 and looking like a team that will struggle to climb out of the basement of the AL West this season. That is, unless we can relocate the team to Colorado so Matt Holliday can get some home runs.
Oakland’s lineup is getting embarrassed once again today by a pitcher who is not even close to the top of his game. CC Sabathia has yet to figure things out for the Yankees, but the A’s are still losing because it seems that nobody in their lineup can hit. Kurt Suzuki has a home run on the day, but that’s just one of 3 hits through 5 innings. It looks like this is going to be another one of those games where the A’s show promise at the start, but then do nothing for the final 7 innings. Sure, the A’s accumulated 12 hits last night, but very few of them came when it counted. They scored only 3 runs with those hits. How do you manage to scatter 12 hits for just 3 runs? That’s 4 hits for every run scored!
We need better clutch hitting, and better situational hitting if we’re going to have any chance of making the playoffs this season. It seems that every chance we have for a big inning, we end up stranding runners on 2nd and 3rd.
The A’s just couldn’t get it going with their bats today as Red Sox pitcher Tim Wakefield no hit them into the 8th inning on his way to a 8-2 victory. I’m not one to make excuses for a team, but this was a day game after an extra inning night game and the Athletics hitters were facing a knuckleballer for the first time this season. The last thing a tired hitter wants to face is a ball that moves unpredictably.
The Oakland Athletics are a .500 ballclub going into Wednesday’s game after beating the Boston Red Sox in 12 innings on Tuesday night. They roughed up Sox starter Daisuke Matsuzaka for 5 runs in just an inning of work — the shortest performance of Dice-K’s career. Although the Red Sox bullpen pitched admirably and the Sox bats fought back to tie the game, the A’s managed to patiently wait for their pitch in the 12th inning. The first 3 hitters earned walks against Javier Lopez, who was pitching for the third consecutive night. Then Jack Cust stepped up to the plate and belted a pitch hard into the dirt in front of home plate. The ball bounced over Lopez’s head and was fielded by reigning AL MVP Dustin Pedroia, whose flip to first was too late to nab a hustling Cust as the runner from third base crossed the plate, ending the game.