2009 Preview: Oakland Athletics

Team Name: Oakland Athletics

2008 W-L Record: 75-86

Place in division: 3rd

2009 Projected Lineup

Player

Pos.

Kurt Suzuki

C

Daric Barton/Jason Giambi

1B

Mark Ellis

2B

Bobby Crosby

SS

Eric Chavez/Jack Hannahan

3B

Matt Holliday

LF

Ryan Sweeney

CF

Jack Cust/Travis Buck

RF

Jason Giambi/Jack Cust

DH

Key Bench Players

Player

Pos.

Jack Hannahan

IF

Travis Buck

OF

Cliff Pennington

IF

2009 Projected Rotation

Player

Pos.

Justin Duchscherer

SP1

Sean Gallagher

SP2

Dallas Braden

SP3

Gio Gonzalez

SP4

Dana Eveland

SP5

Key Relievers

Player

Pos.

Brad Zielger

Closer

Joey Devine

Setup

Santiago Casilla

Setup

Jerry Blevins

Specialist

2009 Outlook Paragraph:

The 2008 A's were the worst offensive team in the American League last season, and it wasn't really even close.  They finished last in runs scored, tied for last in OBP and last in SLG.  Interestingly enough they were fourth in the league in walks which would make you wonder how they finished last in OBP.  Then you see that they lead the league in strikeouts and things make a bit more sense.  The A's addressed the issue of offense with the additions of Matt Holliday and Jason Giambi.  Holliday should have a slight drop off from his numbers at Coors Field, but nothing too drastic.  While adding Giambi was a good move, it still forces him or Cust into the field every day, and that's always quality entertainment.  Conversely, the A's pitching staff wasn't bad in 2008, finishing 6th in FIP.  The bullpen will again be strength of this team, with Brad Ziegler taking over the closing duties from Huston Street and Joey Devine and Santiago Casilla setting him up.  The starting rotation still has its problems.  Justin Duchscherer probably isn't going to be able to sustain his success of 2008 when he had a .240 BABiP, and Gio Gonzalez is going to take some lumps in the rotation.  The A's should be far improved offensively in 2009, and the pitching should be decent enough to get them by some days, but I don't see them beating out Anaheim, or Texas for that matter, in the division. 

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