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So I had an A's preview typed up...

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Bored

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...and when I went to preview it, it told me to log back in. No biggie it has happened before with previous entries and I've always been able to hit the back button, copy the text, and log back in. But nope not this time. So I really don't feel typing that up again although I'd be even more pissed if this happend with my original A's preview idea where I'd talk about the entire team. I started typing it in a word file a couple of weeks ago but got Bored after seven players so I decided to go with a condensed version (or actually a lazy version) where I talked about six players in particular (Chavez, Zito, Harden, Bradley, Loaiza, Thomas) and that is what I had typed out in the entry. Oh well, I should have known I was gonna be timed out. I do actually have what I said about Chavez already in the Word file so here's that:

 

Going into last year I felt legitimately that Chavez would emerge as a serious MVP candidate. He made great strides at the plate in 2004 as prior to that year he’d always been a bit of a hacker at the plate but he posted a .397 OBP and led the A.L. walks despite only playing in 125 games. His numbers went largely unnoticed and unappreciated as he spent a month on the disabled list due to a broken hand when he was hit by a pitch. His counting numbers looked low especially compared to his ex-teammate Miguel Tejada who posted 150 RBI in his first season in Baltimore. Some A’s fans unfairly slammed Chavez in ’04 and talked about what a mistake it was to keep him over Tejada but didn’t bother to notice that Chavez’s peripheral numbers were better. But 2005 would not be the year Chavez would finally get his due respect as he would get off to a horrific start, hitting under .200 as late as May 15th and not getting his OBP over .300 until June 7th. He’d have a monster month of June that would turn his season around but due to his bad start he’d end up with his worst numbers since his rookie year of 1999. The great strides he made in 2004 seemed to disappear as after a ratio of 95 walks to 99 strikeouts in ’04, he’d have a ratio of 58 walks to 129 strikeouts. Whatever he was doing differently in ’04 he needs to get back this season. One thing no one questions his Chavez’s defense at 3rd as he captured his fifth straight Gold Glove. An area of concern though when it comes to his defense is a shoulder problem he’s struggled with the last couple of years. He was scheduled to have offseason surgery but ended up deciding against it and it remains to be seen if that was a good decision or not. I’ve always been a big defender of Chavez and feel he is grossly scapegoated by some A’s fans just because he isn’t as demonstrative as Tejada was. I still feel that given the circumstances Billy Beane made the right choice as Chavez was younger, had better career numbers than Tejada, and throw in that they had Bobby Crosby on the horizon. But 2005 soured me on Chavez a bit. I always felt he would become the superstar that he was projected to be but now I’m not so sure. If he can’t take it to that next level in the next year or two it probably will never happen.

 

And this I had tacked on to the my original entry that I lost which was also in the world file, just stat lines for everyone on the 25 man roster, nothing special:

 

Jason Kendall

 

Age: 32

2005: 676 PA, .271/.345/.321, 79 RC, .249 EQA, 18.1 VORP, 14 Win Shares

2004: 658 PA, .319/.399/.390, 96 RC, .280 EQA, 47.5 VORP, 25 Win Shares (Pittsburgh)

 

Adam Melhuse

 

Age: 34

2005: 102 PA, .247/.284/.381, 12 RC, .234 EQA, 1.3 VORP, 2 Win Shares

2004: 231 PA, .257/.309/.463, 23 RC, .262 EQA, 9.4 VORP, 5 Win Shares

 

Mark Ellis

 

Age: 29

2005: 486 PA, .316/.384/.477, 78 RC, .301 EQA, 41.9 VORP, 21 Win Shares

2004: Injured

2003: 622 PA, .248/.313/.371, 63 RC, .246 EQA, 13.9 VORP, 18 Win Shares

 

Eric Chavez

 

Age: 28

2005: 694 PA, .269/.329/.466, 96 RC, .280 EQA, 35.5 VORP, 20 Win Shares

2004: 577 PA, .276/.397/.501, 91 RC, .311 EQA, 45.5 VORP, 18 Win Shares

 

Bobby Crosby

 

Age: 26

2005: 371 PA, .276/.346/.456, 48 RC, .283 EQA, 25.4 VORP, 12 Win Shares

2004: 623 PA, .239/.319/.426, 66 RC, .262 EQA, 23.0 VORP, 14 Win Shares

 

Frank Thomas

 

Age: 38

2005: 124 PA, .219/.315/.590, 17 RC, .299 EQA, 9.2 VORP, 3 Win Shares (Chicago-AL)

2004: 311 PA, .271/.434/.563, 58 RC, .333 EQA, 34.2 VORP, 12 Win Shares (Chicago-AL)

 

Marco Scutaro

 

Age: 30

2005: 423 PA, .247/.310/.391, 45 RC, .251 EQA, 11.0 VORP, 11 Win Shares

2004: 477 PA, .273/.297/.393, 45 RC, .240 EQA, 9.3 VORP, 11 Win Shares

 

Antonio Perez

 

Age: 26

2005: 287 PA, .297/.360/.398, 43 RC, .274 EQA, 15.7 VORP, 10 Win Shares (Los Angeles)

2004: 476 AB, .296/.379/.511 (AAA Las Vegas)

 

Nick Swisher

 

Age: 25

2005: 522 PA, .236/.322/.446, 63 RC, .269 EQA, 14.2 VORP, 12 Win Shares

2004: 443 AB, .269/.406/.537 (AAA Sacramento)

 

Mark Kotsay

 

Age: 30

2005: 629 PA, .280/.325/.421, 86 RC, .263 EQA, 23.2 VORP, 18 Win Shares

2004: 673 PA, .314/.370/.459, 100 RC, .289 EQA, 45.3 VORP, 21 Win Shares

 

Milton Bradley

 

Age: 28

2005: 316 PA, .290/.350/.484, 43 RC, .290 EQA, 24.0 VORP, 10 Win Shares (Los Angeles)

2004: 597 PA, .267/.362/.424, 74 RC, .274 EQA, 25.2 VORP, 16 Win Shares (Los Angeles)

 

Jay Payton

 

Age: 33

2005: 435 PA, .267/.306/.444, 57 RC, .261 EQA, 12.1 VORP, 12 Win Shares (Boston/Oakland)

2004: 511 PA, .260/.326/.367, 63 RC, .251 EQA, 9.5 VORP, 15 Win Shares (San Diego)

 

Bobby Kielty

 

Age: 29

2005: 433 PA, .263/.350/.395, 53 RC, .270 EQA, 12.9 VORP, 10 Win Shares

2004: 278 PA, .214/.321/.370, 32 RC, .249 EQA, -1.2 VORP, 4 Win Shares

 

Rich Harden

 

Age: 24

2005: 128 IP, 177 ERA+, 2.81 K/BB, 1.06 WHIP, 40.8 VORP, 12 Win Shares

2004: 189.2 IP, 117 ERA+, 2.06 K/BB, 1.33 WHIP, 41.3 VORP, 14 Win Shares

 

Barry Zito

 

Age: 28

2005: 228.1 IP, 116 ERA+, 1.92 K/BB, 1.20 WHIP, 41.8 VORP, 13 Win Shares

2004: 213 IP, 105 ERA+, 2.01 K/BB, 1.39 WHIP, 31.5 VORP, 12 Win Shares

 

Danny Haren

 

Age: 25

2005: 217 IP, 120 ERA+, 3.08 K/BB, 1.22 WHIP, 39.5 VORP, 13 Win Shares

2004: 128 IP, 4.15 ERA, 4.55 K/BB, 1.32 WHIP (AAA Memphis)

 

Joe Blanton

 

Age: 25

2005: 201.1 IP, 127 ERA+, 1.73 K/BB, 1.22 WHIP, 44.3 VORP, 13 Win Shares

2004: 1761.1 IP, 4.19 ERA, 4.21 K/BB, 1.32 WHIP (AAA Sacramento)

 

Esteban Loaiza

 

Age: 34

2005: 217 IP, 105 ERA+, 3.15 K/BB, 1.30 WHIP, 42.1 VORP, 12 Win Shares

2004: 183 IP, 84 ERA+, 1.65 K/BB, 1.58 WHIP, 2.8 VORP, 7 Win Shares

 

Huston Street

 

Age: 22

2005: 78.1 IP, 261 ERA+, 2.77 K/BB, 1.01 WHIP, 33.3 VORP, 16 Win Shares

2004: 57 IP, 1.58 ERA, 4.54 K/BB, 0.86 WHIP (University of Texas)

 

Justin Duchscherer

 

Age: 28

2005: 85.2 IP, 204 ERA+, 4.47 K/BB, 1.00 WHIP, 30.0 VORP, 11 Win Shares

2004: 96.3 IP, 143 ERA+, 1.84 K/BB, 1.22 WHIP, 30.2 VORP, 9 Win Shares

 

Kiko Calero

 

Age: 31

2005: 55.2 IP, 139 ERA+, 2.89 K/BB, 1.13 WHIP, 15.7 VORP, 5 Win Shares

2004: 45.1 IP, 151 ERA+, 4.70 K/BB, 0.82 WHIP, 14.7 VORP, 6 Win Shares (St. Louis)

 

Jay Witasick

 

Age: 33

2005: 63.1 IP, 163 ERA+, 2.52 K/BB, 1.30 WHIP, 13.6 VORP, 6 Win Shares (Colorado/Oakland)

2004: 61.2 IP, 125 ERA+, 2.19 K/BB, 1.35 WHIP, 11.1 VORP, 3 Win Shares (San Diego)

 

Joe Kennedy

 

Age: 27

2005: 152.2 IP, 77 ERA+, 1.52 K/BB, 1.68 WHIP, -17.5 VORP, 3 Win Shares (Colorado/Oakland)

2004: 162.1 IP, 138 ERA+, 1.75 K/BB, 1.42 WHIP, 36.0 VORP, 13 Win Shares (Colorado)

 

Kirk Saarloos

 

Age: 27

2005: 159.2 IP, 108 ERA+, 0.98 K/BB, 1.40 WHIP, 28.3 VORP, 9 Win Shares

2004: Pitched insignificant number of innings in AAA New Orleans, AAA Sacramento, and Oakland

 

So that's that, this blog will probably turn into an A's blog by the time the season startsso I'm sure I'll touch on some of the subjects from the entry I intended to post.

 

Oh and my prediction: A's win 97 games, finish first in the A.L. West, and finally win an ALDS series. Anything after that is gravy.

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Pirates are sporting their best team in a while -- if a few (OK, many) breaks go their way they might even reach the .500 mark!!!

 

And what do the fans over there think of Kendall? Just curious.

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Depends on who you ask. Everyone pretty much likes his attitude and personality but his lack of production at the plate and his inability to throw out baserunners last season was pretty glaring. Some absolutely hate him due his poor season and want back up Adam Melhuse to be the starter but he's isn't very good and is even older than Kendall. They do definently need to give him more days off this year as even though he played poorly he still lead all catchers in games played. It's tough to rely on a guy in his 30's to be catching 150 games ever year. I'm just afraid he may have hit the catcher career wall last season. But on the brightside this year he probably won't be any worse than he was last year but I'm not sure how much better he will be, if at all.

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The accident shortened his career no doubt. The funny thing is it took a year to show up in his stats. A sort of delayed reaction drop. Kendall's numbers in 1998 are almost exactly the same in 2000. Kendall had the worst isolated power in baseball last year, even worse than Willy Taveras. You can get away with that when you steal 50 bases, but not when you ground into 27 double plays. Kendall's comps aren't helpful. Of the ten most similar players, only four are catchers. Two suffered drastic career ending injuries (in Thurman Munson's case, quite drastic), and one was a left handed catcher from the 19th Century.

 

As for the Pirates, Kendall is their franchise catcher. He leads the team in games played at that position. He also happens to be the franchise leader in hit by pitches.

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I don't pay much attention to the off-season, so what did Minnesota do to improve?

 

1. Called up Scott Baker and Francisco Liriano from AAA Rochester.

 

2. Traded two pitchers for 2B Luis Castillo. Second base was a black hole for the club, with Luis Rivas and Nick Punto not producing.

 

3. Signed Rondell White.

 

The pitching is there, it's just a question of the offense. Jason Kubel could provide production, and Justin Morneau will almost certainly have a better season.

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Oh and my prediction: A's win 97 games, finish first in the A.L. West, and finally win an ALDS series. Anything after that is gravy.

Not that I had any real insight but hey only four wins off and right on the other two points. No gravy though.

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