It has been a roller coaster for A’s fans this season so far, to say the least. The A’s started off the season looking decent, not great, but like a team that was not going to lose 90-100 games. Entering May the A’s were 12-13, they started the month off by taking back-to-back series against the Red Sox and Rays, but finished the month going 11-16. Entering June the A’s were 22-29 and now have a 5-6 record on the month so far.
It’s been a frustrating year so far, the promise the A’s once showed at the beginning of the season is now long gone and we are looking at what will probably be another losing season for the green and gold.
Where They Are Right Now:
There are exactly 100 games left for this team, they are currently 8 games under .500 and 9 games out of first place. The A’s are in third place in the division, but are only half a game ahead of the Seattle Mariners. Unless the A’s go on some sort of tear, it’s not likely the A’s will take the division this season, nor does it seem likely they will ever see .500 again.
What’s Going Right:
Before I get into what is going wrong with the team, I would like to look at the bright spots on the team. They may be losing a lot more than winning recently, but there are still many reasons why you should continue to watch the team.
Josh Reddick: Josh Reddick currently leads the team in almost all offensive categories and as of yesterday he had a .267/.336/.513 slash line with a .849 OPS and 132 OPS+. Reddick also leads the team in home runs with 14, has 30 RBI on the season and leads the team with a 2.3 rWAR.
Yoenis Cespedes: Yoenis Cespedes has unfortunately had some problems staying healthy so far, having landed on the DL already because of a hand injury and now is hampered with a hamstring injury, but when he is in the line up he is one of the more productive players on the team. On the season he has a .275/.338/.489 slash line with a .826 OPS and 126 OPS+, but since his return from his DL stint he has a .400/.423/.720 slash line with a 1.143 OPS and 3 2B over 26 plate appearances. He also has 6 HR and 26 RBI on the season with 8 2B and 4 SB.
Brandon Inge: With all the third base “problems” the A’s have had since Scott Sizemore landed on the DL, Brandon Inge has been a pleasant surprise for the A’s so far. Over 24 games with Oakland Inge has a .258/.350/.517 slash line with a .866 OPS with 6 HR, 5 2B and 26 RBI.
Brandon McCarthy: Like Cespedes, McCarthy has had his injury problems this season. He has landed on the DL once and has missed 2 starts, but when he’s healthy his been very good. Over 11 starts McCarthy has a 5-3 record with a 2.79 ERA, a 144 ERA+ and a 3.49 FIP. He also has a 6 SO/9, a 2.3 BB/9 and a 0.6 HR/9 rate
What’s Going Wrong:
Offense: The A’s offense has been very poor this season, they are almost last in all offensive categories in the entire league. They rank 28th in runs scored (219), 30th in batting average (.221), 29th in OBP (.296) and 30th in slugging (.353).
Closer role: Grant Balfour was named the closer coming into the season, but after blowing 2 games, Brian Fuentes replaced him as the closer. After blowing his 3rd save of the season last Friday he now has a 5.24 ERA on the season including a 9.3 H/9 and 2.0 BB/9 rate. Bob Melvin has opted to use the closer by committee strategy in save situations, Ryan Cook was successful in saving his first game yesterday, but did allow a hit and a walk in the ninth.
Tom Milone on the road: Tom Milone has been pleasantly successful at the Coliseum, he currently has a 4-1 record over 5 games started at home with a 0.98 ERA, a .207 BABIP and a 3.14 FIP. Unfortunately, Milone is a completely different pitcher on the road, he has a 2-4 record over 7 games on the road with a 6.35 ERA, a .328 BABIP and 5.52 FIP. On the road opponents are hitting .307 against him unlike at home where they are hitting only .186.
What to Expect:
The next time I will check in with the A’s it will be at or around the All-Star break. I expect that the A’s will be at the same point they are now; just struggling to stay out of last place. There are just too many things going wrong right now for the team that I do not think they are going to get back to a winning record.
(Note: This was written earlier today so some stats have changed after tonight’s game)