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They still don’t have a true star, which makes team building a lot harder because you have to get everything else right, but it does appear that the A’s have everything else right. This is basically a team with no marquee players, not even A prospects made good. I still don’t really understand how they are winning so many games, to be honest.
This is basically a team with no marquee players, not even A prospects made good. I still don’t really understand how they are winning so many games, to be honest.
They are getting great production out of spots in the lineup that don't normally contribute while having no one really tank for them.
I still don’t really understand how they are winning so many games, to be honest.
With Rosales gone there is nobody on the team who has received significant playing time who has compiled less than Chris Young's 89 OPS+.
Also, Josh Donaldson IS your 2013 AL MVP. It's amazing that a guy with just 79 games at 3b over five minor-league seasons could jump into the lineup and not only play the position - not only play it at a Gold Glove level - but also step up as the team's best hitter. Even if it's a fluke season, it's a hell of a fluke.
They've also had pretty good luck with health--especially Lowrie. And, of course, Josh Donaldson, who is now tied with Miguel Cabrera in rWAR+fWAR. And Donaldson, who is now tied with Miguel Cabrera in rWAR+fWAR.
You could say most of these same things about the Braves this year as well...well not the platooning part but the winning games without stars part.
Oddly, you can say it about the other best team in the AL. Boston's obviously got stars in the fame sense, but they've been winning with across-the-board contributions (their best bWAR guy is tied for 9th in the AL, and I doubt many could guess who it is on the first try).
It's probably Victorino since Sheehan did a piece on him a few weeks ago.
They drafted AJ Griffin and Dan Straily for the rotation, and it would seem it only a matter of time until these two and others (namely Parker) are part of the next generation of similar trades.
The platoon differential statistic is very interesting to me. They must have very flexible players to pull that off. And a whole bunch of catchers and infielders that can hit lefty.
The HBP is cheating, the umpires refusing to call the inside strike on guys who stand on top of the plate is incompetence. Either way it makes a mockery of the game.
I wonder if someone on the Red Sox suggested he start doing that again.
About Victorino crowding the plate - I'm a big Red Sox fan, but what Victorino does is outside of the spirit and letter of the rules. You are supposed to try to get out of the way of a pitch, if possible. Just this week, he has been hit by a pitch twice that I saw where he made ZERO effort to get out of the way. These are pitches which are a few inches off the plate, pitches close enough that a lefty with two strikes trying to protect the plate might foul off.
14 of Victorino's 17 HBPs have come in the 35 or so games since he gave up switch hitting.
Surprised Coco hasn't come up yet. He's had an odd career, and it's been great to see him get/stay relatively healthy, regain some of the offense he showed in Cleveland, and emerge as a veteran leader with the A's (their only position player over 30; his work with the team on basestealing was covered by I think Keri earlier this season). Nothing to back this up, but from a roster construction perspective I imagine that having someone who's been through it all and just keeps working his ass off helps set the tone in a clubhouse full of kids and journeymen.
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