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Thursday, April 11, 2013

Reiter: A’s going deep to lead charge for change yet again

Part of the reason for Oakland’s intentional surplus was to try to approximate the production of its deeper-pocketed competitors, on a payroll of about $60 million, by the establishment of platoons. “We said, OK, if we can put together a 25-man roster of depth, maybe you build a platoon in two or three spots that ultimately gives you the production of a $12- to $15 million player,” explains assistant general manager David Forst. Bob Melvin, the A’s manager, intended to orchestrate at least four lefty-righty platoons every day, with plenty of movement even among them. During their AL-best 6-2 start, the club has already had 12 position players appear in at least three games.

But the central reason for all of the additional starting-caliber regulars was due to a refusal to imagine the best-case scenario, and a commitment to planning for the worst. “I think we’re going to be prepared for anything,” says Melvin.

 

Everyone’s Diamond Mind baseball strategy has come to life!

Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 11, 2013 at 08:35 AM | 16 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: jinx, moneyball

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   1. Bourbon Samurai in Asia Posted: April 11, 2013 at 10:24 AM (#4410631)
Is Nakajima going to be worth anything at all this year?
   2. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: April 11, 2013 at 10:25 AM (#4410632)
I'd imagine this is easier in the AL when you don't have as many pinch hit situations due to the pitcher's spot in the lineup. I'd also imagine this means that the A's are only carrying 11 pitchers, but I haven't checked and am talking out of my ass.

I'm intrigued! Now if only someone could create an entire pitching staff of relievers with a mopup knuckleballer for games that get out of hand early to save wear and tear on the pitchers.
   3. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 11, 2013 at 10:34 AM (#4410641)
Is Nakajima going to be worth anything at all this year?

Not sure, but probably not. Things might get more interesting around the all star break when Grant Green comes up. But, aside from the A's, I think it's interesting that this may become a trend in team building. It's kind of back to the future, though, as good managers have always done this.
   4. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: April 11, 2013 at 10:35 AM (#4410642)
Also, TFA is as much about the importance of depth as it is the potential for low cost production via platoons. Which is something that seems pretty important to me, it always surprises me how often even high payroll, well put together teams end up running out the Eduardo Nunez's of the world.
   5. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 11, 2013 at 10:59 AM (#4410667)
Also, TFA is as much about the importance of depth as it is the potential for low cost production via platoons. Which is something that seems pretty important to me, it always surprises me how often even high payroll, well put together teams end up running out the Eduardo Nunez's of the world.

I think the depth is huge. I love Reddick, but he's no sure thing to continue hitting well but now he's backed up by Chris Young. Nakajima was a big wild card but Jed Lowrie offered protection. They just recently traded for Stephen Vogt just in case Derek Norris really can't hit. This isn't great for the players, maybe, but it makes the team much more robust. Oddly, Nassim Taleb's last book is about this kind of robustness against chaos. That sounds like the kind of book the A's FO would have read. (Yes, I'm reaching.)
   6. Danny Posted: April 11, 2013 at 11:04 AM (#4410671)
The A's were carrying 12 pitchers and platooning at 4 positions to start the year.

C: Jaso/Norris
1B: Moss/Freiman
2B: Sogard/Sizemore
OF/DH: Smith/Young (less than a full platoon)

Parrino has taken Sizemore's place, and they're now playing Moss and Young everyday with Reddick out.

The A's have two kinds of depth with their position players. They have five good options in the OF, so they can absorb Reddick's injury for awhile (as long as Chris Young isn't as bad in RF as he was in his first game there). Then they have a ton of 1 WAR-type middle infielders. So with 3 presumed middle infielders from the opening day roster on the DL (Nakajima, Rosales, Sizemore), they've filled their spots and still have Weeks and Green at AAA.
   7. philphan Posted: April 11, 2013 at 11:13 AM (#4410689)
So, Oakland As experts, please enlighten me: What is the story with Jemile Weeks? I thought he was going to be a solid 2Bman for you guys.

Also, did Oakland ever really decide what to do with Green--SS or CF?
   8. dr. scott Posted: April 11, 2013 at 11:19 AM (#4410696)
Lowrie has looked awful at SS, but he's hitting 400, so I guess I can't complain too much.

Crazy game last night. I was watching the game at a local bar and would occasionally look down to check email or send a text, and every time I looked up the As had got another hit. I think I missed most of the scoring one inning. I love Joe Blanton.
   9. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 11, 2013 at 11:19 AM (#4410698)
Also, did Oakland ever really decide what to do with Green--SS or CF?

2b now! I don't know what happened to Weeks. I don't think he's hopeless but I don't think his future is in Oakland. Maybe he can be part of a package for Chase Utley? Please?
   10. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: April 11, 2013 at 11:37 AM (#4410729)
Nate Freiman (righty half of the 1b platoon, for now) has four years of really weirdly consistent minor-league stats:
BA from .288 to .298
OBP from .354 to .370
SLG from .457 to .502

Here's hoping the A's have discovered the 6'8", white, righty-only Eddie Murray.
   11. philphan Posted: April 11, 2013 at 11:45 AM (#4410742)
Maybe he can be part of a package for Chase Utley? Please?


No, but I will trade you Ryan Howard for him. Ryan can play 2B just as well as he plays 1B--I promise!
   12. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 11, 2013 at 11:46 AM (#4410747)
No, but I will trade you Ryan Howard for him. Ryan can play 2B just as well as he plays 1B--I promise!

Hmm. There is something about your shifty eyes I don't quite trust...
   13. Justin T., Director of Somethin Posted: April 11, 2013 at 11:58 AM (#4410765)
I don't know how things specifically went bad for Weeks but I do know he can't get around on anything. Fastball in a fastball count and he usually bloops it down the line the opposite way, at best. Not gonna work.
   14. Walt Davis Posted: April 11, 2013 at 03:50 PM (#4411027)
I'd forgotten about Seth Smith. The A's are doing some funny stuff out there with all those OFs. Trading for Chris Young and paying him decent money to be on the bench is just damn weird. I know he'll get his 450-550 PA before the season's out but surely there's a team out there who would give them a legit 2B or 3B for Chris Young (or Crisp or Reddick).*

* Yes, Smith is ideally the one you'd trade but nobody will give you anything of real value for him.
   15. Hecubot Posted: April 11, 2013 at 04:54 PM (#4411095)
So, Oakland As experts, please enlighten me: What is the story with Jemile Weeks? I thought he was going to be a solid 2Bman for you guys.


His rookie year he hit for average, got on base, was a good baserunner (though poor base stealer with a maddening penchant for stealing the bag and then sliding past it to be tagged out) and played a passable defense.

In 2011 his batting average plummeted and his defense got worse.

Last year, most people were shocked when Weeks was sent down, and even more shocked to have Pennington moved over to second, but it really exposed how poor Weeks' defense had been. Penny's arm strength was responsible for so many more plays than Weeks was capable of making. I think the A's have soured on Weeks, in part because he has no positional flexibility. He's only valuable if he can play a good second base, and he doesn't.

I think Weeks could still be a useful offensive player but I think the A's are shopping him. I think they've shifted their interest to Grant Green who has been getting most of the starts at second in Sacramento. Green's a better hitter (especially for power) and has more positional flexibility than Weeks. Weeks has a higher OBP and has more speed.

Contrary to some rumors, Weeks has not had a bad attitude about it. He's had family members carp about him being sent down, but he's said all the right things and has worked hard to improve his defense and game. He's coachable. But I don't know that he's ever going to have the arm strength to be better than a marginal defender.
   16. Hecubot Posted: April 11, 2013 at 04:58 PM (#4411099)
Trading for Chris Young and paying him decent money to be on the bench is just damn weird. I know he'll get his 450-550 PA before the season's out but surely there's a team out there who would give them a legit 2B or 3B for Chris Young (or Crisp or Reddick).


Chris Young was obtained for a few reasons. He murders lefties so he was brought in to replace Gomes' platoon strength. He's a better defender than Gomes so it was figured that he could cover all the outfield positions. And they control him for a few more years so they can either plug him into CF if they lose Coco to free agency, or they can use him as a valuable trade piece to a team that needs a plus defender in CF. Also, we didn't spend a lot to get him. As with our pickups of Smith and Reddick, we found players that we thought were valuable that other teams didn't seem to have a place for.

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