New A's minor league site coming soon
And be patient here at Condition Oakland, soon I'll have (I hope) a much better looking site at its own domain. It's just a matter of (again, I hope) a few weeks before it becomes a reality.
An Oakland A's blog with a slant towards stats and focus on who's hot, who's not, and minor league prospects.
At the time I was with the Phillies, there were major differences in the philosophies. The Phillies seemed to draft more high-risk, high-reward guys...guys that threw hard but needed a lot of refinement to get to the upper levels. The A's tended to draft more polished pitchers who weren't necessarily projected to be future aces but were much closer to helping out a big league ballclub.
I, personally, think that translates into better minor league teams - and, thus, better player morale. The Phillies short-season team in Batavia, NY, hasn't had a winning record since 2000. In 2003, when I was there (I pitched 6 innings of relief that summer), we were 30-45. Conversely, every team I've been on with the A's has made the playoffs (excluding my one-month stint in Sacramento last year - and that team finished 12 games over .500).
Many, FINALLY, are asking the question why Duchscherer shouldn't get the ball every 5th day as a starter. Previously the A's were about exposing him to hitters a 3rd time through the batting order because his "stuff" didn't lend itself to the starter's role. When your breaking ball, change-up, fastball, make-up, pickoff move, defense and hair is better than Barry Zito all that is left to judge is what arm they fling the ball at the plate. The A's need to lock-up Duchscherer long term and they need to do it now.
And over at The Pastime, my soon to be writing partner (more on that in my next post) has a post on Guys to Root For: Marcus McBeth
Street has been particularly proud of his weight gain as he pushed 200 pounds. He checks daily and noted a one-pound increase one morning. At a reporters' behest, he took off his shoes, and was precisely at 200.
Joe Blanton, whose weight always seems to be a focal point, told Street that the scale in the A's weight room is actually heavy by 7 pounds, because he said he was 247 at the doctor's office and 254 at the A's complex. He and Street decided to go whichever weight suited them best, so Blanton is sticking with 247 and Street with 200. Or 201 with his shoes on.
After reading Mychael Urban’s interview with Marcus McBeth, the first selection in the “GTRF” category was easy. McBeth, as many Oakland fans already know, was an outfielder selected in the famous 2002 “Moneyball” draft. After three years in the system carrying subpar offensive numbers, McBeth was on his way out of baseball. He approached his pitching coach, and asked if he could work his way towards converting to being a pitcher. McBeth worked his butt off to make the move to the mound, and he’s been far more successful on the rubber than he was at the plate.
McBeth, out of nowhere, developed what could accurately be described as the best changeup in the Oakland system.
Also be sure to click on Mychael Urban's interview of Marcus McBeth.
So who will be participating in this high-stakes game of musical chairs? To discover that, let's work backwards. Who's a lock to make the 25-man roster? I'll assume that the A's decide to carry 12 pitchers out of Spring Training, for the sake of argument.
- - -
Pitching Locks (9 out of 12):
Fielding Locks (9 out of 13):
- - -That leaves us with three pitching slots, and four openings in the field.
Stewart has dealt with plantar fasciitis problems in both feet over the pastIt's a pretty simplistic assumption that Stewart will be Payton's replacement, but really, what else could he be? He is an injury prone player who would most likely benefit from limited playing time as opposed to being a starter. Like Payton, he can play all 3 OF positions competently although the bulk of his time has been spent in LF, where I assume he will most likely split his time with Kielty, barring simultaneous injuries to both Kotsay and Bradley. The injury risk aside, I don't think the A's could have gone out and found someone more like Payton if they tried. Look at the offensive comparison:
three years. The injury limited him to 92 games in 2004. The A's were among a
number of teams that were on hand to watch the injury-prone Stewart work out in
Miami last week.
The right-handed hitting Stewart would join an outfield
that now consists of starters Nick Swisher, Mark Kotsay and Milton Bradley.
Stewart and Bobby Kielty would give the A's two solid outfield backups.