A's Staff after one month. who's who and what's what.

Well It didn't take long for our Oakland Athletics to show that last year wasn't a fluke. Oakland's staff leads all the Major League's in many pitching category's and is top 3-7 in many more.  The greatness of our staff starts with our starting pitchers and what's even better is that we are paying our six starters about 7.5 million between them. To contrast this the next best staff on the AL is paying about $50 million (Angles) and one of the best staff's in the N.L. (PHI) is paying $65 million. And our staff is deep, our 5th (McCarthy) and 6th (Ross) starters are putting up some very nice number's.

I'm not going to talk about how we are squandering all this cheap greatness with our offense and defense right now but just give you the numbers. I'm going to give you stats as a staff to try and find out our weakness and some stats of our starting pitchers that are top 25 in a category.




Stat                                       A's               better/worse than leader                                              Worst Staff


ERA-  Major League- 2.76-   First            +.16    2010-FIRST IN A.L. 3.56                                  MIN      5.06

ERA- as starter-         2.76-   First            +.41    HUGE LEAD OVER SECOND PLACE.           CUBS   6.12

ERA-vr right                2.61   First            + .25   BIG LEAD OVER SECOND.                            BAL      5.46

            Right Handed hitters are 70%-84% of MLB hitters ~14% SWITCH HITTERS

ERA behind in count  3.01     First         +.14  Nice. Someone's calling a good game            BAL     9.00

ERA GRASS              2.60     First            +.32                                                                           MIN     4.99 

Caught Stealing          17       First            +5    Next best team 12.   I will credit the pitcher


Ok- is anyone going to tell me its because we pitch in the Coliseum?

HOME-                     2.64    3rd          -.07               ARZ 5,27

AWAY-                      2.86    3rd          -.31               HOU 6.31

I'm not going to look up the other  stadiums we played in on the road to see if they are pitcher's parks are not. Third is good enough for me.


ERA- Reliever             2.78    7th       -.52     GOOD ENOUGH                               DET      5.5

ERA-VR LEFT            3.02   6th         -.37    NO FLAWS HERE                             ARZ 5.31

ERA RISP-                  9.16   3rd         -1.36   Really Really Good                           MIN 13.64

ERA-late innings         1.82   3rd         -.92    WE SEEM TO BE CLUTCH              BAL 7.45

           I know the argument's discounting "clutch" hitting but what about clutch pitching anyone?


Ok-what about the stats that might tell us what we are really doing to succeed. I'm going to get lazy here and just give you ranks and worsts

                                  A's              -------------------------------------------------------------Worst

K/BB                          7th             very good                                                          (MIN)

BB/9                           8th            good                                                                  (CUB)

K/9                             13th          This doesn't seem to be important to us.           (MIN)

HR/9                           5th            Now were cooking.                                           (ARZ)

LOB%                        3rd            hello                                                                   (CWS)

GB%                          3rd            This Might be our key to success                      (NYY)


How about if we discount ERA and look deeper:

FIP                            4th            (MIN)

WAR                         4th           (MIN)

tERA                         5th            (KCR)

BIBIP                         15th          (HOU)  No regression either way to be expected from this


Our staff has had two problems:

1) EXTRA INNINGS         9.64                     27th/Last           -9.64 to 8 teams.

2) UNEARNED RUNS     tied for                 Most/Last            with  STL AT 19.    (ATL 3)

FYI-    D.Baron + K.Kouz =  11 errors.


Why are our pitcher's succeeding? All stat's are MLB


B/9- Brandon McCarthy- 1st in all of baseball. Brett Anderson 15th

GB/FB- Brett Anderson 1st. T.Cahill 17th

FB% - Brett Anderson 1st T. Cahill 14TH

K/BB- Brett Anderson- 16th

HR/9-Brandon McCarthy-11th

AVG- Trevor Cahill -18th

ERA- Trevor Cahill- 6th  Gio Gonzalez 25th

FIP- Brandon McCarthy-8th.  T. Cahill-23rd

WAR- Brandon McCarthy 10th, Travor Cahill 21st

FYI-Our best WAR reliever is Brad Ziegler.


What are they throwing that makes them special? All stats are MLB. Example: Gio throws the second most CurveBalls as a % of his pitches than anyone else in MLB.

CB% Gio G. 2nd, Brandon McCarthy 10th

SL% Brett Anderson -1st

CH% Trevor Cahill 15th

XX%  Gio G. 18th (xx=unidentified pitches) If the experts that watch the game can't figure it out, that seems like a good sign to me.

If someone want's to look up leading individual WAR per pitch type that would be cool.


Alright then. We were great last year.  We have started out even better this year.  Hopefully our problems with Extra Innings and Unearned Runs are SSS that can stabilize by the end of the year.  With the depth of our 5th and 6th starters being really nice and all our youngsters getting more years of experience, we should have a top staff for many years to come, even if it won't be near as cheap.

Brandon McCarthy is an absolute Gem of a find. $1,000,000 bucks. Top 10 WAR pitcher in MLB right now. Who's responsible for finding him? He's a FA next year so we may think about trying to sign him to a three year deal now before he keep's up his success and prices himself out of the Athletics budget.



Team Reality check. Think our Offense is bad this year?

What people may have not realized yet is we are loosing just about every position player starter next year to FA. 

We are loosing 4 of our starting outfielders, (Crisp, Willingham, Dejesus, Jackson,) our DH, our 2nd Baseman (please) and most likely our 3B next year (doubt we will pay him a last year of Arb rate even if he does come around or make it through the year.)

The three guys not going to be FA:

Our 1B is OPSing .630 and should expect improvement. Our shortstop is at .600 and was .670 last year. Our Catcher OPSed .669 last year and isn't much higher now (.700) or won't be by the end of the year when he's played his 140th game. 

With the sucktitude of our farm system that's a whole lot of hitter's (ALL OF THEM) we need to start working on or be ready to upgrade.  We may resign a few of these guys, a few may come around and be keepers.  We will have money next year but we know the likely-hood of getting FA hitter's to come here.  The chances any AAA guys will contribute their first few years is not very good. At some point soon we need to pull a few triggers and upgrade our offensive to have any chance this year and have any players next year.

MIN, BAL, CHI and ARZ have some really bad staff's right now. Minnesota has a payroll of 115,000,000 and might want to shed some, not that they would be likely to make a bad trade.  Would anyone take Luke Scott and his Career .850 OPS for a few years? ARZ has a bevy of hitters to choose from. Most of all, I would love to get Starlin Castro and move him to 2nd/3rd if SS isn't an option.

I love our staff but I say it's never to early to trade pitching for hitting with our offensive woes and hardcore need for position players next year.

End reality check


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