I apologize for not offering a longer, more substantial post today, but my wrists and arms, battered and bruised from typing "NEEDS MOAR RUNZ!!!!!!!!" over and over, are asking for some rest. However, here are a few conversation starters to tide us over until the A's play tonight -- and yes, the A's play tonight -- at 5:05pm...
* As the trading deadline approaches, the A's need to be thinking about how they plan to produce an OF in 2012. Josh Willingham, Coco Crisp, and David DeJesus are all potential free agents after 2011. Along with keeping any of them with the idea of trying to extend them beyond 2011, or trading them in July, remember that the A's could also offer arbitration and let the player accept.
I'm thinking of Willingham in particular, whom I wouldn't be as comfortable committing to long-term as I would be keeping for one more season. Aside from "he who will not be named because he didn't smile enough," Willingham is the most legitimate slugger the A's have had since Frank Thomas in 2006.
Question: How do you want to see the A's handle their 3 main OFers?
* After the All-Star break, the A's will likely have 7 starting pitchers who can lay claim to a spot in the rotation: Trevor Cahill, Gio Gonzalez, Rich Harden, Brandon McCarthy, Guillermo Moscoso, Josh Outman, and Tyson Ross. Who should land where? Personally, I see 2011 now as a year strictly to build for the future so I'm pretty disinterested in Harden. I'd like to see Moscoso stay in the rotation partly to reward him for his excellent performance so far and partly to learn more what he really can or cannot do over time. I'm not a huge believer in Outman, who I suspect is best as a luxury fill-in, not as a core member of your rotation. His innings also need to monitored coming off injury.
So while it's arguably not the best move for right now, I'd be ok with coming out of the break starting Gonzalez, Cahill, McCarthy, Ross, and Moscoso, putting Harden in long relief and Outman at AAA, with the latter two ready to step into the rotation anytime. What do you favor, and why?
* Chris Carter has looked increasingly tentative at the plate, and while I don't ever want him to lose his patience and plate discipline, I wish someone would take him aside and emphasize that he needs to stop trying to survive at bats and start looking for a pitch to punish the crap out of. He's here to hit the ball hard and far, and his walks should come as a result of pitchers' fear. He's a mild mannered guy who needs to swing like hittable pitches are his personal b...OK I'm not going to write that on the front page, but you get my drift.
Carter has looked surprisingly comfortable and competent at 1B. I'd like to see him play 1B every day, be encouraged to be a little mean at the plate, and see what he can do. What do you want to see from Carter?
Weeks, Sizemore, and Carter...There could be the core of something good here...Could be. See you at 5:05pm for "the game that never was"...