Mmmm... sweet sweet centerfield.
This morning, the A's will play their 62nd game of the season. About 3 weeks ago, I wrote about the upcoming regression, and the A's proceeded to lose 9 straight games from that date forward.
So, today, I'm writing to you about the upcoming 15-game winning streak...
What that losing streak did is truly bring the A's back to their Pythagorean record: today they stand at 26-34 compared to their Pythag of 27-33. Baseball Prospectus has the A's at 0.4% chance of making the playoffs.
Is the season lost? That's up for you to decide. For me, I prefer to focus on goals the A's can have in these remaining 100 games. Here a couple I can think of after the jump
1. Figure out the outfield/DH:
Manny Ramirez's extra time in Sacramento must be a welcome pause for Beane and Forst, as it puts a hard decision off for another day. But, if Manny doesn't come up as the DH, the A's should seriously consider bringing Chris Carter up for that extended look he's never gotten. I like Jonny Gomes' whole Petaluma thing, but there can only be one right-handed DH-type who can sort of play defense. I would vote to cut him in favor of Carter and have Carter finish out of the year as the everyday DH from that point forward.
1a. Trade Coco Crisp... for something. I'm not sure I really care what kind of prospects come back for Crisp. In fact, I'm not sure I care if we even get anything back. But, Crisp plays good defense, is an effective base-stealer, and makes good celebratory handshakes. Some contender will find this valuable, especially if the A's also kick them some money in the process.
This would allow for my preferred everyday outfield alignment of Smith-Cespedes-Reddick, with Cowgill and Rosales as the 4th and 5th outfielders. Any number of capable outfielders from Sacramento could be called up if necessary due to injury, including Taylor or Moss.
2. Trade Balfour/Fuentes: It's not that I think these guys are incredibly bad. Balfour has pitched better lately, and Fuentes can still be an effective bullpen arm with his sneaky delivery. But, these players don't have any place on a team not going anywhere. Or, thought of another way, I point to you to my tweet post-Friday's loss:
I'm okay with losing games. But if the A's are going to lose can they lose with young guys instead of old vets?
The current bullpen consists of Balfour, Blevins, Cook, Doolittle, Fuentes, Miller, and Scribner. This is not including Norberto and FDLS, injured and yips-y, respectively, but likely a part of the bullpen in the future. Removing Balfour and Fuentes from the mix will at least allow for the A's to figure out who can handle an MLB role in 2013.
3. Bring up Norris for a cup-of-coffee around mid-August. Let him study under Suzuki as he once did under Kendall. This will allow him to prepare for possible ascension to the starting role in 2013.
What is your wish list? Any goals for the balance of the season?
Join me for a gamethread around 12:45. Travis Blackley will face an old foe, former Angel Joe Saunders. Contrary to popular belief, I do think it's nice to win sometimes, and this would be a good one to get.