Want to get excited about baseball? Try this article from last week about your 2014 Oakland Athletics.
Yet, as pitchers and catchers prepare to report to spring training in Phoenix next week, Lew Wolff, the Athletics’ owner, said he could not be more excited. His team has won the last two American League West titles in the dumpy old Coliseum, and his general manager, Billy Beane, has engineered another sneaky-smart off-season.
Or this one, from yesterday:
Greater expectations will follow these 2014 Athletics as they march into Spring Training as two-time defending American League West champions.No longer is Oakland an afterthought, it seems, after stealing the division crown from heavyweights Texas and Los Angeles in back-to-back years. Yet the A's still might not be the favorites.
Or this hella cool chart from Grant Brisbee:
It's both annoying and unavoidable to talk about windows when discussing baseball teams. What's this team's window? Can they contend now? Should they wait a couple years until the minor-league cavalry arrives? Should they make seemingly silly moves now because all of their good players are over 30? What's their window? Gimme a window. What's the window? Window window window window.
So unless something very, very weird happens, your starting pitching rotation is as follows:
Your bullpen will likely be:
Jim Johnson (hi, new closer!)
Fernando Abad (placeholder until the return of Eric O'Flaherty in June)
Your outfield on most days is:
Your infield is:
Eric Sogard/Alberto Callaspo
Doing the catching (so they say):
Rounding out the roster:
That's 24; 12 pitchers, and 12 position players. The 25th man will likely belong to Nate Freiman, Stephen Vogt, or Daric Barton. I have always assumed that the A's would carry 3 catchers, but if Jaso is really back and healthy enough to catch, I think that roster spot has to go elsewhere. Which leaves the first base battle, which I think Freiman will win.
That's my 25-man roster, and I think the Spring would be a great success if everything goes exactly according to plan. Also, let's give Addison Russell some playing time. I'm okay without an exciting Spring. Let's save it for the regular season. Thoughts? Differing rosters? Let's hear it!