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Early Spring Training Rosterbation

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Kurt Suzuki's Evil Twin (as seen by the Goatee)
Kurt Suzuki's Evil Twin (as seen by the Goatee)

We are about a week into Spring Training, and its time to see what that information can show us. Can we tell if Bob Geren has shown his hand when it comes to his 2011 Lineups? Or perhaps how the A’s view certain players compared to others? Let us take a look.

First, the starting lineups for the A’s this past week.

3/5 Giants vs Oak

3/4 Texas vs Oak

3/3 A's vs Brewers

3/2 Indians vs Oak

3/1 Reds vs Oak

Crisp, CF

DeJesus, RF

Crisp, CF

Ellis, 2B

CF Crisp

Barton, 1B

Suzuki, C

Barton, 1B

Suzuki, C

1B Barton

Ellis, 2B

Jackson, 1B

WIllingham, LF

DeJesus, RF

LF Willingham

Willingham, DH

Matsui, DH

Jackson, DH

Matsui, DH

RF Jackson

LaRoche, 3B

Kouzmanoff, 3B

LaRoche, 3B

Kouzmanoff, 3B

DH Carter

Taylor, RF

Carson, CF

Carson, RF

Carter, 1B

C Powell

Powell, C

Carter, LF

Timmons, 2B

Taylor, LF

2B LaRoche

Choice, CF

Tolleson, SS

Donaldson, C

Miller, CF

3B Timmons

Sogard, SS

Weeks, 2B

Sogard, SS

Tolleson, SS

SS Sogard

 

If we start from the top and work down, it looks like a few things are aparent at a glance.

The first is that Coco Crisp sill be our leadoff hitter, as he has led off every time he’s been in the lineup.

We also see how Geren views Suzuki, DeJesus and Barton. Geren seems to be viewing DeJesus in a similar vien to Crisp, although he does have DeJesus batting third once, with Ellis paradoxically leading off, and Suzuki in a similar skillset to Barton. Connor Jackson also seems to be held in high regard, batting 3rd or 4th whenever he is in the lineup. Kouzmanoff has fallen down in the lineup to 5th whenever he is in the lineup, and only ahead of those who would not make the team. Ellis has moved around, batting 3rd and 1st in his two appearences.

So lets put together what we observe.

  • ·         Geren views Crisp and DeJesus as leadoff hitters.
  • ·         Geren views Barton and Suzuki as #2 Hitters.
  • ·         Geren views Matsui and Willingham as middle of the order hitters, with Willingham ahead of Matsui.
  • ·         Geren views Jackson as a legitimate hitter, batting him 3rd and 4th when he is in the lineup.
  • ·         Geren views Kouzmanoff as a down in the lineup hitter, hitting him 5th ahead of players who are not going to make the team, or are backups.
  • ·         Geren views Ellis all over the place.

Now, lets put what we know together.

First, it seems apparent that Geren views Crisp as the leadoff hitter. Daric Barton appears in the 2nd slot when he is in the lineup, but so has Suzuki, but I think we can assume that Suzuki will appear lower in the lineup due to the days that he shows up in the lineup and who does not (Barton, Willingham, Crisp), and it is likely that Geren wanted to get Suzuki at bats and get out quicker. If we move the rest down, we have DeJesus likely to end up in the 3rd slot, followed by Willingham and Matsui.

These are the easy picks. But we still have 4 more players to rank, including a players that havent played in any games yet; Ellis, Pennington, Kouzmanoff and Suzuki.

If we take Geren’s handling of Suzuki and Ellis at the top of the order as an indication for preference, his pushing of Kouzmanoff to the essentially bottom of the order of regulars, and the hypothesis that the team would place Pennington in the bottom of the lineup due to injury concerns, and where he hit last year, we can round out the lineup.

Here, my good AN’ers, is my prediction, barring injury, of the 2011 A’s Lineup:

CF Coco Crisp
1B Daric Barton
RF David DeJesus
LF Josh Willingham
DH Hideki Matsui
C1 Kurt Suzuki
2B Mark Ellis
3B Kevin Kouzmanoff
SS Cliff Pennington

Other things we have learned:

  • ·         Geren is playing DeJesus in Right Field, and Willingham in Left Field, indicating the way he wants them to go.
  • ·         Jackson is in the lineup most days, playing DH, RF and 1B.
  • ·         Eric Sogard is playing SS, with Tolleson the other two days, indicating that Sogard will likely make the team as the team’s backup infielder.
  • ·         In terms of callups or Lineup order, the A’s seem to somehow view Carson then Carter then Taylor as their way to go.