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Monday Morning Open Thread: Biggest Area of Need?

With the off season upon us, where do the A's need to improve?

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Another year, another Verlander killing us in the playoffs. The Tigers match up way too well against us, that is for sure. The A's are a team that strikes out, and the Tigers induce those strikeouts, both with power pitches and a generous strikezone that does not translate well to our stance of taking pitches.

But, in the regular season, that worked for us. We upped our total to 96 wins, primarily due to no-bad month (read: April and May). If we operate under the not-too-far-fetched assumption that next year, we will again win the division, somehow have a better record than the Tigers and their pythagorean vexing ways, and face them again in the first round, what do we need to do to improve this team?

We have a lot of players coming back, we have a good offense (though one that could be better), and we have a mix of young, injury prone starters.

What would you say that the team needs to improve on? Get specific. Get your analysis hat on.

Do we need better defense at key positions? Do we need better offense from RH or LH lineups? Are we just really bad at hitting anything but the fastball? Health issues? Overtaxing the bullpen? Or is it that we don't use splits correctly, using pure LH v RH matchups instead of going with the players, pitchers or hitters, natural split, such as Daric Barton hitting LHP better than RHP.