The Oakland Athletics have played 10 games so far in the 2015 MLB season. That's a nice round number, and for a team as new as this one it seems like a good time for a quick progress report. On Sunday, we looked at some larger trends on the team, and on Thursday Nico targeted three A's players for deeper looks: closer Tyler Clippard, starting pitcher Kendall Graveman, and rookie hitter Mark Canha. Later, Jeremy took a snapshot of the whole division. Now it's time for the rest of the roster, before we get started avenging the 2014 club against the Kansas City Royals tonight.
Here's a quick word on each of the 12 pitchers on the current 25-man roster. Hitters can be found here.
Sonny Gray -- He's been lights-out so far (0.59 ERA), and he's doing it without his normal strikeouts. Is that small-sample noise, or is he pitching to more contact on purpose? According to Brooks Baseball, he's throwing his sinker more than last year, at the expense of his curvy/slidery breaking ball; however, the extra contact batters are making has come in the form of flyballs. There's not enough data to come to any kind of conclusions, so for now just sit back and enjoy the ride -- Sonny has shown he can get this hot for a month at a time, or longer.
Scott Kazmir -- To put it bluntly, the guy above with the 0.59 ERA hasn't been the best pitcher on the team, which is simply amazing. Kazmir has been even better, despite his relatively bloated ERA (0.69), given that he has struck out 18 batters in 13 innings while allowing only four hits. He started out hot last year too and earned an All-Star berth because of it, so even though the hits will come up and the Ks will drop there is no reason why Kaz can't keep pitching like a star for the foreseeable future. He has the track record and the peripherals that say his strong start isn't a fluke (well, 0.69 is never sustainable, but 2.69 would still be pretty awesome). The only thing to keep an eye on is that he's been visited by the trainer in both starts so far, but each time he settled down and kept pitching well.
Jesse Hahn -- Hahn has shown that he can dominate at times, as he did when he carried a no-hitter through five innings against the Mariners. But, as with any young pitcher, consistency might be an issue -- in the sixth inning against Seattle he gave up some hard contact and got hung with a crooked number. Granted, that 4-spot was aided by an egregiously missed strike three call on Austin Jackson and a huge error by Josh Reddick, but Hahn didn't do a lot to help himself either. The good news is that the positive has outweighed the negative so far, and there's still every reason to believe in this guy. One thing I would like to see is an increase in strikeouts (and swinging strikes overall). Even though he generates a lot of ground balls, the amount of contact he's giving up will always make it tough to get through a whole game unscathed; the next guy on the list seems better-suited to survive with high contact rates. However, Hahn's track record of a K per inning (minors and Majors) provides no reason to worry
Kendall Graveman -- Nico already did a perfect job summing up Graveman, and I have nothing else to add. Check out what he wrote!
Drew Pomeranz -- He looked great in his first game, but he also had a five-run lead by the second (and an 11-run lead by the fourth). Still, there is something to be said for staying on your game with a big lead -- between the reduced pressure and all the long breaks in the dugout while your own lineup bats around, it's not as easy as it sounds. I unfortunately missed his second start, so I'll wait to see more on Pom.
Tyler Clippard -- Again, Nico nailed it. Go read his.
Eric O'Flaherty -- The ERA is high, but look out for O'Fats. One year further removed from his Tommy John surgery, he's getting hitters to chase out of the zone like crazy and he's piling up the swinging strikes. His big mistake so far was a three-run homer by Rickie Weeks, and to be fair hitting homers off of lefties is the singular reason Weeks is in the Majors right now. Otherwise, the grounders have been off the charts (to go along with the Ks), so unless he proves extra susceptible to homers in his post-TJS life (and there is absolutely no reason to expect he will, give his career track record and his pitching style), you should write off that 6.23 ERA for now. You can start getting excited about him now, or you can wait until everyone else notices him. My gut tells me he's gonna have a big year.
Dan Otero -- Other than missing his location to Nelson Cruz on one crucial pitch, I've barely noticed Otero. Honestly, he's pitched mostly in blowouts so far, so let's check back in on him later when everyone is a bit more settled in.
Fernando Abad -- He's carrying over his success from last year, so far. He did lose a game against the Mariners by giving up a run in the 11th, but given that he'd just thrown a scoreless 10th inning before that I think you could levy some blame on the lineup as well. Nothing new to report on Abad yet, which is good news because the status quo was awesome.
R.J. Alvarez -- He's faced 20 batters, resulting in 9 Ks, 2 BB, 8 flies, and one liner. Two of the eight flies left the yard for homers. You wanted a power pitcher? That's a power pitcher, baby, with a 95 mph average on his 4-seam fastball. He busts hitters inside all day and his control isn't as bad as I feared it might be this early in his career, but for now he's still gonna miss some spots and some of those mistakes are gonna go a long way.
Evan Scribner -- The last man in the pen currently leads the entire unit in innings, with 7⅔ already in four outings. He recorded 11 outs in one game, which was more than Oakland's starter that day (Graveman, 10). The only runs he's allowed so far have been on solo homers by Adrian Beltre and Luis Valbuena, and otherwise he's mopped as effectively as he ever has in Oakland. It's a nice luxury when the guy in the back of the pen who is only there to clean up messes also happens to carry a 2.35 ERA, a strikeout per inning, and an 8.0 K/BB rate. Maybe he'll calm back down, or maybe his relatively new slider (as labeled by Brooks and Fangraphs) will help him finally make the leap out of the janitor's closet and into the middle innings.
Jesse Chavez -- He hasn't pitched much yet, but at least he's retired 9-of-11 batters faced.
Sources: Brooks Baseball, Fangraphs, Baseball-Reference, ESPN