The A’s lost their fifth consecutive game today. Good news? It’s spring, the results don’t matter. Bad news? The same problems that have plagued the A’s through spring thus far which just so happen to be the team’s weakness headed into the season.
The A’s biggest concern is starting pitching, and Spring Training is doing nothing thus far to alleviate those concerns. Kendall Graveman started today, going one inning, giving up four hits and four runs. He walked two and struck out none and ick, even for the biggest Spring skeptics, far from a promising performance. You live and you learn.
Kendall Graveman decided not to throw at all with yesterday’s offday, knowing there are more offdays built into the season this year. He says he’s not going to do that again, so he did learn something.— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) March 3, 2018
Glass half full: unless Graveman has severely changed, we shouldn’t worry much about his Spring. We know good players tinker before the season, and the numbers don’t correlate enough to really care. He’s got enough of a track record to deserve our optimism. Often times the result of Spring means ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. Definitely not panic time yet with Graveman, even if he and we aren’t happy with his performance thus far.
That means we should take A.J. Puk’s fantastic start to spring with a grain of salt, too. We shouldn’t get stoked about the fact he struck out three in three quick innings today, shouldn’t read too much into the fact he’s throwing oh so many strikes, shouldn’t watch this video on replay over and over and drool at his size and extension.
Puk looks awesome. He definitely, totally, categorically needs to start in the minor leagues even with this domination and even with how thin the A’s staff is at this moment in time. Crushing spring =/= to even being decent in the bigs, but we can start dreaming of a Sonny Gray like late season boost to the pitching staff if the stars align. Nothing but good news thus far from Puk.
The A’s starters were fairly quiet but much like will happen during the regular season, were propped up by the longball. Stephen Piscotty hit a two run bomb and Bruce Maxwell hit and opposite field solo shot. Good to see those guys get going.
I am a large skeptic of the Brandon Moss revival, but he had another nice day today and we keep getting tweets like this. A good spring doesn’t supersede a bad few regular seasons nor a roster chalk full of lefties but can’t ignore those who are in the trenches.
Brandon Moss may be earning a spot on the Opening Day roster. Two walks and an RBI single today. Has had a nice spring so far at the plate.— Martin Gallegos (@MartinJGallegos) March 3, 2018
Moss’s single knocked in the A’s fourth and final run. That just about did it for the A’s starters.
Pitching wise, things were ugly after Puk. Bobby Wahl gave up two runs on a dinger, Pagan gave up one on a dinger, Gossett gave up two on a dinger. Woof. Remarkably, the only person to not give up a dinger was Raul Alcantara which is a nice reminder that Spring isn’t predictive. Still, Gossett and Wahl will have to avoid the longball if they want to succeed. Something to work on the rest of spring.
The best piece of news
Melvin says Chapman is indeed a go for tomorrow.— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) March 3, 2018