New subscriber here after submitting my application for Athletics Nation. I just wanted to share some of my thoughts on the A's season thus far and how this week's trade deadline can turn the tide for how the rest of the season can go.
After the horrible season opener against the Astros and Dodgers, (in which I was there at the coliseum btw) that later turned into a miraculous 13 game winning streak. We see how the team has been inconsistent and it has reflected in the results. We usually see an A's team that has a strong second half of the season but this year could be different if some things do not change soon.
Of course, injuries have affected the team in a way where it has been one player after another. Especially players that have vital key roles in the team's dynamic. Luzardo, Rosenthal, Fiers, Piscotty, Pinder, etc. It is difficult to say where the team would be at now if some of these players were healthy however, we have also seen other players that have not been able to play at a consistent level week in and week out. That has been our current dilemma.
Don't get me wrong, our starting pitchers have been dealing and I have been proud of them. But location and speed needs to be perfected if we want a chance to have a postseason run. In regards to our bullpen, I suppose we can say that it has been our weakest point considering the A's have had the strongest bullpen in the league for the past few years. This season though, with the absence of a strong closer and a string of pitchers that have yet to prove themselves this year with the exception of Romo and Trevino which have stepped up big time. I think there is some serious work to be done these next last few months.
Lastly, our hitting lineup. I truly believe that these players are capable of being consistent real hitters. Every single one of them. I know they have struggled to score when we have runners on base and have been going out by watching the third strike go down the middle or getting called out multiple times at home by perfect throws/questionable base running. If the A's can get rid of these issues, we could all see the A's that we have been waiting for. However, there is more thing that needs to be done in order to create a solid second half team and make a post season run. That is of course, some extra bullpen arms and a bat or two that can also play right outfield. With the addition of Andrew Chafin from the Cubs, there is a certain level of optimism as this is a great start to what hopefully could be a trade deadline that helps the A's gain momentum. While there are also talks for the A's to trade for Richard Rodriguez from the Pirates, which would be great and would solidify the bullpen. I am certain that there has to be an at bat coming in as well that could fit in the lineup and help get the bats going when someone may be down bad.
We will have to hope that the front office can continue to pull some more strings and that by the end of Friday, we have a team that will only go up from here. It is necessary as the race in the AL West could be possibly be a three team race if the Mariners can keep up the pace. - Gerardo Gonzalez