It’s the weekend, Athletics Nation!
The Athletics’ 2022 season is now just over a week in, with the team sitting 4-4 after Friday’s loss to the Blue Jays. With only 5% of the season complete, most would think that it is way too early to have an idea of how the things are trending.
I say, why not? Let’s take a ridiculously too soon look at the good and bad that small sample sizes can offer, and use them to portend the A’s future through absurd extrapolation.
Good news, based off current trends the Athletics should finish the season with an even .500 record! 81 wins is way above projections made only a week ago, a huge boon for a team expected to be sitting sub-70. Overall, the A’s bats will be outstanding through the rest of the season, ranking 8th overall in batting average and OPS. With trends continuing the A’s should be sitting with around a +182 run differential, so look forward to the squad pouring on the runs when they’re hot.
Despite the excitement from A’s fans on being reunited with Stephen Vogt, it looks like he will go the rest of the season without a single hit. While he will manage to work a walk every two games or so, getting the bat to the ball just won’t work out for Vogt. Same goes for Kevin Smith who’s managed to barely make it near the Mendoza line. Despite appearing in every game of the season, we should plan for Smith to only have 85 hits in the expected 631 at bats for an every-day player.
Look out for Seth Brown and Chad Pinder, who are both on pace for 40 home run seasons. If folks were worried a loss of production in the batters box with both Matts being traded, fear no longer as Brown and Pinder will cover the difference easily. 33-year-old Elvis Andrus looks to have a late-career resurgence, playing a full 162, getting 165 hits, scoring 162 runs, blasting 20 homers, and walking 80 times.
Looking at the rotation, there’s a dark horse starter that would pan out to be unstoppable. Paul Blackburn is headed toward a Cy Young candidate season, including managing to not give up a single earned run. Paced at 160 innings over a flawless 32 starts, Blackburn would be held to only 96 hits and 64 walks, though none of those hitters would score on Paul’s charge. Finally and most astoundingly, Sean Murphy will hit 20 triples, catcher’s legs be damned.
These predictions are made tongue-in-cheek, and obviously we won’t actually see most, if not all of these outcomes pan out. Smith has already picked up his pace with three hits in the last two games, and an actual hitless season for Vogt is nigh-impossible. We can hope that some of the less drastic small sample size projections do pan out though. The A’s would be much better off in 2022 with Pinder and Brown slugging hard along with Andrus bouncing back. Blackburn takes the mound today, and we can cheer him on to keep the Jays’ offence at bay like he did to the Rays.
I do expect 20 triples from Murphy though. Hustle those buns.
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- Kawahara: A’s place three players on restricted list, one on COVID-related IL before Toronto series ($)
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- Wirth: Why Chapman trade to Blue Jays was ‘strange’ for A’s GM Forst
- Adams: Offseason In Review: Oakland Athletics
MLB News & Interest
- Schoenfield: Why Jackie Robinson was an even better baseball player than you realize
- Ardaya: ‘Meaningful celebration has to come with reflection’: Jackie Robinson’s son on the legacy for the next generation ($)
- Robinson: From SPORT Magazine: Why Jackie Robinson played bolder in the World Series
- Taylor: From a Man to a Movement: Jackie Robinson Day
- Shaikin: Commentary: Dodgers’ Dave Roberts calls out MLB for reducing opportunities for Black players
- Jaffe: Imperfect Circumstances Foiled Clayton Kershaw’s Perfect Game
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- Clemens: Curb Your Kwanthusiasm (But Just a Little Bit)
- Brock: PTBNL to future ace? How the Mariners acquired Matt Brash for next to nothing ($)
- Today in Baseball History
Best of Twitter
42 Street in NYC has a new name in honour of an MLB groundbreaker
An up-close look at Jackie Robinson Way. #Jackie42 pic.twitter.com/ZR70gvrKec— MLB (@MLB) April 15, 2022
15 years on from The Kid starting the trend
April 15, 2007: Ken Griffey Jr. dons No. 42 in honor of Jackie Robinson after receiving consent from then-Commissioner Bud Selig and Robinson's widow, Rachel. Selig then encourages all players to join in the tribute. #Jackie42 #RedsVault— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) April 15, 2022
More: https://t.co/RfRiydynP4 pic.twitter.com/eldQ2GMprQ
One of last year’s draft picks, Grant Holman tossed an immaculate inning!
Grant Holman is immaculate!— Minor League Baseball (@MiLB) April 15, 2022
At least the @Athletics righty was for the @LansingLugnuts in the fourth inning: pic.twitter.com/ttyK0n7cXd
James Kaprielian is working his way back to the team
James Kaprielian's night is done here in Stockton: 5 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 6 K— Alex Jensen (@ajensen86) April 16, 2022
Fastball sat 92-95, topped at 96 a few times throughout the night. 52 pitches, 41 strikes
This makes seeing Chappy again that much more bittersweet
It sounds like Matt Chapman will receive his 2021 Gold Glove award this weekend with the A's in town. Kotsay: "I know there’s a Gold Glove ceremony for him tomorrow and I’m thankful that we’re here for that and look forward to watching him accept that award."— Matt Kawahara (@matthewkawahara) April 15, 2022
The Angels gave Corey Seager the Barry Bonds treatment
Let's get wacky on a Friday night!— MLB (@MLB) April 16, 2022
We got an intentional walk with the bases loaded!!! pic.twitter.com/enmXExTi24
A nice touch from Tony on Jackie Robinson Day
Kemp is wearing blue cleats to honor Jackie Robinson pic.twitter.com/lK0edoLuWI— A's on NBCS (@NBCSAthletics) April 16, 2022
Heads up if you’re heading to a game next week
Also FYI, this is a policy per the City of Oakland — not the A’s. Hoping as time goes on, it can be loosened up a bit. https://t.co/ravwOI62bU— Jessica Kleinschmidt (@KleinschmidtJD) April 16, 2022