HAPPY OPENING DAY, Athletics Nation!
While the A’s don’t start their season until tomorrow, today marks the beginning of the 2022 MLB campaign. With the last round of cuts to the minors, and the final spring game in the books, the Athletics are ready to take on the Phillies and begin the season.
With the Opening Day roster settled, we can dive into the strengths and weaknesses that the Athletics will start things off with. Over the last week and a half, FanGraphs have been publishing their positional power rankings for 2022. These rankings have gone through each team’s depth charts position-by-position and attempted to provide a definitive list of effectivity of the positions. Let’s see how the A’s shake out across the rankings.
The A’s highest rank lies behind the plate. Ranked fourth overall for catchers led by gold-glover Sean Murphy, and further bolstered by breakout candidate Austin Allen, and veteran Stephen Vogt. The high-profile catching prospects Tyler Soderstom and Shea Langeliers add to the esteem given to A’s backstops, especially with the chance that Murphy may get moved when he gets that much more expensive in his arbitration years.
There are two positions where the Athletics sit in the middle of the pack: right field and second base. Their right field 11th place ranking is buoyed by the inclusion of Ramon Laureano with the assumption that he will be fielded in right when he returns from the remaining 27 games of his suspension. Manager Mark Kotsay has said that he expects Ramon to return in center field, and that his spring was only spent in right so that the team could try out first-month replacements for Laureano. After Ramon, the expectations fall to near replacement level with regular right fielder Stephen Piscotty, and Seth Brown and Chad Pinder being slotted in for spot starts as well.
The A’s sit just below the halfway mark with a second base ranking of sixteenth. Tony Kemp and his resilience in the back half of the 2021 season kept the Athletics in the middle of the pack. Kemp has had a promising spring, and should be looking to continue his adjusted approach as the A’s near-daily option at second. Jed Lowrie is likely going to be spending most of his time in the lineup at DH or 1B this year, but don’t be surprised to see him filling in at 2B now and then.
Pretty much everything else. Aside from starting pitching (ranked 24th! Woo!), the A’s are slated in the bottom five in every other category. It’s a teardown, so there’s no big surprise here, and it’s more heartening to have the A’s farm go from being considered near the bottom to now starting to climb up the rankings. Hopefully it will only be a couple seasons before the Athletics are back near the top of the board.
- Zolecki, Gallegos: Opening Day FAQ: Athletics vs. Phillies
- Mayo: Here’s where the A’s Top 30 prospects are staring in ‘22
- Berman: A’s 2022 season preview: 10 reasons to keep an eye on Oakland this season ($)
- MLB Rumors: Red Sox among four teams taking a close look at A’s righty Frankie Montas
- Simon: Montas, still with the A’s (for now), blocks out trade talk to focus on Opening Day
- Kawahara: How will a remade A’s lineup create offense amid a projected drop-off? ($)
- Kawahara: Daulton Jefferies aims to lend consistency to A’s rotation ($)
- Nguyen: The Oakland Athletics see a potential site in Las Vegas
- Trains: Capital Corridor agency files suit over Oakland ballpark
- Snel: Pro Baseball Returns To Las Vegas Tuesday With Aviators Opening Night Win Before 8,475
MLB News & Interest
- Rowley: 2022 Positional Power Rankings: Summary
- Rosenthal: MLB 2022 season preview: 10 storylines to watch ($)
- Passan, Rogers: How a high-stakes 18 day during the MLB lockout paved the road to Opening Day
- Law: MLB season projections 2022: Keith Law’s win totals for every team, plus awards and playoff picks ($)
- The Ringer Staff: The Top 25 MLB Players Under 25 Years Old 2022 Edition
- The 2022 Aces Project: Industry insiders rank MLB’s starting pitchers by tiers, from No. 1s to ‘guys’ ($)
- Jaffe: MLB Signs on to In-Game Usage of Wearable Pitch-Calling Devices
- Syzmborski: The Hopefully-Not-Horrifyingly-Inaccurate 2022 ZiPS Projections: American League
- Adams: Guardians to Extend Jose Ramirez
- Cooper: Futures Game Is Moving To Peacock Premium
- Baccellieri: A Brief History of the Many Times Baseball Has Died
- With Pay Soaring For MLB’s Elite, The Sport’s Biggest Agent is Eyeing Team Owners For More
- Kohn: 108 Musicians Predict the 2022 Baseball Season
- Today in Baseball History
Best of Twitter
Another set of exclusive game broadcasts (June 12 @ Guardians the only A’s game included)
MLB and Peacock announced a new Sunday morning Game of the Week with 18 games (17 exclusively on Peacock Premium).— JJ Cooper (@jjcoop36) April 6, 2022
This year's Futures Game is part of the Peacock Network's new package. It will only be available on Peacock's Premium Service. pic.twitter.com/muH42lpnl5
Langeliers with some Aviators season opener action
Oakland wins the trade. Stop the count. https://t.co/UlYAaMZfgA— Céspedes Family BBQ (@CespedesBBQ) April 6, 2022
More AAA excitement from Langeliers
Taking flight— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) April 7, 2022
Recently acquired backstop Shea Langeliers blasted his first long ball as a member of the @Athletics organization, a two-run shot for the @AviatorsLV that traveled 407 feet: pic.twitter.com/bVbXWM2Rkq
The Adam Oller fan club will be easy to spot
On July 20, 2020, A’s pitcher Adam Oller made a bet with his agent, Matt (@GaetaSportsMgt) that if he makes his big-league debut, Matt would show up in Jimmy Buffett garb.— Jessica Kleinschmidt (@KleinschmidtJD) April 6, 2022
Well, 20 of Oller’s closest friends and family will be in attendance, doing the same thing: pic.twitter.com/nCcaiSDfsx
Will this year’s return from a labour stoppage give similar results?