Happy Thursday, Athletics Nation!
A’s beat writer Martin Gallegos put out a piece yesterday looking at three big storylines to keep an eye on during Spring Training.
"These guys will push each other."— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) February 9, 2023
The #Athletics boast multiple young arms who will compete for rotation spots during big league camp: https://t.co/uevLCpnDWf pic.twitter.com/SZkQSUfJrX
One that he delved into is one plenty of us have looked at a lot recently: the starting rotation and who would be in it. With a plethora of young but unestablished arms and low-risk roll of the dice guys, it’s going to be one of the most looked at battles all spring and it wouldn’t be a major shock to see someone we aren’t expecting to make it to end up in the top 5 out of camp.
The other two things he mentioned are storylines that haven’t gotten nearly as much attention. The battle at first base should be at least something to watch, but it feels more like a 2-man race between newly-signed Jesus Aguilar and Rule 5 pick Ryan Noda, who could conceivably platoon at the position. The third person he mentions in the piece is Dermis Garcia. And yes, while he played a lot down the stretch for Oakland in 2022, it wasn’t anything even close to noteworthy as he struck out 55 times in just 125 plate appearances (for those counting, that’s a 44% K-rate, which, yikes). It would be a major surprise to see him on the roster on Opening Day.
The more interesting part that he touched on is the future of outfielder Cristian Pache. Formerly a centerpiece of the Matt Olson trade, Pache was so bad in 2022 that the A’s then made another centerfield prospect the centerpiece of another traded star player in Sean Murphy. That isn’t encouraging, what the front office has said since then isn’t encouraging, and Pache is out of options and needs to stay on the roster. He’s still elite with the glove and once considered a top prospect so there is essentially no way the A’s would be able to get him off the roster without him being claimed by another rebuilding team willing to give him a chance. This is definitely a make-or-break spring for the young outfielder, but it feels like Oakland has already given up on him. Can Pache really make the team rethink that? Definitely something to watch.
- Willis: ZiPS projects improvement, but still last place for A’s
- Kawahara: 3 pressing questions for pitching staff ($)
- Burke: Comparing Oakland’s current rebuild to the last one
- Cutler: A’s ballpark fight down to truck parking, wind mitigation
- Kepner: With another title, Eagles would tie A’s in Philly trophies
MLB News & Interest:
- Franco: Reds acquire former top prospect Benson from Guardians
- Harrigan: WBC rosters to be announced at 3 p.m. Thursday
- Heyman: Angels’ Moreno wants to keep Shohei beyond 2023
- McDonald: Padres sign former A’s prospect Ravelo to minor’s deal
- Bell: A first for Guardians as they hire Amanda Kamekona
- Today in Baseball History
Best of Twitter:
How can you not love Dallas?
This card was meant to be owned by one person and one person only.— PSAcard (@PSAcard) February 9, 2023
The story behind this piece in @DALLASBRADEN209's collection is nothing short of amazing. pic.twitter.com/2oobfZ3uq4
Not a bad idea…
A's should claim James Naile. His GB-heavy game would be a good fit in front of their improved IF defense and he'd be a good bulk innings guy. (Not to mention an easy fit with the organization)— Melissa Lockard (@melissalockard) February 8, 2023
And finally, a member of the Alameda County Board of Supervisors passed away last night, someone who would have had a voice in the A’s future. Rest in Peace.
I am deeply saddened to hear about the passing of Supervisor Richard Valle. Richard was a dear friend, strong ally of working people, and fierce advocate for justice and change. I worked with him for many years and always appreciated his insight, advice, and friendship.1/2— Mayor Sheng Thao 盛桃 (@MayorShengThao) February 9, 2023