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2015 Oakland Athletics


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What is up with Oakland? They just got swept by Seattle, have lost 5 straight and are 12-21 (last place in the mighty AL West).

Are they setting themselves up for a classic second half surge? Their starting pitching is promising, but they better fix that horrendous bullpen.

Are they rebuilding? Billy Butler (.703 OPS) is making 10 mil a year for the next 2.9 years.

Factoid: since Beane traded Cespedes on August 1 of last year, the A's have gone 29-46.

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They are in dire straights. And have lost Parker and Griffin for the year, both of whom they were expecting back. Kendall Graveman looked amazing in ST and then completely bombed out during the season.

Beane tinkered too much and he broke it for good.

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They are 3rd in the AL in runs scored, and their starters have the 2nd best ERA in the AL (barely behind Tampa).

Usually, that would be the recipe for success. However, the bullpen has by far the worst ERA in the AL and they are in last place in defense (measured by UZR/150).

All in all, they are scoring as many runs as they are giving up, so they should be around a .500 team.

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They are 3rd in the AL in runs scored, and their starters have the 2nd best ERA in the AL (barely behind Tampa).

Usually, that would be the recipe for success. However, the bullpen has by far the worst ERA in the AL and they are in last place in defense (measured by UZR/150).

All in all, they are scoring as many runs as they are giving up, so they should be around a .500 team.

Yeah that is the craziest thing. They should be .500. Not nearly 10 games under. They are majorly underperforming.

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Are they rebuilding? Billy Butler (.703 OPS) is making 10 mil a year for the next 2.9 years.

Beane is a smart guy, but he's made some transactions the last few years that I just don't get the rational behind. I'd love to pick his brain off the record and hear the explanations for the Jim Johnson trade and the Butler signing. Butler is a guy with negative defensive and baserunning value coming off a year with 9 homers in full-time play. His ISO has fallen off the table, and his walk rate is under 7%. That's the kind of player you bring in on a short/cheap deal to see if he can bounce back, you don't commit $30M of very scarce Oakland payroll space to him.

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I don't think they were rebuilding. I think it was Billy Beane's attempt to win on a low budget. They have the starting pitching and the offense. The problems have been the bullpen and defense. I wouldn't be surprised by a second half surge.

They do seem to have a knack for turning around slow starts. In 2005 they had a similarly dismal record of 17-32 at the end of May, then went on a surge that had them competing in September for first place against the Angels. They stumbled down the stretch, though....they also seem to have a knack for that as well.

Perhaps right on cue, Coco Crisp had a highlight reel day in the field the other night. He even had an infield hit to get off the schneid!

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Beane is a smart guy, but he's made some transactions the last few years that I just don't get the rational behind. I'd love to pick his brain off the record and hear the explanations for the Jim Johnson trade and the Butler signing. Butler is a guy with negative defensive and baserunning value coming off a year with 9 homers in full-time play. His ISO has fallen off the table, and his walk rate is under 7%. That's the kind of player you bring in on a short/cheap deal to see if he can bounce back, you don't commit $30M of very scarce Oakland payroll space to him.

Yeah, the Butler deal is very puzzling. To me a lot of his moves reflect the high confidence he has in his team's ability to predict performance and his own ability to convert pieces into different pieces if circumstances change or the need arises. But that Billy Butler contract might be stretching that confidence a bit too far.

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Beane is a smart guy, but he's made some transactions the last few years that I just don't get the rational behind. I'd love to pick his brain off the record and hear the explanations for the Jim Johnson trade and the Butler signing.

I remember one of the A's top executives (not Beane) on MLB radio a few years ago. Despite what one might think they rely very heavily on scouting to find and evaluate talent. Statistical anaysis is integrated in that analysis but often as a much less secondary consideration. They've done a pretty good job of finding talent/value overall and had few turds.

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I remember one of the A's top executives (not Beane) on MLB radio a few years ago. Despite what one might think they rely very heavily on scouting to find and evaluate talent. Statistical anaysis is integrated in that analysis but often as a much less secondary consideration. They've done a pretty good job of finding talent/value overall and had few turds.

It's possible that Butler has underlying attributes that make him likely to hit better going forward. The A's identified that, signed him, and he just happens to be slumping which triggered confirmation bias among those of us who were skeptical to begin with.

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It's possible that Butler has underlying attributes that make him likely to hit better going forward. The A's identified that, signed him, and he just happens to be slumping which triggered confirmation bias among those of us who were skeptical to begin with.

Maybe. I didn't think much of the signing myself. It does apear they have enough capital these days to not be overly concerned about surplus value in some cases.

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They just got swept at home by the White Sox, and if that wasn't ignominy enough they own the worst record in major league baseball. That's right; two teams with fired managers have done better so far. I wonder how the relationship between Beane and Melvin is. :D

Today was more of the same. Solid starting pitching combined with horrendous defense and a sketchy bullpen. They had four errors, a couple of them were iffy, but there were also a few other disheartening defensive plays that were not ruled errors. On a side note, Coco Crisp went 0-3 with a walk. Since coming off the DL he has gone 2 for 37.

I keep thinking that they are going to go on a run, but they are in a growing sinkhole at the moment. Things are so bad, they blasted the Macarena over the PA in an effort to get things going in the bottom of the 9th.

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o

(MAY 20th)

OAKLAND ATHLETICS

Billy Burns - CF

Marcus Semien - SS

Josh Reddick - RF

Billy Butler - DH

Brett Lawrie - 3B

Josh Phegley - C

Mark Canha - 1B

Craig Gentry - LF

Eric Sogard - 2B

Jesse Allen Hahn - RHP (1-3, 4.42 ERA)

HOUSTON ASTROS

Jose Altuve - 2B

Luis Valbuena - 3B

George Springer - RF

Evan Gattis - DH

Colby Rasmus - LF

Chris Carter - 1B

Jason Castro - C

Marwin Gonzalez - SS

Jake Marisnick - CF

Dallas Keuchel - LHP (5-0, 1.87 ERA)

http://www.baseballpress.com/lineups

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