Spring Postcard: With respectable pop in lineup, A's on the rise again
There is no way the A's will re-sign Matt Holliday, and it doesn't even matter
Oakland is loaded with hyped pitching prospects
Eric Chavez his first turn in the batting cage this spring left teammates raving
1) Jason Giambi will not be the last one to complete this circle.
2) There is no way the A's will re-sign Matt Holliday, and it doesn't even matter.
Either way, the A's win and they are well positioned to make a run after the season at whoever the next Holliday will be.
3) It's going to happen again for the A's.
Prospect creating a buzz
Pick a pitcher, any pitcher. There is Vin Mazzaro, the power right-hander from New Jersey; Brett Anderson, the wily lefty whose father is Oklahoma State baseball coach Frank Anderson; and Trevor Cahill, the sinker-baller from San Diego who gets the most acclaim of the three. Throw in Gio Gonzalez, one of the favorites to be the No. 5 starter, and you have a future rotation. They know it, too. On a vacation to Cabo San Lucas in January, Anderson told Cahill: "We're going to be linked forever."
Not done yet
Unlike Giambi, Eric Chavez never left Oakland, but it sure feels like he did. Chavez had surgery on his right shoulder in each of the past two years and played just 23 games last season. But he says he is finally back to full strength and his first turn in the batting cage this spring left teammates raving. Chavez, on the other hand, was steaming. "My health is fine," he said. "But my timing still needs a lot of work." With Holliday, Giambi and a healthy Chavez, the A's finally have a heart of the order that demands respect.
Some of the numbers put up by the A's bullpen last season border on absurd. Brad Ziegler pitched 39 straight scoreless innings. Joey Devine finished with a 0.59 ERA. Jerry Blevins held lefties to a .193 batting average. Because the A's slid from the race, their relievers did not get a lot of attention, but they helped ease the burden on the young starters and chances are they will do it again. "This year," Blevins said, "we have the feeling of being a contender."
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