Pennington, McCarthy, Taylor, and more A's links
David Wishinsky has a bit about Cliff Pennington built around his BABIP question for him at FanFest.
Here's the latest episode (I've already lost track of what number it is) of Tarp Talk, the the A's sabermetric podcast, starring a bunch of people I follow on Twitter and recommend that you do as well, if you care about the the A's. There's FanFest talk and other stuff. (I do think David Wishinsky (was it him? Maybe it was Spencer) misunderestimates just how much many A's fans hate Barry Bonds and might seriously abandon the team if they signed him. Or at least stop paying to go to games.)
Dan Hennessey has a look at Brandon McCarthy at Athletics Nation. Looks like the basic answer is that McCarthy's not wrong about himself: he's throwing more strikes.
The Orioles and the A's might be fighting over a player:
Jane Lee has a story about Michael Taylor, in which he says he's revamped his swing since 2010. He's trying to focus on hitting the ball to center field. In other words, Lee is getting a head start on spring training with no-news reporting. (I really dislike reading about baseball during spring training.)
If I notice you mentioning Jack Cust, I will link it, so here's SweetSpot mate Austin Swafford on the Astros' signing of the former Athletic. (He likes the idea of getting him as a bench OBP source.)
Happily, the A's do not have one of the worst position situations in baseball per Matthew Pouliot. They do get a dishonorable mention at first and in right field. The latter I'll buy -- Josh Reddick, Collin Cowgill, and Michael Taylor don't have a ton of upside, it seems, between them. Two of the three probably aren't bad players, but they might be, and they're not stars at the ceiling. As to first base, I disagree with Pouliot. Daric Barton's OBP + glove combo can be very good, and Chris Carter and Brandon Allen might tap into their power yet (though neither plays inspiring defense).
I think Pouliot's priorities are just different from mine. Whichever dishonorable mention team signed Casey Kotchman was going to be removed from the list, which seems absurd to me. A Barton/Carter/Allen-and-see-who-hits combo is worse than Casey Kotchman?
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