By Jason Wojciechowski on February 19, 2012 at 11:45 AM
There's a lot of catchup in here. Hopefully it's not getting too outdated.
Daniel Rathman notes that the A's haven't drafted and developed a hitter in a good long while. I'm not sure what "drafted" has to do with anything, though, to be honest. If you can draft pitchers and trade them for hitters, is that any different from drafting hitters? You don't get very many top picks in any given draft, so you're choosing between one or the other. This is just to say that I don't know why we should discount Carlos Gonzalez or, if he makes it, Chris Carter just because they were acquired in trades.
This is not to excuse the A's draft performance! Grant Green is not on track to live up to being taken #13 overall. Sean Doolittle and Corey Brown likely won't have any impact in the majors as hitters. (Doolittle in particular is finished with the bat.) Cliff Pennington is adequate-for-a-shortstop, not good. Travis Buck never worked it out. Landon Powell is a backup. Omar Quintanilla ... well.
In defense of some of the A's recent draft work, though, don't forget The Grant Desme Situation, and I wouldn't omit Jemile Weeks just because his profile is speed-and-average rather than power.
Bruce Jenkins appears to believe that Yoenis Cespedes and his agent and/or other advisers have no idea what Oakland is like with respect to the hitting environment and small crowds. He didn't sign with a team that was a mystery to him.
Here's a list of everyone the A's will have in camp. I'm rooting for Erick Threets.
David Spencer has a piece at Swingin' A's examining how good the pitching staff (and defense) will have to be in terms of total runs allowed in order to generate various win totals, given a 675-run projection for the offense.
Getting Blanked has photos of players in the "wrong" uniforms, including Joe DiMaggio with the A's.
Susan Slusser has the A's top five questions to be answered in spring training. She does mention, as I suspected might be the case, that Dallas Braden will be the "fifth starter" to give him some extra time to get ready for the season -- he won't have to start until April 15th. Braden might have an option (or even two?) remaining, so I wonder whether we'll see him technically on Sacramento's roster until that team, leaving the A's a little more time to deal with their out-of-options hitters like Brandon Allen. She also says that the A's will consider Magglio Ordonez and Hideki Matsui if Manny Ramirez doesn't sign, which makes me very anxious for the A's to get Manny Ramirez. I mean, if you're going to take at-bats from Chris Carter, at least do it with a Hall-of-Fame hitter.
Here's an AP fluff story about A's pitchers in spring, which includes the fact that Jerry Blevins plays Frisbee with Tyson Ross. I'd take 6'6" Ross on my Ultimate team.
In case you missed Brandon McCarthy's tweet to Craig Calcaterra about what kind of shape he's in.
Brett Anderson lost serious weight according to Jane Lee: 25-30 pounds compared to his pre-surgery weight. That's likely going to be a visible difference, assuming he keeps it off between now and whenever he debuts. Susan Slusser quotes him saying "maybe [I won't] fall down as much."
Also in that Slusser story, Jonny Gomes is getting #31, with Brandon Allen switching to 14. No word on whether compensation was paid. In other numbers news, Yoenis Cespedes likes #51, which is, of course, Dallas Braden's. Good luck with that, rook.
Mike Axisa has a piece at FanGraphs about out-of-options players and includes Kila Ka'aihue and Brandon Allen. He should've said the A's have ten players for five lineup spots, not roster spots, because it's really ten (or eleven, once you add Manny) players for seven roster spots, with the last two places on the bench going to Eric Sogard and one of the backup catchers. (And at the start of the year, as I mentioned, it might even be eight roster spots, because a fifth starter doesn't need to be on the roster right away.)