By Jason Wojciechowski on May 12, 2013 at 5:05 PM
Your updated A's Power Ranking. As always: this is cumulative, not just based on the last week, and ranks only players who are presently on the 25-man roster. Stats through Saturday's game, though I've seen most of Sunday's as I write.
- Jed Lowrie ↔ Lowrie's hitting continues to tumble inevitably given how impossibly hot he started the year. He's still got a .399 OBP and .471 SLG and he hit the ball hard a couple of times on Sunday, though to no good effect. With the rest of the team mostly cooling off or hurt and with Lowrie playing at one of the middle infield spots every day, he's got no real competition for the top spot.
- Josh Donaldson ↔ Donaldson has a higher OPS than Lowrie, but it's based on a tad more slugging and a tad less OBP, and while he plays a good third base, it's still third base rather than shortstop. Anyway, 18 walks in 155 trips is extremely encouraging and a return to his 2009–11 minor-league form after an ugly 14 in 294 in the bigs in 2012.
- Brandon Moss ↑ Moss looked awful on Sunday against Joe Saunders, taking home a golden sombrero, and he's now whiffed 43 times on the year. That's tops on the team, but he came in to the game just 16th in baseball, 14 behind the leaders, Chris Carter and Colby Rasmus, so it hasn't been as bad as it looks.
- Derek Norris ↑ Norris's OBP has gone down and his SLG has come up since last week, but he's still at .370 and .338, which is still weird, especially for a guy who's six feet and 200-plus pounds. All the DHing of John Jaso means that Norris has two more PA against right-handers than lefties so far. (Don't you dare actually cite his split stats.)
- Yoenis Cespedes ↓ I've liked Cespedes's defense in center a lot better this year than last. I've heard some claim that his struggles on defense came in left last year, not center, but I don't buy that—he looked like he got bad breaks and weird reads in both spots last season, and he's looked better to my totally flawed and TV-bound eyes this time around. I'm less skeptical about him being an asset in center in the post-Crisp, post-Young world (i.e. 2014). I'd prefer he not have a .280 OBP, though.
- Tom Milone ↑ "Through Saturday's stats" is key since Milone did not have a good game against Seattle, beginning with a three-run homer by Kendrys Morales in the first inning. Before that, he had a team-leading 3.91 RA/9 and an excellent 41 strikeouts to just six walks. Unfortunately, he walked three and gave up just one homer to Seattle, so he's now got more walks allowed than homers.
- Adam Rosales ↑ I don't like the way Adam Rosales throws because my sense is that he gives up more time on his release than he gains on the speed of the throw, but you can't argue with .311/.392/.467, with pretty much the entire damage coming against lefties. (He's platooned, but even platoon players wind up facing a lot of right-handers because of relievers and so forth.)
- Seth Smith ↓ Smith is now down to nearly exactly what he hit last year: .333/.420 vs. .338/.417. His May free-fall is to blame: .154/.154/.205 will sink all sorts of hot starts. Tiniest of samples, but he's actually crushed lefties in 33 plate appearances so far.
- Jerry Blevins ↑ Blevins hadn't pitched since May 7th when he gave up a homer on Sunday to Jason Bay.
- Ryan Cook ↑ Cook allowed one more walk in two more innings since last week, so he's right on pace as always. He's still leading the bullpen in strikeouts, though, and is the only A's pitcher aside from Jesse Chavez not to allow a homer.
- John Jaso ↔ Jaso has a respectable batting line for a catcher in Oakland. He does not have a respectable batting line for a designated hitter, in Oakland or anywhere else.
- Sean Doolittle ↑ Doolittle has exactly two runs to his debit this season. He's also allowed two homers. He's allowed one of 10 inherited runners to score—the league average is thrice that.
- Bartolo Colon ↓ Since last week, Colon allowed two homers and no walks. He's up to six homers and one walk allowed in 41 1/3 innings. According to FanGraphs, the lowest single-season walk percentage for an ERA qualifier from 1916 to present is Carlos Silva, at 1.2 percent. Colon now sits at 0.6 percent.
- Grant Balfour ↑ Balfour only threw one inning this week (and added another walk), which is about what you expect when the team is in these kind of doldrums. Closers don't pitch in losses.
- Daric Barton new entry Barton's only batted 12 times, but he did hit a homer and draw a walk in those trips. There's not a lot to say about 12 plate appearances. Sorry.
- Dan Straily ↓ When you've only made four starts, it's easy to yo-yo around in a ranking like this with one bad start, and six runs in five innings to the Mariners on the 10th was a bad start.
- Jesse Chavez reentry Chavez was 25th the last time he was on this list but some poor performances in his absence have allowed him to climb without really pitching. Here's my analysis: he's Jesse Chavez. He's okay.
- Eric Sogard ↓ Sogard's still hitting the same thing he was last week (basically), and there's a point at which you run out of things to say. Imagine if I did this daily?
- Pat Neshek ↑ He's still got that 9:8 strikeout to walk ratio. You know what's weird? And about which I had no idea? He's an extreme fly-ball pitcher. Huh.
- Luke Montz new entry Montz has three extra-base hits in 17 trips to the plate along with no singles and no walks. I don't know that an allergy to first base is a good approach for a hitter.
- Chris Resop ↑ He's pitched badly and it doesn't matter.
- A.J. Griffin ↓ Griffin has a good ERA but a homer every six innings will catch up to him and while his walk rate is as good as ever, the strikeout rate is ugly. What'd I say about believing in him?
- Nate Freiman ↓ Still tall.
- Michael Taylor ↓ Somehow fell from 23rd last week. He's batting .063/.063/.063.
- Jarrod Parker ↓ Josh Reddick being on the disabled list isn't the only reason Parker falls to 25th: since the last Power Ranking, Parker threw 11 1/3 innings, 10 hits, seven runs, six walks, 12 strikeouts, and five homers. It says a lot about his season that his barely quality start on Saturday (6 1/3, three runs) is a highlight game for the year so far. I don't know if Parker needs a DL stint or a Triple-A trip to work out some mechanical issues sans pressure or what the hell is going on, but something has to change.
Riser of the week: Ryan Cook, from 17 to 10
Faller of the week: A.J. Griffin from 12 to 22
See you back here next week.