By Jason Wojciechowski on April 4, 2016 at 10:12 PM
Opening Day (pt. two) thoughts:
- The A's have a bullpen!
- Chris Sale is too good for the starter to have such a garbage game.
- Rich Hill was an interesting risk at $6 million and you can't write someone off based on spring training plus one narrative-affirming start, particularly when that start comes as a last-minute fill-in for the guy who was supposed to start, but gosh it's hard not to get apocalyptic about Hill's spot in the rotation right now. I think we're all kind of expecting Sean Manaea to make his debut this summer, and the most obvious spots, from the perspective of three weeks ago, for him to do so would have been for Kendall Graveman or Chris Bassitt. Now, with Hill a giant shruggy emoticon every five days, Felix Doubront hurt, and Jesse Hahn's sinker missing in action (if not quite yet presumed dead), not to mention that Henderson Alvarez is a huge question mark coming back from a shoulder injury, the question is less "where's Manaea going to fit?" than "when are Dillon Overton and Casey Meisner going to be ready?"
- But hey, at least that bullpen!
- Billy Butler hit the ball hard a couple of times. There were stories that I didn't read this spring about something or other he was doing or going to do that would lead to his revival. I don't read those stories because they're written about every player who had a bad year and it's all just #narrative hoping for a good outcome. Sometimes it happens, usually it doesn't. Did tonight's game confirm the #narrative? Or is it a repeat of last year, when Butler was scorching the ball in the early going? (If I remember correctly, he was among the league leaders in exit velocity through the first month or so.) You don't want to know my guess.
- Khris Davis has some strong-ass arms, I tell you what. When there's an instant replay of his swing and you see all his muscles, it's very impressive. Strong-ass arms.
- Mark Canha should have come off the bag, conceding first base to prevent an additional run from scoring in the third inning.
- The David Robertson pitch that struck Chris Coghlan out in the ninth was either flat-out perfect or not a strike. Nothing to be done on Coghlan's end. Robertson's a top-flight closer for a reason.