Series Preview: Oakland (August 27-30)

LGFT Coco Crisp

This is going to look a bit different since the Indians at Athletics played just over a week ago. Here's the Series Preview for the August 17-19 series.

Probable Pitchers

Date Pitcher ERA Innings SO/9 BB/9 H/9
Aug 27 Brett Anderson (L) 1.29 7.0 7.7 .0 5.1
Aug 28 Tommy Milone (L) 3.87 153.1 6.6 1.8 8.9
Aug 29 TBA (was Colon)
Aug 30 Jarrod Parker 3.52 135.1 6.9 3.5 8.1

In all probability, Wednesday's pitcher will be Travis Blackley, who has been pitching in long relief, or perhaps A.J. Griffin, who is working his way back from injury. Thursday's starter hasn't been announced, but it will be Parker.

The big news since these two teams last faced each other was the suspension of Bartolo Colon for 50 games for testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug (PED). Colon tested positive for elevated levels of testosterone, which counts for evidence of doping, and he'll miss the rest of the season, and in all likelihood, won't pitch in the majors again. Colon is 39 years old, and before this season was barely hanging on to a major-league job. A common theme with the recent two positive results was motive: Colon was trying to keep pitching in the majors at the end of his career, and Melky Cabrera (who was also nabbed for elevated testosterone levels) was a year away from free agency and a life-changing contract. Both players had to know that there was a pretty good chance that they'd be caught, but took the risk because to them the potential benefits outweighed it.

So does losing Colon torpedo the Oakland playoff drive? I don't think so, because they've been down a couple starters almost the entire season and haven't struggled in that department. Brett Anderson just came back from Tommy John surgery, so that will help a lot, and they could call up prospect Dan Straily, who has been impressive at two levels this season.

Selected Recent Moves

8-20-2012: Reinstated LHP Brett Anderson from the 60-day Disabled List (elbow surgery)

Originally Anderson was to take Ross's spot in the rotation, but those plans would change shortly.

8-21-2012: Traded Sean Jamieson to the Arizona Diamondbacks for SS Stephen Drew

Reinstated OF Seth Smith from the 15-day Disabled List

Placed LHP Jordan Norberto on the 15-day Dsabled List (shoulder)

Optioned 2B Jemile Weeks to Sacramento (AAA)

Offensive production from Oakland's middle infielders have been a problem all season long, so much so that Drew represents an improvement. They optioned Weeks (who was really struggling in his sophomore campaign) to AAA to make room for Drew.

8-22-2012: Placed RHP Bartolo Colon on the Restricted List

8-24-2012: Recalled RHP Jim Miller from Sacramento (AAA)

The 30-year-old Miller had been in AAA for about a month after pitching pretty effectively for the A's from late April through the end of July. If he had been in the Indians organization this year, there's no way he would have been optioned down.

State of the Playoff Race

The AL West crown is probably out of reach for Oakland (Texas has a 5.5 game lead), but they're right in the thick of a heated race for one of the two Wild Card spots.

Rk Tm W L W-L% GB GBsum Strk R RA Rdiff pythWL Luck vEast vCent vWest Home Road
1 TEX 75 51 .595 --- --- W 4 5.2 4.3 0.9 74-52 1 21-13 21-15 19-19 41-23 34-28
2 NYY 73 53 .579 --- --- L 1 4.8 4.1 0.8 73-53 0 24-19 18-15 18-14 39-24 34-29
3 CHW 70 55 .560 --- --- W 5 4.8 4.2 0.6 70-55 0 17-15 25-22 19-9 37-26 33-29
4 TBR 70 57 .551 --- --- L 2 4.2 3.6 0.6 72-55 -2 27-20 13-17 21-11 35-30 35-27
5 OAK 69 57 .548 --- --- W 2 4.0 3.8 0.3 67-59 2 22-15 18-16 19-18 39-27 30-30
6 BAL 69 57 .548 --- --- W 2 4.2 4.6 -0.4 58-68 11 26-20 20-14 12-16 34-29 35-28
7 DET 68 58 .540 1.0 2.0 W 1 4.6 4.3 0.2 66-60 2 21-18 26-17 10-16 38-26 30-32
8 LAA 66 61 .520 3.5 9.5 L 1 4.7 4.5 0.2 66-61 0 19-20 17-18 18-17 33-29 33-32
Avg 64 61 .509 4.5 4.4 63-62 19-19 20-18 14-16 33-29 30-32
Provided by View Original Table
Generated 8/27/2012.

Since sweeping the Indians the weekend before last, the A's won two out of three games against Minnesota and Wild Card rival Tampa. The rest of their schedule looks like this...

  • Aug 31-Sep 2 Boston (3)
  • Sep 3-5 LA Angels (3)
  • Sep 7-9 @ Seattle (3)
  • Sep 10-13 @ LA Angels (4)
  • Sep 14-16 Baltimore (3)
  • Sep 18-20 @ Detroit (3)
  • Sep 21-23 @ NY Yankees (3)
  • Sep 24-27 @ Texas (4)
  • Sep 28-30 Seattle (3)
  • Oct 1-3 Texas (3)

..and there's lots of games against either teams that are good shots to make the playoffs (New York, Texas) or competitors for the Wild Card spots (Angels, Baltimore, Detroit), with that Sep 3-27 stretch looking particularly difficult. So the next two series, against the Indians and an imploding Boston club, represents a stretch where they need to make hay.

On the Shelf

  • RHP Dallas Braden (shoulder, groin) - out for season
  • RHP Andrew Carignan (elbow surgery) - out for season
  • RHP Joey Devine (elbow surgery) - out for season
  • RHP A.J. Griffin (shoulder) - 15-day DL
  • 3B Brandon Inge (shoulder) - 15-day DL
  • RHP Jordan Norberto (shoulder) - 15-day DL
  • 2B Scott Sizemore (knee surgery) - out for season
  • IF Eric Sogard (back) 15-day DL

Inge may be back in the lineup this series, and Griffin may start Wednesday's game.

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