Sigh. I don’t really know what to make of the A’s this year. Well, scratch that. I do know what to make of the A’s this year and that is that they’re not very good. They are also not very healthy, which may also have something to do with not being very good, but it doesn’t have everything to do with it. Kendall Graveman and Chris Coghlan probably weren’t expected to be as bad as they have been much of this year but here they are, with an ERA of 5.36 and a batting average of .153 respectively. And the A’s are playing without either Sonny Gray or Josh Reddick right now. What can you do? Unfortunately the way Major League Baseball works is that you have to keep on playing games nearly every day even when your star players are injured. I know, that’s brutal! But it’s the way it is. And you end up with the 2016 Oakland A’s.
This year’s A’s are also extremely streaky. They’ve swept three series (two on the road) but have been swept four times. They’ve had as long as a six-game winning streak and a five-game losing streak. They’ve been doing lots of things in bunches, even hitting singles (Reddick tied a franchise record for hits in consecutive at-bats), giving up home runs (the A’s gave up the most home runs they have in a single game since 1994 when they allowed six against the Orioles on May 8), hitting home runs (both Danny Valencia and Khris Davis had three homer games within two days of each other), and allowing runs (the A’s allowed 11+ runs in four consecutive games for the first time in franchise history from May 8 to May 11). Lots of good and lots of really, really horrible things have been happening.
Now, it’s still very early and anything can happen. But my expectation is that this year is much like last year. Gray’s injury may have delayed the inevitable with him, but I would still expect Rich Hill, Valencia and Reddick to all be trade bait at the deadline. Reddick, much like Ben Zobrist last year, should be back from his injury in time to rebuild his value in what could be a seller’s market. We are already seeing some of the rewards from last year’s deadline moves, with Sean Manaea in the rotation, and this summer looks like it could be a time to load up again.
In any and all things, A’s, don’t screw it up…