Thursday, March 29, 2012

A's show alot of upside in Japan

I will be the first to admit that waking up at two in the morning to watch the A's and Mariners battle it out in Japan wasn't my ideal way to get the baseball season started, but hey, I'll take what I can get. Especially after watching endless spring training games, it was nice to watch a game that actually counted. The A's came off an offseason that included alot of trades and many new faces to their starting pitching and lineup. None bigger then Yoenis Cespedes the Cuban slugger who the A's awarded with a thirty six million dollar contract. Cespedes showed in game two on Thursday why he could be worth every penny. With the A's down by one in the bottom of the sventh inning Cespedes crushed a hanging slider into the bleachers to put the Athletics up 2-1. His home run set the tone for the A's offense and they never looked back with two more home runs, one by Riddick, his first as an Athletic, and one by Johnny Gomes. The Pitching was also a bright spot in Japan dominated by Andrew Mccarthy and Bartolo Colon. Mcarthy pitched seven innings allowing one run and Colon went eight also allowing one run. If the A's starting pitchers can stay healthy and consistent they can compete with any pitching staff in the AL West. I know it's only one win over the Mariners, and any pitching staff could look dominate over their offense, but you still have to be optimistic if your an A's fan from what you saw over in Japan with the pitching staff and Cespedes. With the new wildcare rules it's not out of the question to think this A's team could have a shot at the Playoffs

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Hughes Closer to Knockin Garcia into the Bullpen

For the first time in a while the Yankees have a positive problem with their starting pitching staff. They have one surefire ace, three potential all stars, and two solid pitchers that will be competing for that fifth spot in the starting rotation. Phil Hughes and Freddy Garcia will go head to head in spring training for that fifth spot,with the loser getting the bullpen as a consolation prize. The odds on favorite to get that spot is Phil Hughes, but Freddy is not far behind. Hughes is coming off a disappointing 2011 season where he went 5-5 with a 5.79 ERA. and had to battle a shoulder injury for most of the season, while Garcia is coming off his best year since 2006 going 12-8 with a 3.62  ERA. Despite poor numbers last season manager Joe Girardi still thinks Hughes has the edge over Garcia this spring. Girardi who has been very critical of Hughes believes his injury last year was a product of a "soft offseason" and a content mindset after the 2010 all star pitcher had 18 wins and a 4.19 ERA. Hughes worked out at the Athletes Performance Institute in Los Angeles this offeseason, and showed up to spring training 20 pounds lighter with a healthy shoulder and more velocity on his fastball. The 25 year old Hughes is still a long way from his 2010 self but is headed in the right direction and impressed Girardi and pitching coach Larry Rothschild with a 93 mph fastball and decent location.