By Kelsey Wehsels, KHTK Sports 1140
Spring is in the air and players have reported for duty. Baseball is underway, folks.
Keith Brooks & Carmichael Dave will be up front and center as they broadcast live from Phoenix, Arizona. Tune into KHTK Sports 1140 March 3rd through 5th, 530 to 9am as the boys preview the Oakland Athletics! Keith and Dave will also give you a chance to win tickets to an upcoming regular season A’s game!
Oakland fans will have a lot to consider this spring training as they watch their team take shape.
Some topics the guys will be covering include starting positions, Reddick’s arbitration and a possible post season run again.
Will Jaso make a comeback? He will have to battle fellow left-handed catcher, Stephen Vogt for playing time, who the A’s brought up from Sacramento last year after Jaso was out with a concussion. Fans might have even forgotten about Jaso after Vogt came in and helped the team to their second consecutive post season appearance, but Jaso had a better on base percentage as well as batting average. Derek Norris has solidified his position as right-handed catcher, but Bob Melvin will have a hard time deciding who to choose for the left-handed catching position.
Will the A’s see the Josh Reddick from the 2012 season again? He was requesting $3.25 million in his arbitration hearing, while the A’s were willing to offer $2 million. The gold glover settled for $2.7 million, a good deal for him. While he maintained his defensive abilities last season, he struggled at the plate, with one of the worst batting averages of starting players on the team. $2 million was a good deal for him, considering he made $510,000 the year before. The A’s got screwed in that deal.
How will Craig Gentry be received by Oakland? The right-handed center fielder is coming from Texas, the A’s division rival. But Gentry might be giving Coco Crisp, Oakland’s current center fielder, a run for his money. While Crisp is a switch hitter, Gentry has the arm and a higher batting average. It’s going to be a hard pill to swallow for fans, but this former Texas Ranger could be taking over center field.
The most important question is can the A’s break through their first round playoff woes? They lost to the Tigers the last two seasons in Game 5 of the American League Division Series. But the A’s might have a chance against the Tigers this year if they face them again in the post season since they no longer have manager Jim Leyland and heavy hitter Prince Fielder. Hopefully the A’s can figure out right-hander, Justin Verlander, who has been Oakland’s kryptonite in the post season.