by Cutter Hicks, Sports 1140 KHTK
We’re about two months into the season and both the Oakland Athletics and San Francisco Giants are both in troubling situations. The former is in last place in the AL West while the Orange and Black are flirting with the same position in their division with just a half game lead over the Padres to stay in fourth.
It’s an awkward feeling seeing the AL West rival Houston Astros continuously taking the top spot in the MLB Power Rankings, especially since they’ve only made the postseason once since losing in the World Series in 2005.
At the end of the AL West debut season in 2013 they held MLB’s worst record at 51-111. Two years later they reentered the playoffs for the first time in 10 years. Add another two years and they’re now the best team.
On the other side of the Bay, it’s just as weird for the Giants to see the Rockies in first place in the NL West with 37-23 record. Since losing in the 2007 World Series the team has only entered the playoffs once.
Being defeated in the first round by the Phillies, the Rockies have gone onto average around 72 wins since. It’s been mainly San Francisco or LA taking the first place spot in the division since 2010 but times they are a changin’.
Bleacher Report’s Zachary D. Rymer recently published an article scoping in on specific questions all 30 MLB clubs and their fans may have thus far into the 2017 season.
On the Oakland A’s side, it doesn’t look too good as the question surrounds what hot commodity they could trade by July 31st deadline.
“The Oakland A’s are once again going nowhere. Soon, it’ll be time to sell.”
ESPN’s Buster Olney has speculated that starting pitcher Sonny Gray could be a hot target come trade deadline. He’s 2-2 with a 4.57 ERA in seven starts. Despite hitting a rough patch last year with a finalized 5.69 ERA he averaged below 3 in his first three seasons.
“With no hurry to trade Gray and his trade value only now recovering, they’re in an ideal position to play hard-to-get with him.”
Scrolling down a bit, Rymer discusses the Giants’ main question at the moment: what’s the future look like for Madison Bumgarner?
The ace starting pitcher has been on the DL since April 21, marking the first time he’s stepped out due to injury. Sure, it wasn’t very smart of him to go dirt biking during the season and risk a shoulder injury. That’s all in the past. But what about his future? That’s the question.
“If Bumgarner comes back and pitches like an ace, the Giants can move forward with optimism. If not, they’ll have a reason to worry during the offseason.”
Since MadBum left with his shoulder injury the Giants have gone 18-26. They brought up Ty Blach to replace him, who’s has gone 4-2 with a 3.24 ERA in eight starts. It’s also worth noting that Blach has the lowest ERA of the five starting pitchers currently.
A bigger question from me: “Who will Bumgarner replace when he makes his return?”