Oakland Athletics

Manager: Bob Melvin
Stadium: O.co Coliseum
2008 Record: 75-86 (3rd in AL West)
Team Page | Roster | Schedule

LINEUP

'08: Batting | Runs (14th in AL)
PLAYER B POS
Orlando Cabrera R SS
Mark Ellis R 2B
Matt Holliday R LF
Jack Cust L DH
Eric Chavez L 3B
Jason Giambi L 1B
Travis Buck L RF
Ryan Sweeney L CF
Kurt Suzuki R C
OFF THE BENCH
Nomar Garciaparra R INF
Rajai Davis R OF

PITCHING

'08: Pitching | ERA (5th in AL)
ROTATION T POS
Dallas Braden L SP1
Trevor Cahill R SP2
Dana Eveland L SP3
Brett Anderson L SP4
Josh Outman L SP5
BULLPEN
Santiago Casilla R Setup
Russ Springer R Setup
Brad Ziegler R Closer
 
After a winter in which the A's made win-now moves -- trading for Matt Holliday and signing Jason Giambi and Orlando Cabrera -- the team's brain trust met in early March to discuss the development of Brett Anderson and Trevor Cahill, Oakland's top pitching prospects. The plan had been to bring the 21-year-old hurlers along slowly, but because they've looked so good in spring training, there has been talk of putting them on the big league roster. No matter where they start the season, the two pitchers could be difference-makers in the pennant race. Anderson, a southpaw with a killer fastball-curve combo, is rated MLB's No. 7 prospect by Baseball America; Cahill, a righty with a vicious sinker, is ranked No. 11. Throw in 23-year-old lefty Gio Gonzalez, and the trio could be the second coming of Tim Hudson, Barry Zito and Mark Mulder. "Our biggest concern is our pitching," says GM Billy Beane, "but we feel we have as good a group of young arms as anyone in the game." And if that group continues to develop quickly, the A's will be winning now and into the fall.
-- Buster Olney

ESPN The Magazine's A's preview Insider

PROSPECTS

HITTER TO WATCH:

If Ryan Sweeney doesn't hit, Rajai Davis isn't the answer, which could give Aaron Cunningham a shot at the center-field job.

PITCHER TO WATCH:

Brett Anderson has plus command of a four-pitch mix that includes an out-pitch curveball; he's a definite Rookie of the Year candidate because of his feel for pitching and favorable home park.
-- Keith Law, Scouts Inc.

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SPORTSNATION

Is underrated Mark Ellis among the top second basemen in the American League? Is perennial All-Star Matt Holliday now the league's best left fielder? Is Kurt Suzuki worthy of consideration as the AL's No. 1 catcher in 2009? Register your vote.

AL poll page

Featured Comment

AL West: First Athletics, second Angels, third Rangers, last Mariners.


jdisawe

American League fan previews

FANTASY

SLEEPER

Brett Anderson, the 21-year-old lefty, has shown mound presence and command beyond his years this spring and will have a rotation job to start the season. He's definitely a player to watch who will be available dirt-cheap in mixed leagues.

BUST

A popular sleeper for some pundits, Dallas Braden may ultimately be just too hittable to have consistent success as a starter in the big leagues. He has a starting job to begin the year but may not keep it.
-- Jason Grey

INJURIES

Joey Devine has one of the best names in professional sports … and now he's paying a visit to one of the biggest names in professional sports. Devine's ailing right (throwing) elbow will be examined by Dr. James Andrews next week. The fact that Devine requires a trip to the well-known orthopedic surgeon is bad enough; what's worse is that this is a recurrence of a problem that caused him to miss two months last year. Devine was divine when he returned to action, but serious symptoms this early generally do not signal good times ahead. He will join teammate Justin Duchscherer on the DL to start the season. The A's have to hope that Devine's stay is just temporary.
-- Stephania Bell

MORE

30 Questions: How will Holliday fare in Oakland?

PRESEASON POWER RANKINGS

  • Jayson Stark

    Stark
    19th overall
    2nd in
    AL West

  • Tim Kurkjian

    Kurkjian
    16th overall
    2nd in
    AL West

  • Buster Olney

    Olney
    16th overall
    2nd in
    AL West

  • Rob Neyer

    Neyer
    8th overall
    1st in
    AL West

  • Jim Caple

    Caple
    20th overall
    2nd in
    AL West