The A’s OF Ryan Sweeney is starting to become a consistent hitter, and that is definitely good news for Oakland. The A’s lineup lacks a considerable amount of power and consistency, but Ryan Sweeney has been just as good as anyone these days.
Through 30 games this season, the 25-year old Sweeney is hitting .304/.354/.400 with one homer and a team-leading 19 RBIs. Sweeney’s defense has always been terrific, but now that he is starting to hit the ball well, he’s becoming a tremendous assest for the A’s.
Originally a second-round pick by the Chicago White Sox, Sweeney came to Oakland after the 2007 season in the Nick Swisher deal. During the offseason, I published a piece that analyzed that deal, but so far this season I’d say that deal ended up favoring the A’s. Not only did the A’s get Sweeney, but they also got young pitcher Gio Gonzalez.
Gonzalez, who is currently 3-2 with a 3.53 ERA, leads the team in strikeouts with 34 in 35.2 innings pitched. Gonzalez has enjoyed success this season after struggling in his first two years with Oakland. Last year, Gonzalez posted a 6-7 record as well as an ERA of 5.75. In his first season, Gonzalez had a record of 1-4 and an ERA over seven (7.68). This year, Gonzalez seems more relaxed and for the most part has held his emotions in-check.
While Gonzalez is still walking a ton of batters (25 walks allowed in 35.2 innings), he’s at least beginning to look more mature while he’s on the mound. The A’s starting pitching has been solid for most of the season, and Gonzalez has been a big part of the rotation’s success thus far. Once Brett Anderson is back, the A’s should have no problem holding their opponents in-check. In retrospect, the A’s have really benefited from the Swisher deal. If you had asked me in 2007 if I liked the deal, I would’ve said “no.” Ask me now, well, I think you get the point—the A’s easily won that deal.