The Oakland Athletics have made a few announces regarding their staff for the 2011 season. The A’s, as reported by the SFGate, will not be bringing back head trainer, Steve Sayles. This news is not particularly surprising, since the A’s had injury problems all season-long. In fact, the A’s have been one of the most ‘fragile’ teams in all of baseball: the A’s lost an inexcusable 1,426 player games to injuries during the course of the season. Now, not all the blame can be placed on the A’s training/conditioning staff, but I mean c’mon. Are the players not shown proper conditioning?
Over the course of Sayles’ time with Oakland, the A’s have used the DL a whopping 65 times. The A’s used the DL 23 times this year, which is one of the reasons why they were never able to put a good run together. Think about it, the A’s were without Eric Chavez (not that he was doing much this year), Justin Duchscherer (an All-Star), Ben Sheets, and Coco Crisp. In fact, the A’s saw Kurt Suzuki and Brett Anderson spend time on the DL this year as well. To me, using the DL 65 times over the course of three years is just way too much.
But like I said, not all the blame should be placed on Sayles. Part of the blame should be placed on A’s GM Billy Beane as well. Beane, who even stated that a good predictor for health is a player’s past history, signed risky veterans like Sheets and Crisp this past offseason. Heck, he’s been doing that for a while now. I understand that the A’s are a small-market club, but that’s really no excuse for the amount of time they spend placing players on the DL.
As for other staff adjustments, the A’s have hired a new hitting coach in Gerald Perry and have announced the hiring of bench coach, Joel Skinner. If you remember, Perry served as the A’s hitting coach in 2006 when the team made it to the ALCS. He will be replacing Jim Skaalen, who’s contract will not be renewed for next season. Perry last served with Boston’s Triple-A affiliate, and has 10 years overall in experience.
Skinner, who replaces Tye Waller. Waller, the A’s bench-coach last year, will serve as the team’s first-base coach. The A’s former first-base coach, Todd Steverson, has been a position within the team’s minor-league system the A’s official site reports. The A’s made a flurry of moves, and hopefully they all pan out. The A’s offense was atrocious this year, and with Perry back in Oakland, the A’s could see a turn around in 2011.
*This news was first reported by the SFGate, and then released by the A’s official team website.