A’s 2011 In Review: The Bad


The A’s 2011 season was supposed to be full of excitement, but in the end, Billy Beane’s green-and-gold crew put together a season marked by inconsistencies on both offense and defense.

Despite the additions of some key players like Hideki Matsui, David DeJesus, Josh Willingham, Grant Balfour, and Brian Fuentes, the A’s failed to reach the playoffs for the fifth-consecutive season and finished the season 22 games out of first place in the AL West. Oh, and the whole Bob Geren drama also put a damper on the A’s 2011 season as well.

The offense actually performed worse than it did the previous year in 2010. The A’s mustered up just 645 runs, 210 runs fewer than the AL West leading Texas Rangers and as a team hit just .244/.311/.369 during the 2011 season.

In 2010 the A’s managed to score 663 runs and hit .256/.324/.378 as a team. That’s without David DeJesus, Hideki Matsui, and Josh Willingham. Beane’s offseason additions didn’t help the team, they actually hurt the team’s offense in 2011.

Injuries were also a big problem for the A’s in 2011 as well. The team’s starting rotation, which entered the season as a highly regarding crew, was hit hard by injuries during the season. Oakland lost starters Dallas Braden and Brett Anderson for a majority of the season and also had to weather through the injuries to Tyson Ross, Joey Devine, and a few other pitchers.

Oakland’s pitching staff, led by 2010 ace Trevor Cahill also had a roller-coaster type season. Cahill regressed in 2011, going just 12-14 with a 4.16 ERA after going 18-8 with a 2.97 ERA in 2010. During the first-half of the season, the A’s pitching staff led the AL in ERA (3.13), but in the second-half the team’s ERA suffered.

After the All-Star break, the A’s ERA ballooned all the way up to a 4.48. It seemed when the offense couldn’t get anything going the pitching was lights out, but when the pitching floundered the offense scored a ton of runs.

In addition to these annoyances, here’s a list of some of the bad things that occurred this season in Oakland:

  • Trevor Cahill fell back to Earth. After getting luck throughout the 2010 season, as evident by his lucky .236 BABIP, Cahill went just 12-14 with a 4.16 ERA in 34 starts in 2011. He logged in 207.2 innings of work, but overall he was a disappointment. 2011 was a far more realistic view of the kind of pitcher Cahill is. Not terribly great, but not terrible.
  • Kevin Kouzmanoff failed in his attempt to help the A’s over at third-base post the Eric Chavez era. He lasted just 46 games this season in Oakland before getting sent down to Triple-A Sacramento then traded to the Colorado Rockies. He hit .221/.262/.353 over 149 at-bats. He also committed 9 errors in Oakland at third-base, while posting a dWAR of -0.5 in 2011 for Oakland. Scott Sizemore is now considered the favorite to take over the starting duties at third in 2012.
  • Bob Geren getting fired is, in my mind, a good thing. It’s just a shame it took Billy Beane four-plus years to realize the best man at his wedding, while probably a nice guy in real life, had absolutely no sensibility as a major league skipper.
  • The dealing of Mark Ellis. Ellis suffered through a disappointing 2011 campaign, hitting just .217/.253/.290 with a homer and 16 RBIs before getting dealt to the Colorado Rockies. The deal, which brought about Jemile Weeks, was the opening bell, in my mind, for Oakland’s newest rebuilding efforts.
  • David DeJesus. Worst. Signing. Ever. Well, maybe not ever, but he didn’t play like the player Oakland expected him to be in 2011. DeJesus, who took up a lot of playing time in Oakland’s outfield hit just .240/.323/.376 with 10 HR and 46 RBIs. He posted a 3.1 WAR with Kansas City in 2010, but in his first and only season in Oakland he posted a 0.6 WAR, worse than Ryan Sweeney‘s 0.8 WAR. Good riddance.
  • Hideki Matsui’s first-half stats. The player formerly known as “Godzilla” hit .209/.290/.327 with six home runs and 34 RBIs during the first-half.
  • Oakland’s defense. The A’s didn’t embody a team that is fundamentally sound as they committed a total of 124 errors, second-highest total in the majors.
  • Daric Barton‘s fall from Earth. Here’s a guy who had a lot of expectations once he came to Oakland only to fall well short of those lofty expectations. He was injured this season, but his status as the team’s starting first-baseman is in serious jeopardy this spring. Chris Carter and Bradon Allen figure to give Barton a run for his money this spring.
  • O.co Coliseum. The A’s still haven’t heard much from MLB or Bud Selig in regards to their bid for a new stadium in San Jose. They’ve been patiently waiting for three years now, but still no answer. The A’s, if they wish to compete, cannot continue to play in O.co Coliseum. They need a solution to this whole mess, stat!

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