How Many A’s Are There In River Cats?
By Andrew Brown
Over the past few seasons the A’s have been bit by the injury bug a little too much. They also have been bit by slumps and inconsistency. Last season may finally have shown a breakthrough (knock on wood). The Green and Gold weathered the injury storm and instead of slumps saw players’ breakout into career best seasons (i.e. Josh Reddick). The new generation of A’s has arrived to the big leagues and it looks like they are here to stay for the foreseeable future. This leads to the question, what happened to the last generation? Look no further than your Sacramento River Cats.
May 6, 2012; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Oakland Athletics first basemanDaric Barton
(10) and third basemanEric Sogard
(28) watch as they change pitchers against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Oakland Athletics defeated the Tampa Bay Rays 9-5. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
The River Cats could realistically start an infield consisting of players who have spent extensive time with the A’s at some point minus the catching position. Bartolo Colon on the bump, Daric Barton at first, Jemile Weeks at second, Adam Rosales at short, and Eric Sogard at third. Remember them? Don’t forget too soon.
The bullpen will be stocked with players with experience playing in Oakland. With presumably only one spot left in the A’s bullpen for the taking at least four or five players will end up in Sacramento. Some possibilities include Evan Scribner, Pedro Figueroa, Jordan Norberto, Bartolo Colon, Jesse Chavez, among others.
The A’s won 94 games in 2012. A major part in that is the depth they have not only at the Major League level where they can have platoons at most positions and have players who can play multiple positions, but at the Minor League level as well. To have not only depth, but experienced depth, is crucial to the A’s chances of making another run in October.
The A’s have a new shortstop, a second base job for the taking, and pitchers Ryan Cook, Sean Doolittle, Jarrod Parker, Tommy Milone, who threw more innings than ever before. Therefore you cannot expect everything to be perfect for the upcoming 2013 season. At some point someone will get hurt or someone will have an off year. Someone will have to step up like Josh Donaldson did last season.
This is where the A’s are going to excel this year. With the additions of Jed Lowrie, Chris Young, and Chris Resop coupled with the players in Sacramento mentioned above the A’s have the depth necessary to withstand almost anything they encounter. This is the formula that leads to teams not only making to October but to make a deep run as well. If you’re going to the dance might as well stay a little bit longer then last time right?
The A’s could potentially have more than half of their triple-A roster full of players with experience at the big league level. This includes mainstays like Daric Barton and Jemile Weeks. While Weeks seems to be the only one who has a legitimate shot to have a bright future in the Majors the experience of the other players could prove crucial to disbanding the Rangers and Angels in the search for back to back AL West championships. How many A’s are in Sacramento River Cats? More than you might think.