Spring Training In 2016 Will Be Crucial For Oakland Athletics


The Oakland Athletics had a dismal 2015 season. There were numerous factors that led to their demise, but underneath it all, the A’s fundamentals were ultimately not there. With so many rookies and new players, the basics of baseball were thrown out the window as they strived to win each game. As the team looks to 2016, spring training will be a crucial time for the Athletics to work on their basic skills that will set them up for a winning season.

Today, the A’s clinched the last-place finish in the AL West. This is not only sad, but also disappointing. The Athletics looked like a promising team when they won their first Opening Day game in 11 years this season. However, it quickly became clear that the team did not have what it took to make the long haul.

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Oakland is currently tied for the most errors in the MLB with 115 over the course of this season. In today’s game, an error was charged to September call-up catcher Carson Blair when he could not cut off the throw home ultimately allowing the runners to advance one base. However, relief pitcher Arnold Leon should have been covering home plate behind Blair in case something just like this happened. This is just one example of the Oakland players dismissing the fundamentals of baseball.

Throughout the season, fans have seen numerous fielding errors made by rookies. An easy example of someone who has struggled with fielding issues is Marcus Semien. Semien came into the season without any idea as to how to be a good defensive Major League shortstop. Thankfully, the A’s hired Ron Washington to work with Semien. Now that Semien understands the basics of fielding in the middle infield, he has performed much better.

Additionally, there have been some problems when it comes to baserunning. The speedy Billy Burns has had a few issues in this area. There have been a couple of times where Burns has misread a situation and has either not scored when he could have or has been caught in a rundown.

Lastly, the A’s are 17-32 in one-run games. They tried too hard to hit for power this season and did not try to hit for contact. The “Green Collar Baseball” mentality is suppose to be about hard work and gritty play in order to get on base and drive in runs anyway possible. The A’s inability to this seriously hurt them this year.

These were the fundamentals that were missing this season. Spring training next year will be the perfect time for the Oakland Athletics to work on these skills as a team. There will still be a lot of young players, maybe even some new rookies from Triple-A, who will need intensive coaching on how to play at the Major League level. Without these basics, the A’s will once again end the season with a losing record and disappointed fans.

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