Oakland A’s after 60 games in 2019
By David Hill
Major League Baseball wants a 60 game schedule in 2020. What would that have meant for the Oakland A’s last year?
Let’s go back to June 2 last year. On that day, the Oakland A’s had played their 60th game of the season, just over a third of the schedule. There was still a long way to go before the season ended, but at that point, teams were starting to assess their chances of making the postseason.
Fast forward to this season. As it currently stands, the Major League Baseball season may end up lasting for approximately 60 games. The most recent offer from the league involved playing 60 games in 70 days, then moving forward with an expanded postseason. At least there would be baseball.
At that point last year, the A’s were 30-30, a decent record, but not one that necessarily screamed that they were a playoff team. They were seventh in the American League, trailing the Rangers and Red Sox for the final Wild Card spot, with Texas 1.5 games ahead. The A’s were also just half a game ahead of the Angels, Indians, and White Sox at the time.
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The pitching staff also looked a bit different. Sean Manaea was still three months away from returning to the mound. Frankie Montas was still pitching, but was two weeks away from his suspension. Homer Bailey and Tanner Roark had yet to be acquired, and Liam Hendriks had yet to take over the closer role.
Likewise, the lineup looked different. Jurickson Profar was still entrenched as the starting second baseman. Josh Phegley had a strong start to the season, and Khris Davis was in the midst of his best offensive showing on the year. Meanwhile, Marcus Semien had yet to heat up and turn into the MVP candidate he was at the end of the season.
It is possible that, with a shorter year, things would have changed. Sean Murphy could have come to the majors sooner, adding another bat to the lineup. Profar could have been on a shorter leash. Yet, the A’s would not have gone on their impressive run over the final 102 games to reach the postseason.
A 60 game schedule would have led to a very different outcome for the Oakland A’s in 2019. If that is the schedule this year, it will be interesting to see how quickly teams make changes.