Giants & A’s

Matt Kawahara, Bay Area baseball beat writer

A’s at a glance

03/29/2014 5:34 PM

10/08/2014 11:46 AM

• 2013: 96-66, won American League West

• Manager: Bob Melvin (fourth season)

• They’re here: LHP Fernando Abad, OF Craig Gentry, RHP Luke Gregerson, RHP Jim Johnson, LHP Scott Kazmir, LHP Drew Pomeranz, IF Nick Punto

• They’re out of here: LHP Brett Anderson, RHP Grant Balfour, LHP Jerry Blevins, OF Michael Choice, RHP Bartolo Colon, RHP Pat Neshek, OF Seth Smith, C Kurt Suzuki, 2B Jemile Weeks, OF Chris Young

• Projected lineup: CF Coco Crisp (.261, 22 home runs, 66 RBIs, 21 stolen bases), 3B Josh Donaldson (.301, 24, 93), SS Jed Lowrie (.290, 15, 75), LF Yoenis Cespedes (.240, 26, 80), DH Brandon Moss (.256, 30, 87), RF Josh Reddick (.226, 12, 56), C Derek Norris (.246, 9, 30) or John Jaso (.271, 3, 21 in 70 games), 1B Daric Barton (.269, 3, 16 in 37 games)/Alberto Callaspo (.270, 5, 22 in 50 games with A’s), 2B Eric Sogard (.266, 2, 35)/Nick Punto (.255, 2, 21 with Dodgers)

• Projected rotation: RH Sonny Gray (5-3, 2.67 ERA, 67 strikeouts in 12 games), LH Scott Kazmir (10-9, 4.04, 162 in 29 games with Indians), RH Jesse Chavez (2-4, 3.92, 55), RH Dan Straily (10-8, 2.96, 124), LH Tommy Milone (12-9, 4.14, 126)

• Key relievers: RH Jim Johnson (3-8, 2.94, 50 saves with Orioles), LH Sean Doolittle (5-5, 3.13, 60 strikeouts), RH Luke Gregerson (6-8, 2.71, 64 K with Padres), RH Ryan Cook (6-4, 2.54, 67 K), RH Dan Otero (2-0, 1.38, 27 K)

• Outlook: Despite back-to-back A.L. West titles, the A’s still feel like underdogs in a division with the bigger-budget Angels and Rangers. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, as the role has served the A’s well, but their prized depth will be tested immediately by injuries in their starting rotation. If the pitching holds up, the A’s should be equipped to mount a title defense – while bounce-back years from Josh Reddick and Yoenis Cespedes would certainly help the cause.

– Matt Kawahara

About This Blog

Matt Kawahara has covered baseball for The Sacramento Bee for three years. Kawahara, a McClatchy High School and UC Berkeley graduate, joined The Bee in 2010. Before joining Sports, he was a general assignment news reporter. Reach Kawahara at Twitter: @matthewkawahara.

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