During the first half of last season the A’s went 43-43. Sitting right at .500 was a huge accomplishment for this team that was expected to be one of the worst in baseball. But somehow during the second half this team found a way to win 51 of their final 76.
Josh Reddick was definitely the overall star of this team leading the team in at bats, runs, hits, doubles, home runs and RBI. But the biggest change from first to second half was Yoenis Cespedes. During the first half of the season he couldn’t touch an average breaking ball to save his life. But he made a huge adjustment mid-season and learned how to hit breaking balls almost as well as he hit fastballs.
Now to the question of this article, can they do it again. Reddick is an excellent player and has a real chance to get better, same with Cespedes. But now without a unnoticed leader like Jonny Gomes and with the league having seen all of their young pitchers I don’t think the A’s can repeat.
Their three main young pitchers being Tommy Milone, Jarrod Parker and A.J. Griffin will all be back with a year of experience. But does a year of experience really help pitchers? Sure they have been in the league and can probably handle themselves better but now everyone has seen their stuff before. I don’t think there is a chance that those three pitch as well as they did last year.
Brandon McCarthy is gone but the A’s did most of their damage without him last year. This bullpen does not look good, the main guys being Sean Doolittle, Jerry Blevins, Ryan Cook and Grant Balfour. But it was recently announce Balfour will be out between four and six weeks. The bullpen is sketchy, I don’t believe the rotation can be as good as last year and this lineup minus Cespedes and Reddick has very little to no major league talent.
Sorry to tell you A’s fans but I don’t think they can repeat their Cinderella 2012 in this 2013 season.