The Oakland Athletics have scuffled a bit here in the second half of the season, but still find themselves sitting pretty in the playoff race in the American League. They’re right in the thick of things for the AL West division, and if they are unable to grab the crown, a wild card spot looks likely for them.
There are several reasons you could look at the A’s and determine why they are where they are. But perhaps the largest reason why the A’s have had such a successful 2013 season, in a follow up to their surprise 2012 playoff run, is the fact that they are one of the deeper teams in the American League.
The A’s don’t have the star power that other contending clubs around the league do. But at this point, we know how this organization operates. They’ve been able to develop their own talent and acquire scrap heap pickups in order to build up a team that is a very real contender out west.
This is a team that currently has the likes of Bartolo Colon on the disabled list, as well as Brett Anderson, two key pieces of their starting rotation. But they’ve had folks step right in and provide stability in their absence, such as Tommy Milone has since Colon went down.
The A’s have their top two catchers out right now, both on the DL. They went out and re-acquired Kurt Suzuki at a bargain. As strong as their starting outfield is, having Seth Smith and Chris Young as your fourth and fifth outfielders makes up one of the deeper groups in all of baseball. On the infield, they have folks capable of playing all over the diamond, allowing them to survive slumps and injuries.
There are several reasons that this team is where they are at this point in the season. It’s hard to overlook their depth as the no. 1 reason that they’ll likely head to the postseason for the second consecutive year.