For the second consecutive season, the Oakland Athletics are champions of the American League West. While it might not be as surprising a feat as it was last year for this Oakland team, there is still a certain degree of shock that comes along with what they accomplished, because of how well they fended off injury.
General manager Billy Beane was quick to point out the fact that this is one of the best teams he’s had in Oakland, and it was a fact that he pointed out was due to the depth. A quick look up and down this roster would indicate that the A’s do, in fact, have one of the deeper rosters in all of baseball.
While this is a team that appears to be pretty healthy now, they’ve dealt with a great deal of injury woes over the course of the season. Brett Anderson missed most of the year, and Bartolo Colon missed time as well. After a breakout 2012 season, Josh Reddick has missed a great deal of time, appearing in only 108 games. Derek Norris has only appeared in 94 on the year.
Each time a player goes down, the A’s have had somebody ready to step in and compensate for the loss. Beane went out and acquired Kurt Suzuki for basically nothing. When Colon went down, the A’s had Tommy Milone ready to step into the rotation.
Of course, strong seasons from key players, such as Josh Donaldson and Brandon Moss have certainly helped their cause. But a team without such depth would have likely folded if faced with the injury woes that they A’s have been met this year. In crediting his team’s depth for their success this season, Billy Beane could not be more right.