MLB Oakland Athletics

5 Questions the Oakland Athletics Must Answer During Spring Training

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5 Questions the Oakland Athletics Must Answer During Spring Training

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This could be the year for the Oakland Athletics. After a very successful 2013 where they once again made the playoffs and almost went deep into the playoffs, 2014 could be their year. I don’t mean they could win it all, though they certainly could. This could be the year that the A’s are actually picked to win the American League West. How many times in a row would they have to win it before they were favorites?

That’s a good question but even the Atlanta Braves during the 14-season winning streak were picked to lose more times than not so the A’s are right where they want to be if someone picks one of their rivals over them once again. There have been improvements in Oakland however, other than the stadium, and they might well be one of the most difficult teams to beat.

I think it is imperative for every good team to enter Spring Training with open positions that have to be won and various questions that need to be answered. Otherwise the entire spring season is just one big workout and who would really thrive in that environment? Sure, some players know they are starting but those are the level of professional that can get by with it. Here are some questions that might not be so easy to answer for the A’s in Spring Training.

David Miller is a Senior Writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @davidmillerrant, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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5 – Who Will Fill Out Starting Rotation?

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A lot of things about the Athletics starting rotation are solid and some are still up in the air. They have eight men going for five spots where there is really only one spot up for grabs. Will one of the favorites grab that spot or will an underdog candidate emerge?

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4 – Will Scott Kazmir Take on All-Star Form for A’s?

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Kazmir is potentially one of the biggest additions to this team all offseason. He could be an ace-level starter for the team though he is not a guarantee as of yet. What will his spring look like? Will he take charge early on and have a great season?

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3 – How Will Bullpen Transition from Balfour to Jim Johnson?

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Grant Balfour was definitely one of the more polarizing figures on this team one season ago but he was also dominant. Now the flashy closer has gone elsewhere and Johnson has replaced him. That should change at least part of the attitude of the ‘pen but how different will it be and for better or worse?

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2 – Will Sonny Gray Earn Opening Day Start?

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There are two starters who could probably be set as the opening day starter for the Athletics. One of them is the very good and promising Sonny Gray. After his great showing this past postseason, can he earn the Opening Day start for the A’s?

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1 – Will Yoenis Cespedes Get a Contract Extension?

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With the recent contract extension of Coco Crisp, Cespedes wants one of his own. Who can blame him really? Here is a guy that is probably the most prominent power hitter on the team. Will he be able to secure an extension from the team? If not one would have to wonder if he wouldn’t be on the trading block this season.