5 Oakland Athletics Who Must Stay Healthy in 2016

By Brad Berreman

The Oakland Athletics had a bad season in 2015, with a 68-94 record and a last place finish in the AL West. The team is still not as talent-laden as other teams in the division, but a rebound can’t be ruled out in 2016.

If Oakland is to return to playoff contention this year, here are five players who have to stay healthy.

5 Oakland Athletics Who Must Stay Healthy in 2016
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5. RP Sean Doolittle

RP Sean Doolittle Credit: Jason O. Watson Getty Images
A shoulder issue limited Doolittle to 12 appearances in 2015, with most coming late in the season. Oakland bolstered their bullpen depth with offseason signings, but Doolittle should retain the closer role and his health will be crucial.

5. RP Sean Doolittle

A shoulder issue limited Doolittle to 12 appearances in 2015, with most coming late in the season. Oakland bolstered their bullpen depth with offseason signings, but Doolittle should retain the closer role and his health will be crucial.

4. C/1B Stephen Vogt

C/1B Stephen Vogt Credit: Norm Hall Getty Images
Vogt had a good season in 2015, finishing second on the team in home runs (18) and RBI (71), but he is working his way back from January elbow surgery. A full repeat offensively can't be expected, but Vogt has to stay in the lineup this year.

4. C/1B Stephen Vogt

Vogt had a good season in 2015, finishing second on the team in home runs (18) and RBI (71), but he is working his way back from January elbow surgery. A full repeat offensively can't be expected, but Vogt has to stay in the lineup this year.

3. LF Khris Davis

LF Khris Davis Credit: Justin K. Aller Getty Images
Davis hit 27 home runs over 392 at-bats with the Milwaukee Brewers last year, and he'll bring some much-needed power to Oakland's lineup as he steps into left field.

3. LF Khris Davis

Davis hit 27 home runs over 392 at-bats with the Milwaukee Brewers last year, and he'll bring some much-needed power to Oakland's lineup as he steps into left field.

2. RF Josh Reddick

RF Josh Reddick Credit: Ronald Martinez Getty Images
Reddick led Oakland in home runs (20), RBI (77) and slugging percentage (.449) in 2015, and he was one of three players with double-digit steals (10). The A's offense does not look as feeble as it did, but any long absence by Reddick would hurt.

2. RF Josh Reddick

Reddick led Oakland in home runs (20), RBI (77) and slugging percentage (.449) in 2015, and he was one of three players with double-digit steals (10). The A's offense does not look as feeble as it did, but any long absence by Reddick would hurt.

1. SP Sonny Gray

SP Sonny Gray Credit: Mitchell Layton Getty Images
After posting a 2.73 ERA and topping 200 innings for the second straight season in 2015, Gray has become a staff ace. Back and hip issues that led to a poor finish last year should be behind him, so Gray needs to make 30-plus starts again in 2016.

1. SP Sonny Gray

After posting a 2.73 ERA and topping 200 innings for the second straight season in 2015, Gray has become a staff ace. Back and hip issues that led to a poor finish last year should be behind him, so Gray needs to make 30-plus starts again in 2016.

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