Wow, what a difference a couple of weeks make.
I apologize for my recent lack of posting but as I mentioned last time, I recently got married and as you probably could imagine, was a little busy. Everything went great, my wife and I had a blast and everybody was shaking his or her behind on the dance floor. What more could you ask for? (Oh, and the A’s won that day).
Now, back to baseball.
There has been a frenzy of news surrounding the A’s in recent days, and I’m going to try to get to it all so here we go:
50 Game Suspension- Bartolo Colon tested positive for elevated levels of testosterone and has been suspended 50 games by Major League Baseball. For obvious reasons, this news is incredibly disappointing. Prior to hearing this, it must have been hard for anyone to dislike Colon. He always seemed relaxed, content, and enjoying his time playing the game we all love. His teammates liked and respected him, journalists liked to cover him and fans gravitated towards him because of his approachability and demeanor.
Now we learn that he cheated the A’s, his teammates, the fans, and the game of baseball. I’m not going to delve too deeply into the intricacies of the steroid issue. That song has been played out for some time now. All I’m going to say is I’m not shocked it’s still in the game; we knew this would be a prolonged and ongoing endeavor; and lastly, it’s just sad. Everything about it is just sad.
Either way the A’s must move on. Dan Strailey was just sent down and cannot be brought back up to the big club for ten days. A.J. Griffin is still rehabbing (probably a week away) so our old friend, Tyson Ross will be filling in for Colon for the time being. More moves are sure to come certainly by September when rosters expand, but probably before.
Anderson Returns: On a much more positive note, we finally got to witness the much anticipated (and often mentioned by myself) return of Brett Anderson. Anderson pitched Tuesday night at the major league level for the first time in over a year after recovering from Tommy John surgery. He was fantastic giving up just one run over seven innings while striking out six and walking none. Usually control is the last thing to come back to a pitcher after Tommy John so the no walks is particularly encouraging.
His fastball had some zip on it as he was pitching between 91-93 mph, and his breaking balls were very sharp, particularly his curveball. His slider is typically his best pitch but he was getting lots of swing and misses on the curve.
I’m not sure the A’s should really expect a whole lot from Anderson this year (though they may need to with the Colon news) but seeing him healthy now gives everyone more confidence going into next year. By then Anderson’s stuff and command will be a little sharper and he could lead this staff. Of course it would be really nice if he could do that for the stretch run to the playoffs.
A’s Acquire New SS- The Oakland A’s acquired shortstop Stephen Drew from the Arizona Diamondbacks for prospect Sean Jamieson. Drew, who recently came back from a very serious ankle injury will hopefully provide some offensive stability at SS, something the A’s haven’t had all year. In a small sample size this year, Drew hasn’t been good at all but there was a bit of a falling out between him and the Diamondbacks front office; the A’s hope the change of scenery will suit him well.
Drew was definitely in the mix for the A’s at the deadline. I can’t believe the A’s wouldn’t have made this trade before deadline, as Jamieson isn’t considered a top prospect, so Arizona must have lowered their price.
Weeks Sent Down- In a corresponding roster move as a result of the Drew trade, Jemile Weeks has been sent to AAA. I was pretty surprised by the move, though I don’t think it is a big deal at all. Weeks has been bad all year, but he’s young and learning and I fully believe he’ll bounce back.
I think most of his issues are mechanical. He has great bat speed but his swing gets a little long with some loft and he ends up hitting a lot of balls in the air. Not a good idea for a guy with Weeks’ limited power. He needs to shorten up and level out his swing, which he’ll be able to work out with some AAA at bats. Remember, rosters expand in less than two weeks so it’s almost a certainty that he’ll be back at the beginning of September. I think this move was done mostly to light a fire under Jemile.
He said all the right things, of course. He accepts and understands the demotion and told reporters that he still believes he is a star. That confidence is why I believe he’ll figure it out.
About the Author
Written by Josh Muller
My name is Josh Muller. I was born and raised in Oakland, California and currently live in San Francisco. I watch sports religiously and organize my calender year to coincide with baseball season. I'm a diehard A's and Warriors fan, love talking sports all day and believe that the words "Opening Day" are the two greatest in the English language.