The first ALDS game the Oakland Athletics will play will be on October 4th at the O.co Coliseum. With this game coming up in about week, postseason roster predictions have been floating around the rumor mill for sometime now. Here are my predictions on what the Oakland’s roster and pitching rotation might look like.
Three catchers for the postseason
Stephen Vogt, Derek Norris, and Kurt Suzuki are all valued members of the team – and they are all catchers. Ever since Suzuki was acquired in late August, these three catchers have been rotated throughout the remaining games of the season. And rotating these catchers has been effect for the Athletics.
All of them are great defensemen with high fielding percentages and all would contribute greatly in the postseason. They all are averaging about the same with Vogt at .256, Norris at .250, and Suzuki at .232. The Athletics seem to want all three on the roster and have been testing the catchers throughout September. Vogt fielded grounders from first last week and recently Suzuki has been set up to hit against left handed pitchers even though he is usually better against righties.
As of now, I think Norris will be in the starting lineup since he has nine home runs, 30 RBI, and is the most consistent both offensively and defensively. Suzuki struggles at the plate from time to time and Vogt’s receiving skills are not up to par with Norris’s abilities.
Dan Straily will not make the bullpen
With Bartolo Colon, Jarrod Parker, A.J. Griffin, and Sonny Gray dominating on the mound lately, Dan Straily had no chance of making the rotation. But I believe that he will not even make the bullpen for the postseason. In his last outing against the Los Angeles Angels, he gave up seven hits and three runs, which were the three runs that allowed the Angels to win the game. Even though this is only his first loss in September, the rest of the season shows how inconsistent Straily can be. The A’s even demoted Straily to Triple-A in late June due to poor performance. With a 3.96 ERA for the 2013 season, Straily’s young arm needs some more practice and discipline.
Alberto Callaspo will be at second base
Even though the Eric Sogard has been a dedicated member of the Athletics, he became an afterthought for second base once Callaspo joined the team in July. Sogard has only had two home runs this season and has been given less playing time as the season draws to an end. In 44 games, Callaspo has hit four home runs, 18 RBI, and has a .277 average. He was traded to the Athletics right before the trade deadline, and during his first month with the Athletics, he hit a .301 AVG, which was a significant improvement from his .197 in the month of July. He has come to life while wearing green and gold and will definitely take Sogard’s place at second base for the postseason.
Nate Freiman will be left off the roster
After being in Triple-A for most the of the season, Daric Barton has finally outshined Freiman. Even though Freiman is a great defenseman, Barton’s defensive skills are just as good and Barton has also shown that he has a better bat. For the month of September, Barton has two home runs, eight RBI, and a .317 average. Nate Freiman has not played in the last ten games and has a .250 average for September. Additionally, with Freiman’s recent abdominal injury, there is a chance he will not be physically prepared for the postseason. Lastly, if the Athletics decide to put all three catchers on the postseason roster, there will be no room for Frieman on the bench.
The Athletics will be successful in the postseason if they take their time in picking the perfect player for each position. With so many potentials who could be on the roster, the Athletics are going to have to make some tough decisions on who to bring and who not to bring to the postseason.