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If both teams were healthy and productive, this would be a real doozy of a four-game series. But with Delgado, Halladay and Chavez all out of commission, plus various and sundry other Jays, it'll boil down to a battle of patchwork lineups.

Of course, Chavez's Gold Glove defence will be missed. But he was also one-fourth of a formidable middle of the order that has essentially generated all of Oakland's (modest) run production this season. If the Jays starters can handle Dye, Durazo and Hatteberg, they'll be successful, period.

As for pitching, the A's have had a typically strong starting rotation supported by excellent defence. Still, the Athletics' bullpen has been slumping badly, their starters have been less consistent than normal and Mark Mulder's turn in the rotation thankfully won't come up this weekend.

This week's Scout involves walk-off blasts, a pop-off at Network Associates Coliseum, a costly ninth-inning cross-up, and any number of other hyphenated words to kick-start the four-game series.

On to the Advance Scout!

* The A's bounced back from a 1-5 stretch by eking out two close victories on walk-off home runs in their mini-series with Chicago ... The problems caused by insufficient power have hit the Jays' cousins in Oakland as well. Last Friday, the A's stranded 14 runners and lost 1-0 ... Last Saturday, the A's had an uncharacteristically sloppy game, with three throwing errors and ten walks issued. The A's have committed the fewest errors in the American League (26) and have walked the third-fewest batters ... Lest there be any doubt about whether the A's are a team who now wins with pitching and defence, they're eleventh in OBP and ninth in SLG in the AL this season, but first in ERA ... Ordinarily conservative, the A's were thrown out on the bases three times on Tuesday night ...

* Look out: Tonight's starter, Cy Young laureate Barry Zito, appeared to have found his groove on Friday night ... Although he got saddled with a tough-luck no-decision, he tossed eight shutout innings, allowing only three hits ... The key for Zito is location within the strike zone -- he simply cannot leave his lollipop curve up and over the plate ... In six of his ten starts, he's yielded at least as many hits as innings. In those six starts, his ERA is an ugly 7.46, with nine home runs allowed ... In the four starts in which he's limited his hits against, his ERA is 1.61, with no homers allowed ...

* It looks like the classy veteran Mark McLemore will fill in at third for Eric Chavez ... It's quite a drop-off from a contender for the AL home run title to a 39-year-old slugging just .229 on the season ... Then again, Dave Berg's played first for us lately ... Mac is 0-for-7 against lefties this season with a walk ... McLemore has been suffering from swelling on his surgically repaired right knee, but with the A's injury situation, he's gamely playing through it ...

* Justin Duchscherer, whom Beane acquired from Texas for Luis Vizcaino, has been terrific in the bullpen this season ... Easily the club's most consistent reliever, the South Dakotan has been mowing down righties, who are hitting only .170 off him ... Despite eight outings lasting two innings or longer, his ERA still sits at a tidy 1.23 ...

* Tomorrow's starter, Victoria's own Rich Harden, continues to bring the heat ... He's struck out an impressive 52 batters in 54 1/3 innings ... He battled wildness last Saturday, though, walking six ... In May, Harden was so wild out of the full windup that he pitched out of the stretch exclusively in a game in Detroit. Harden said he would try to work through his control issues in the full windup tomorrow night, without resorting to the stretch-only approach ...

* Still only 24, Bobby Crosby's learning on the job ... His defence has been athletic, if a bit erratic ... His 12/51 BB/K rate indicates that he hasn't yet demonstrated plate discipline at the big-league level. He's only pulling down a .287 OBP ... He's struggling badly against lefties, going .196/.260/.348 ...

* Even taking his 0-for-5 on Tuesday into account, Mark Kotsay is hitting a torrid .538 in his last seven games ... His walk-off home run in yesterday's tenth inning brought his season total to...well, one -- and that's been disappointing to the Oakland brass ... Still, Beane must have been delighted to see Kotsay go yard against Jon Adkins, whom he foisted upon Kenny Williams in the 2002 Ray Durham deadline deal ... This was after Billy Koch, another A's-Sox trade participant, blew the save in the ninth ... Kotsay's been completely punchless against lefties, hitting .205/.294/.227 ... 13 walks is also likely unsatisfactory to A's management ... Kotsay offered the explanation (excuse?) of the spacious Coliseum deflating his power production: "This park is killing me...You can't get caught up in numbers" ... Kotsay has shown excellent range in centre ...

* Billy Beane was lauded for his acquisition of Venezuelan journeyman Marco Scutaro, but he's gone a paltry .234/.280/.338 in May and June as he continues to fill in for the injured Mark Ellis ... His 8/27 BB/K ratio can't be pleasing the brass, either ...

* Adam Melhuse is just 3 for his last 16 (.188) ... A switch-hitter, he's nevertheless shielded from lefties, against whom he's only 2 for 10 ... Melhuse has been criticized for his inability to block the plate on tag plays ...

* That said, Damian Miller isn't much of a lefty-masher behind the plate ... He's stuck on .255/.286/.319 against lefties, with one walk ... Miller suffered a deep bruise in his left elbow after being beaned by Jason Davis on Sunday, but he was able to play yesterday after sitting out one game ...

* Subject of perhaps the best-written Moneyball chapter, Scott "Pickin' Machine" Hatteberg has hit in nine of his last ten games ... His batting eye continues to be excellent, as he's struck out only 12 times while drawing 21 walks, en route to a .301/.384/.455 line ...

* Saturday's starter, the excellent Tim Hudson, gets the ball on a matinee, and that's bad news for Jays fans ... The diminutive righty is 13-1 with a 1.72 ERA over his last nineteen daytime starts ... Blessed with a nasty splitter, Hudson's only surrendered three homers in 80 1/3 IP this season ... Continuing his career-long run of tough luck, three of Huddy's four no-decisions have been a result of blown saves ... Oddly, Hudson's April 16 start in Anaheim is the only game in which he's struck out more than four batters ...

* Old friend Bobby Kielty really should consider giving up hitting from the left side of the plate ... He's slugging .603 against lefties, but a pitiful .311 against righties ... On Tuesday night, Kielty hit a walk-off bomb against the White Sox -- from the right side, of course, against Neal Cotts ... In an interesting bench move during that twelfth-inning at-bat, Ken Macha pinch-ran Eric Byrnes for Erubiel Durazo -- but only after the count ran to 3-2 ...

* The "Holy Grail," Erubiel Durazo, enters play tonight on a nine-game hitting streak (.395) ... Although last year was unquestionably a disappointment, Durazo's been a solid offensive player this year at .305/.371/.491 ...

* Arthur Rhodes has done little to make Oakland fans forget Keith Foulke ... The lefty from Waco has blown four of his twelve save opportunities, including his last two ... He coughed up the winning run on Sunday on a ninth-inning wild pitch ... Rhodes was angry that he and Melhuse got crossed up on which pitch to expect -- Rhodes thought the indicator was the third sign, Melhuse the second -- but he didn't blame the catcher. Instead, he blamed umpire Bill Hohn, who didn't communicate to Melhuse that he was setting up off the plate. Rhodes was hitting the target but not getting the calls ... That said, he muddled through two shutout innings for the win in yesterday's matinee -- despite issuing three walks ... Oddly, lefties are hitting .370 off him ... Rhodes will likely be unavailable tonight after working two innings yesterday. Chris Hammond is a possibility to close tonight -- and hopefully he won't have a lead to protect ... The A's have collectively blown their last three saves, their longest bullpen dry spell since 1999. Oakland returned the favour by coming from behind against Chicago last night ... The Contra Costa Times has advocated Duchscherer as a possible closer ... Beane did not offer Rhodes a vote of confidence when addressing the media: "What you guys are looking for is someone who can be called a 'closer' in a traditional sense...My guess is that Kenny [Macha] is going to go with the guy he thinks is the right guy to get three outs" ... The A's won't rush bullpen prospect Justin Lehr ...

* Sunday's starter, lefty Mark Redman, had a poor May with an ERA of 5.70 ... He bounced back, however, with a solid start on Tuesday night, going six strong while allowing a lone run on six hits ... Lefties are rocking the finesse pitcher, to the tune of .368 ...

* You might think that his infamous crash-and-argue play against Boston last season wouldn't endear Eric Byrnes to A's fans -- or as I like to call them, Athletic Supporters ... But he's hugely popular at the Coliseum ... The Gruber-haired outfielder has earned his way into an everyday job with Oakland, going .297/.377/.459 in a pitcher's park ... Expect Kerry Ligtenberg to face him at least once this series, since Byrnes hammers lefties at a .375/.455/.688 clip ...

* Jermaine Dye has homered in back-to-back games ... His .518 slugging percentage indicates that he's recovered from his well-documented injuries, but 52 Ks is a bit much ... Oddly, Dye has defied park effects. His .329/.419/.608 home stats blow away the numbers he's put up in smaller away parks ...

* Not the right kind of career trajectory: Screwballing righty Jim Mecir's ERA with Oakland was in the 2s in 2000, the 3s in 2001, the 4s in 2002, the 5s in 2003 and is a hefty 6.27 this season ... Mecir served up a walk-off gopher ball to Casey Blake in the bottom of the ninth on Friday, in a previously scoreless game ... Then he surrendered a game-tying blast to Jose Valentin in the ninth on Tuesday ...

* As you all know, Eric Chavez will likely miss six to eight weeks with a broken bone in his hand after being struck by a Damaso Marte pitch ... Esteban German has been called up to replace the club's all-around superstar ... Beane on the injuries to Chavez and Ellis: "For the first time in about two years, I didn't sleep very well...We've lost two critical members of our infield in the course of a year" ... Beane said that third base is a strength in the Oakland organization, with Mark Teahen in AA and Brian Snyder in A. But nobody is ready now to step in ...

* Although Rick Peterson is missed, new pitching coach Curt Young is earning raves for his preparedness ... A's pitchers have been required to commit to memory highly detailed 32-space "hot zones" and "cold zones" for each opposing batter -- and the chart is different for fastballs and breaking balls ...

Probable Batting Orders

vs. LH

8 Byrnes
4 Scutaro
7 Kielty
9 Dye
DH Durazo
3 Karros/Hatteberg
2 D Miller
6 Crosby
5 McLemore/German

vs. RH

8 Kotsay
4 Scutaro
7 Byrnes/Kielty
9 Dye
3 Hatteberg
DH Durazo
2 Melhuse/D Miller
6 Crosby
5 McLemore

Pitching Probables

Thursday: LH Zito vs. Batista
Friday: RH Harden vs. Towers
Saturday: RH Hudson vs. Hentgen
Sunday: LH Redman vs. Kershner

Bullpen Usage

Long: Duchscherer R
Short: Rincon L, Mecir R
Setup: Hammond L, Bradford R
Closer: Rhodes L
Advance Scout: Athletics, June 3-6 | 39 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
_alsiem - Thursday, June 03 2004 @ 04:38 PM EDT (#60269) #
Mike D, this series looks like ugly for sale. Batista better step up tonight because I'm not sure that Towers/Hentgen/Kershner will scare the A's.

I never know any of the bullpen guys for the other teams so I appreciate knowing who's running hot and cold. It's impossible to know from a guy's line whether he's been effective lately.
Mike Green - Thursday, June 03 2004 @ 04:59 PM EDT (#60270) #
The Advance Scout, the next best thing to being there.

Josh Towers pitching in Oakland against the As missing Chavez is just about the best context for him. I seem to recall that the ball travels better in Network Associates during the day than at night, so Friday night should be perfect. I expect him to have a good game.
_Cristian - Thursday, June 03 2004 @ 05:30 PM EDT (#60271) #
I agree about Towers' chances tomorrow. Hopefully Towers' 'here it is, hit it' pitching style will confuse A's batters looking for walks.
_JackFoley - Thursday, June 03 2004 @ 05:46 PM EDT (#60272) #
File up, Halladay to 15 day DL.
_JackFoley - Thursday, June 03 2004 @ 05:53 PM EDT (#60273) #
Also, the Brewers have claimed Harper off of waivers. COMN.
_Jacko - Thursday, June 03 2004 @ 05:58 PM EDT (#60274) #

Also, the Brewers have claimed Harper off of waivers. COMN.


Too bad the 40-man is so freaking crowded right now. Ash keeps raiding the Jays every time we expose someone to waivers.
_Jacko - Thursday, June 03 2004 @ 06:05 PM EDT (#60275) #
Man, I never really thought about this hidden effect of injuries before.

When a major leaguer goes on the 15-day DL, if you can't locate someone on the 40-man to replace them with, you need to knock a prospect off the 40-man in order to add a "journeyman" replacement to the MLB roster.
_My Names not Ry - Thursday, June 03 2004 @ 06:10 PM EDT (#60276) #
yeah and you can also keep mike Nakamura rather than Jesse Harper.
_Rob - Thursday, June 03 2004 @ 06:26 PM EDT (#60277) #
Number of 40-Man Roster players on the MLB DL: 7
Number of 40-Man Roster players on two minor league teams combined: 8.
Not good.
_Rob - Thursday, June 03 2004 @ 06:27 PM EDT (#60278) #
Wait, even worse: Cross off Quiroz and McGowan. 8 becomes 6. Add Myers as a 60-day injury. 7 becomes 8.
More hurt players than available players.
_Iain - Thursday, June 03 2004 @ 06:52 PM EDT (#60279) #
You can now add halliday to the DL, Bob File is back up.
_Iain - Thursday, June 03 2004 @ 06:55 PM EDT (#60280) #
COMN for the article
_Jacko - Thursday, June 03 2004 @ 08:06 PM EDT (#60281) #
They didn't DFA Nakamura???

That's a bad, bad, move...
_My Names not Ry - Thursday, June 03 2004 @ 08:18 PM EDT (#60282) #
Lineups in, sorry if they come out scarmbled :)

Frank Menechino 2B .192 1 9 Mark Kotsay CF .275 1 14
Dave Berg 3B .143 0 2 Eric Byrnes LF .301 4 15
Reed Johnson LF .318 5 29 Scott Hatteberg 1B .301 5 22
Vernon Wells CF .296 7 25 Jermaine Dye RF .279 11 32
Gregg Zaun C .393 1 6 Erubiel Durazo DH .305 8 27
Josh Phelps 1B .245 5 27 Mark Mclemore 3B .200 0 1
Bobby Estalella DH .125 0 0 Bobby Crosby SS .231 7 21
Alexis Rios RF .231 0 1 Adam Melhuse C .258 3 5
Chris Gomez SS .263 1 10 Marco Scutaro 2B .286 1 11
_Jacko - Thursday, June 03 2004 @ 08:26 PM EDT (#60283) #

Wait, even worse: Cross off Quiroz and McGowan. 8 becomes 6. Add Myers as a 60-day injury. 7 becomes 8.

AFAIK, 60-day DL players don't count towards the 40-man roster.

Let's have a look:

Non-major league, "healthy" 40-man players:

Michael Nakamura
Francisco Rosario (still recovering from TJ)
Jorge Sequea
John-Ford Griffin
Gabe Gross (wonky elbow, can DH only)

40-man players on the DL:

Jason Arnold
Justin Miller
Justin Speier
Kevin Cash
Guillermo Quiroz
Orlando Hudson
Chris Woodward
Frank Catalanotto
Roy Halladay

60-day DL players:

Greg Myers
Dustin McGowan

Something doesn't add up. There should be 15 guys who are not on the active roster, and I only count 5 + 9 = 14. Which means that there's only 39 players on the 40-man roster, and there was no reason to DFA Jesse Harper.

Who am I missing?
_David Armitage - Thursday, June 03 2004 @ 08:29 PM EDT (#60284) #
Who would've ever thought that over half the starting lineup would ever be populated with journeymen catchers and middle infielders?
_Jacko - Thursday, June 03 2004 @ 08:35 PM EDT (#60285) #
I think the missing man is Brandon League, but for some reason he does not show up on the 40-man roster at

9 guys on the DL, and only 4 really available to be called up from the 40-man. Yuck.
Thomas - Thursday, June 03 2004 @ 08:42 PM EDT (#60286) #
Anybody know why Tom Cheek is missing this game?
_Mark - Thursday, June 03 2004 @ 08:43 PM EDT (#60287) #
A bit off-topic, but John Lackey got a 5 (!) game suspension for throwing at Pond (COMN), that incident that caused his ejection. I was surprised he even got ejected in the first place. It's only one start but still that seems kind of excessive.
_Ron - Thursday, June 03 2004 @ 08:47 PM EDT (#60288) #
Has anybody looked at Vladdys numbers?

The guy might win the triple crown this year.

He's a free swinger but he still makes a lot of contact. Even if you throw him a ball, he will still take you yard.

This guy's a freak. Wish he was in a Jays uni
Thomas - Thursday, June 03 2004 @ 09:08 PM EDT (#60289) #
Tom had a death in the family.
_Jeff Geauvreau - Thursday, June 03 2004 @ 09:13 PM EDT (#60290) #
Tom Cheek's 86 yr old Father passed away Thursday Morning.

Comn for story
_Chris B. - Thursday, June 03 2004 @ 09:37 PM EDT (#60291) #
Whats with the "Delgado to Anaheim" trade winds blowing from a Tampa Bay newspaper? Casey Kotchmann, K-Rod & Chris Bootcheck for Carlos Delgado & another unnamed player (Hinske apparently). The angels organization is loaded but this seems contingent upon a contract extension to the big fella. Arte Moreno wants a title in the worst way, has a loaded minor league system but I have difficulty believing this one.
Craig B - Thursday, June 03 2004 @ 09:49 PM EDT (#60292) #
If they're not throwing in Brian Morris and Kevin Oudeis, I'm not interested.
_Nicholas - Thursday, June 03 2004 @ 09:50 PM EDT (#60293) #
Does any one know if McGowan's DL stint counts as service time in the majors??
_Cristian - Thursday, June 03 2004 @ 09:56 PM EDT (#60294) #
Chris B, do you have a link? Or at least tell us to which Tampa Bay newspaper you are referring?
_Fawaz K - Thursday, June 03 2004 @ 10:05 PM EDT (#60295) #
If they're not throwing in Brian Morris and Kevin Oudeis, I'm not interested

How come? Delgado for K-Rod straight up is interesting itself (I'm assuming the Jays are hell bent on letting Delgado walk if they can't trade him; I hope they try to re-sign him); throw Kotchmann into the mix and that's quite a package, unless you're convinced Hinske's not washed up.
_David Armitage - Thursday, June 03 2004 @ 10:13 PM EDT (#60296) #
This trade makes little sense also in that the Angels have not said whether Glaus comes back next season, to say anything about uber-prospect Dallas McPherson. Why would you want Hinske when you could have either of those two?
_Chris B. - Thursday, June 03 2004 @ 10:15 PM EDT (#60297) #
Its supposedly from the Digital Daily a subsidary of the Tampa Bay News Network. I read about it on the jays insider board. I can't find a URL as of yet. There is apparently some validity to this rumor despite its seemingly flimsy origin. A reporter from the Tampa Tribune has supposedly acknowledged it though wants to wait for 100% verification until they report it. That is basically what I read.
_Chris B. - Thursday, June 03 2004 @ 10:19 PM EDT (#60298) #
BTW Kelvim Escobar is unequivocably the angels' ace. How frightening is that statement? #1 starter stuff with #4 starter cerebral capacity.
_Chris B. - Thursday, June 03 2004 @ 10:21 PM EDT (#60299) #
If this rumor is true, Arte Moreno is the latin coming of the next George Steinbrenner. Ballzy, win-at-all-costs, agressive move this would be. Damn the prospects!!!
_Chris B. - Thursday, June 03 2004 @ 10:24 PM EDT (#60300) #
(I hate to monopolize this board but.........)
Dave A.,
Perhaps Glaus has been deemed unessential in their plans with his injury history. And secondly, McPherson could be the feature piece in another deal for a starting pitcher. God knows they need one badly. Just my 2 cents.
_Ron - Thursday, June 03 2004 @ 10:26 PM EDT (#60301) #
What is Rios doing? He has his hand covering his eyes because he has trouble in the sun yet he keeps his sunglasses on his hat. The kid has been awful in the field so far, and if I was Tosca I would switch him and Johnson out in the field.

As for K-Rod, the Angels would be crazy to trade him. You could argue he is the best reliever in all of baseball. Yes even better than Gagne. I would trade Delgado straight up for K-Rod in a hearbeat.
_Rob - Thursday, June 03 2004 @ 11:06 PM EDT (#60302) #
Who am I missing?

McGowan is still on the 40-man roster even though he is on the 60-day DL. COMN for entire 40 man list.
Craig B - Thursday, June 03 2004 @ 11:21 PM EDT (#60303) #
Fawaz, I'm kidding. That would actually be a terrific deal, of course; the problem is it's total BS.
_Jeff Geauvreau - Friday, June 04 2004 @ 12:13 AM EDT (#60304) #
#188029 Posted 06/03/2004 10:15 PM by Chris B.:

"Its supposedly from the Digital Daily a subsidary of the Tampa Bay News Network. I read about it on the jays insider board. I can't find a URL as of yet. There is apparently some validity to this rumor despite its seemingly flimsy origin. A reporter from the Tampa Tribune has supposedly acknowledged it though wants to wait for 100% verification until they report it. That is basically what I read."

Chris do you have a URL for the Jays Insider Board ?
_Fawaz K - Friday, June 04 2004 @ 01:24 AM EDT (#60305) #
Fawaz, I'm kidding. That would actually be a terrific deal, of course; the problem is it's total BS

*blush* Had an inkling that might be your message after I hit post...
_Jacko - Friday, June 04 2004 @ 07:29 AM EDT (#60306) #

McGowan is still on the 40-man roster even though he is on the 60-day DL. COMN for entire 40 man list.

That doesn't make any sense. Myers and McGowan are both on the 60-day DL. Why is Myers off the 40-man while McGowan is still on?
_Spicol - Friday, June 04 2004 @ 08:04 AM EDT (#60307) #
Despite the Baseball America story saying that McGowan was put on the 60-day DL, I don't really think he would have been. As far as I know, putting McGowan onto it, while saving a 40-man roster spot, would mean a whole mess of other undesirable things (like having to promote him to the 25-man roster first, having to pay him a major league salary and probably stealing away one of his option years). The Jays avoided the 60-day DL with Rosario last season as well.
Advance Scout: Athletics, June 3-6 | 39 comments | Create New Account
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