A quick two game set in Oakland, and it should be a good one, featuring each organization's top two pitchers (except now Brandon McCarthy is injured and my clever thematic theme is undid). And it's in O.co/Network Associates/McAfee/Overstock.com Coliseum, so we may not see many runs. Pitchin' and defense in the golden state, and I'll be rockin' my Advance Scout all the way to the golden gate.
Tuesday: Ricky Romero vs. Jarrod Parker
Jarrod Parker was the centrepiece of the Trevor Cahill trade, netting Oakland the 23 year-old top prospect plus Collin Cowgill and Ryan Cook (they also gave up Craig Breslow). Parker has been nothing short of scintillating in his two big league starts (plus one last season), allowing a run apiece in each while striking out 9 and walking 3 in 13, against the White Sox and at Fenway. To achieve these results Parker has been relying heavily on his four-seam fastball, which he runs between 91 and 95, averaging about 92 MPH so far. He also throws a slider and a change-up that both come in around 82. He does apparently throw a curveball, although according to Brook's PitchFX he's thrown one so far, in his first start. Parker's had a bit of a varied path to the bigs - he was a position player until his freshman year of high school, and he underwent TJ surgery in 2009. His older brother was also drafted by the Diamondbacks in the 6th round, but has since retired from baseball. Parker was originally supposed to start Wednesday's game, with Brandon McCarthy going tonight; the A's didn't announce the reason for the fliperoo.
Wednesday: Brandon Morrow vs. Tyson Ross
Well the reason for the switch between Parker and McCarthy is becoming evident, as McCarthy has been scratched tommorrow basically while I was writing this. Tyson Ross, a big righty from Berkeley, will take his place. Berkeley is right next to San Francisco, and living at home can be such a drag, what with Mom's and all. Ross was drafted in the second round of the 2008 draft, and before 2010 the 6th rated prospect in Oakland's system. Ross' performance so far is somewhat in line with his relatively modest plaudits - he was effective in 2011 as a swing guy, starting six games while getting into three as a reliever. He posted a 3.14 FIP and was effective in keeping the ball on the ground. In 2012 Ross's FIP has also been good, at a tick under 4. His era of 8.55, not so much. His first two starts went well, but he's since been roughed up to the tune of 9 and 7 runs against Baltimore and Tampa. Like Parker, Ross works fastball-slider-change up, relying heavily on the fastball, which sits around 92 on average. Also like Parker he doesn't get much differential on his slider and change up, both are around 86, though his slider is the better of the two - in fact, he's barely thrown his change up so far this year.
Lineup (Tuesday's anyway)
Jemile Weeks 2B
Cliff Pennington SS
Josh Reddick RF
Yoenis Cespedes CF
Johnny Gomes DH
Brandon Inge 3B
Kurt Suzuki C
Daric Barton 1B
Michael Taylor LF
Erstwhile Jay Michael Taylor was essentially an emergency call up for Coco Crisp who was expected to go right back down to AAA when Crisp return. Coco's got an ear infection and is on the DL though, so Taylor remains... Brandon Inge is an A now, with the Tigers on the hook for the majority of his contract. Inge was released because he isn't very good at hitting baseball's anymore (not that he was ever any great shakes). He's hitting 6th for Oakland, which goes a way to explain why Oakland is not good at scoring runs...Manny Ramirez's steroid suspension ends on May 30th, which is incidentally his 40th birthday. The A's have a glut of outfielders, so I'm not sure how much Ramirez will help them. Evidently he's not willing to hang them up until he's got more hits than Sadaharu Oh... ESPN has a feature on Yoenis Cespedes, in his first season in the U.S... Only Minnesota stands between the A's and the fewest runs scored in the AL - the A's have two more but with an extra game. They've scored 41 fewer runs than the Jays, for example. Johnny Gomes is the only A with a wOBA above .340. They're doing it like this, they're doing it like that, but there basically doing it with a whiffleball bat... Jemile Weeks has been out a couple games with groin tightness but is leading off tonight... Billy Beane is still inspiring people to get down with the computer action.
The Sounds of Science: RIP MCA.
Said, doc what's the condition: Brett Anderson (SP) is recovering from TJ surgery, he's possibly back in August. Dallas Braden (SP) is also on the 60-day DL with a strained shoulder, he might be back in July. Joey Devine (RP) is also on the TJ, he's out for the year. Coco Crisp (OF) has an ear infection and is on the DL as of last week, he'll hopefully be back before long. Scott Sizemore (2B) has a torn ACL and is done for the year. Brandon McCarthy is either day-to-day or to the DL with shoulder tightness, depending on what you read.
Chart: Fangraphs for data, thanks guys.