Saturday, February 15, 2014

Spring Report: Injuries and such

The Oakland Athletics have begun shuffling forth to Arizona and Phoenix Municipal in the final season prior to their relocation to HoHoKam and the spring training period has officially commenced for the A's. Only a scattered few have arrived thus far, but there are already hindrances to list between Sean Doolittle calf issue that could jeopardize his initial stint within the first wave of February contests alongside Ryan Cook, who has succumb to shoulder inflammation that is reported to sideline him for a duration around two weeks, and possibly compromise his opening day eligibility should his condition regress. Additionally, while far less severe, Drew Pomeranz shall not be able to participate in the first bullpen sessions due to "ingrown hair on his leg"... So, per usual, the Athletics seem to be reaching their annual preliminary spring injury quota quite nicely, however none of these shall affect the performances of these men come April, when statistics and in-game production actually will matter and there will be more information on their standing within the organization. For now, we're stuck watching bullpens. Hooray

Melvin proclaimed his admiration and dedication to another rotation hopeful, Tomaso Milone, who has been an offseason enigma after the inking of Kazmir and a ballooning Sacramento rotation cast and thus it seems difficult to place Milone anywhere once the rosters are finalized. But, assuredly there shall be injuries and momentary DL stints that could permit Milone entry onto the March 31st crew, so he'll just have to pitch effectively, twiddle his thumbs, and prod some Jarrod Parker voodoo dolls until then. Melvin declared Milone would have injury replacement priority though, and could be possibly utilized in a long relief role during the 2014 campaign as well alongside Jesse Chavez, Drew Pomeranz, Phil Humber and Josh Lindblom. Tomaso experienced significant regression during the 2013 stint, amassing a 4.30 FIP (3.93 in 2012), 1.2 fWAR in 156 1/3 IP (2.8 in 190 IP through 2012), a 1.44 HR/9 and a 11.3% HR/FB (1.14 and 10.7% in 2012), and the obliteration of the home/road splits theory that hounded him the previous season as he fared vastly worse at the Coliseum this time around in 2013 (4.96 FIP, 14 HR and a 1.85 HR/9, and 6.6 BB% at home compared to a 5.3% mark away). Entering 2014, Tomaso undoubtedly shall be hoping he can even out his horrendous dinger enabling tendencies, because if the Coliseum can't save him, then the A's rotation is going to pay pretty dearly with AJ Griffin already featuring as one of the most appetizing matchups for cleanup bats around the American League. Should the rotation remain physically intact for the impending five weeks, then Tomaso shall somehow have to be smushed onto the Rivercats roster and will assuredly snatch a rotation post versus PCL competition. 

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