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Tough one to watch …

Some random observations as the White Sox’s rout wraps up at the Coliseum …

It’s really not surprising to see Gio Gonzalez struggle like he did today. And it won’t be the last time this season we see a young player take his lumps. Expect to see more prospects called up after Sept. 1, and the A’s surely won’t hesitate to let them play. The key from a game like today is what Gonzalez takes away from it and how he applies these lessons in the future. The A’s need his final starts here to be a confidence builder for him to take into the offseason. He’ll be looking to nail down a permanent rotation spot come spring training ’09. …

And while it’s expected that young players will struggle, it’s impossible to ignore that much of the A’s offensive struggles can be pinned on their veterans. Guys like Frank Thomas, Mark Ellis and Jack Cust all have failed to produce consistently with runners on base. This entire lineup, top to bottom, takes way too many careless at-bats, regardless of experience. …

The A’s best defensive play of the White Sox series might have come Friday night, when catcher Rob Bowen made a terrific play fielding Daric Barton’s one-hop throw and tagging out Brian Anderson, who tried to score from first on an errant pickoff attempt. It’s the type of play that hasn’t been made often enough this season. I think the biggest weakness in Kurt Suzuki’s game right now is handling close plays at the plate. Sometimes it seems he’s unsure when to block the plate and when to step out front to take a throw and make a sweep tag. 

Last year, Suzuki’s main goal was learning how to handle a major league pitching staff. This season he’s made great strides in his hitting. I would expect that he’ll arrive next spring looking to improve his all-around game behind the plate. With two former catchers on the staff — manager Bob Geren and bench coach Don Wakamatsu — you can bet that will be an emphasis next season … 

 

Joe Stiglich

  • Bee

    I guess everyone is too busy watching the Olympics to pay attention to the A’s. I see I am the only one who has submitted a post to this blog in days. The team is doing better than a couple of weeks ago. Heck, they’ve won 4 out of their last 10 games. That’s a whole lot better that losing 10+ straight. So if it’s the Olympics, I can understand. I hope you all haven’t given up on the A’s. The kids are fun to watch.