By Joe Stiglich
Wednesday, January 7th, 2009 at 9:35 pm in Uncategorized.
Here’s a few leftover items from Jason Giambi’s press conference that are worth pondering:
*It’s becoming very clear that the A’s focus in free agency will remain finding more hitting as opposed to starting pitching. Anyone out there feeling nervous over this? Justin Duchscherer is the only tested veteran who’s guaranteed a rotation spot, and you have to put an asterisk by his name because of his health history. The A’s have lots of talented pitchers in the organization but they’re mostly inexperienced. The brass seems willing to go with them. Revealing quote from Beane: “We’ve got a lot of young starting pitching. … That is the strength of the organization and sometimes that comes quicker than expected. But there’s some talented guys and I’m willing to roll the dice with talent over the course of the next couple of years.”
What does that mean for the big league ETA of Brett Anderson and Trevor Cahill? Read into it what you will. … The A’s also think that the more they improve their offense, the less of an issue their inexperienced pitching becomes. Makes sense to me. Another quote from Beane: “We‘ve still got a lot of offseason left so I think we’re going to still look for some opportunities to improve our offense.”
*OK, so Bob Geren likes Daric Barton at first base, which would mean Giambi is the DH, which would mean Jack Cust plays right field. But where does that leave Travis Buck? Or even Aaron Cunningham? Buck has been mentioned as a candidate for leadoff hitter, but he can’t lead off if he doesn’t have a position. In that case, you’re probably looking at Ryan Sweeney batting atop the lineup. Thoughts? Sweeney is slated to play center field, remember, so he’s not affected when Cust plays the outfield.
*Giambi is four homers shy of 400 for his career, and Beane mentioned during the press conference that Giambi wants to join the 500-HR club before he retires. That seems a stretch, but Giambi did say Wednesday that “I see myself playing three or four more years.” That might also be a stretch.
*And lastly, here’s Beane’s take on how the A’s offense is shaping up: “When Jason (Giambi) first got here, we had a bunch of guys that hit three-run homers. We had four-hour games and I loved every minute of it because we were scoring 7-8 runs a game. Then we ended up with the Big Three and became a very good pitching and defensive club, which was a very good club. But I think now, hopefully … we’ve put together the type of offense we want. I want guys who are patient, guys who hit homers, guys who get on base.”