A story in today’s Denver Post has a very interesting quote from former A’s prospect Carlos Gonzalez, now playing for the Colorado Rockies, who visit the Coliseum this weekend. Gonzalez, of course, was shipped to Colorado along with pitchers Huston Street and Greg Smith in exchange for Matt Holliday during the offseason.
“I think we have more talented players and a better team (than Oakland),” Gonzalez told the paper. “I know what it’s like to play over there. Here we expect to win every game. I think we are going to do fine against them.”
I guess you could say the kid’s not afraid to speak his mind. Gonzalez has been good with the glove, playing mainly left field, but he’s hitting just .180 in 50 at-bats.
–You might have seen Baseball America released the rosters for the Futures Game to be played July 12 in St. Louis. The A’s will be represented by first baseman Chris Carter and second baseman Jemile Weeks. Carter is having an excellent season at the plate for Double-A Midland. Weeks has been on a tear for Single-A Stockton after injuries that delayed the start of his season …
Spent the weekend moving — what a drag! — and am just now coming up for air. Funny, you miss one weekend of games, and you tune in Monday, and you don’t even recognize the team you’re watching. Anyway, a few thoughts on what the A’s were doing during my time buried in boxes.
Back from a couple of weeks in the desert (actually, in the interest of full disclosure, I was back Thursday), and brought with me some early impressions.
— Carlos Gonzalez is the real deal. The centerpiece of the Dan Haren deal appears to be the A’s best everyday prospect, and the gap between him and the others appears to be large. Gonzalez did something impressive every day I was around the A’s camp, and I had a handful of veterans tell me, “Watch out for Carlos Gonzalez. He’s going to be a star.” Maybe it doesn’t happen this year, but it’ll happen eventually.
— Gio Gonzalez might remind folks of Vida Blue. He’s left-handed, has a high leg-kick, and the ball seems to release from his hand with explosion. Not sure he throws as hard as Vida did, but from what I saw, his stuff moves. Again, this is a guy to watch.
— The Giants are going to be miserable. On the couple of occasions I saw them, they had trouble making routine plays. On many of the days I didn’t see them, stories of ineptitude found their way to the press box. I know, I know, it’s spring training and you can’t draw solid conclusions. But if the Giants avoid 95 losses, I’ll be stunned.
— One other anectdode that could be indicative of the Giants’ chances. A local network sports anchor told me his station had interviewed a bulk of what’s expected to be the Opening Day roster, and each interview ended with this question: “Give us a reason why the Giants won’t finish in last place?” The almost-unanimous answer, the anchor said: “We’re scrappy.” If that’s all you’re clinging to, then the mountain ahead is awfully steep.
— Barry Bonds is out of sight, but he’s not out of mind. Heard his name dropped by scouts and executives in conversations just about every day I was down there. The consensus: Somebody will sign him by the end of July.