2017 American League West Preview: A Three Team Race
#4 Oakland Athletics
Just three seasons ago, the Athletics had come off a heart-breaking loss to the future World Series champion Kansas City Royals. General Manager Billy Beane had seen enough and traded away every possible asset you could think of. The A’s have had the worst winning percentage in the American League over the past two seasons (.423) but appear to be on the rise. Kinda.
Oakland’s ace Sonny Gray will start the 2017 season on the disabled list which will prolong his chance at a bounce back season. The rest of the Athletics rotation features young starters Kendall Graveman, Sean Manaea, and Jharel Cotton who look to be promising young starters. Oakland’s bullpen is without a doubt their strong suit.
A veteran based bullpen featuring Ryan Madson, Santiago Casilla, John Axford, and Sean Doolittle will carry a heavy load of innings throughout the 2017 campaign as Oakland’s rotation does not have a single innings eater; besides a healthy Gray. Oakland’s lineup will not impress anyone in 2017, but rookie third baseman Ryon Healy is trying to turn many heads this season and put the “Swingin'” back in the Swingin’ A’s.
Although better days do appear to be on the horizon, A’s longtime manager Bob Melvin will have to endure another long and head-scratching season at O.Co Colosseum.