Monthly Archives: October 2013

Oakland still want Bartolo Colon in their rotation

bartolo colonBartolo Colon is a celebrated starting pitcher, who helped Oakland Athletics make another playoff appearance, despite the fact that the team didn’t change much in the last couple of years. Billy Beane is still trying to make the most of his unimpressive roster and those who watched the movie “Moneyball” will find that very little has changed.

Young pitchers, equally inexperienced relievers and plenty of promising yet untested hitters are the team that the A’s are counting on every season. Somehow, the general manager found a way to motivate them and keep them playing their a-game, despite offering below average salaries. 2013 can be regarded as a successful year for Oakland, even though they failed to advance to the ALCS at the expense of Detroit Tigers. Such a performance would’ve been tremendous, given the fact that the central division winners invested hundreds of millions in acquiring new players or extending the contract of existing ones.

One of the few bright spots in their own rotation is Bartolo Colon, a starting pitcher with loads of experience but also one that spent some time in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons. Following his performance enhancement drugs scandal, he spent the entire season on the bench, yet returned in 2013 and exceeded expectations. Beane told the media that he was pleasantly surprised with his starting pitcher’s performance this season and that he intends to keep him in his rotation.

The veteran has started for 30 times and kept his earned run average at a remarkable 2.65, making a major contribution to his team success in the regular season. Hadn’t it been for Bartolo Colon, Oakland would’ve probably missed the playoffs so it makes perfect sense to re-sign him now when he becomes a free agent. The only problem about him is that he has recently set another milestone as he turned 40 this year, an age at which most starting pitchers retire.

Oakland paid him $2 million in 2012 and increased that amount to $3 million in 2013, but it is hard to believe that the starting pitcher will accept the same salary. On one hand, he was stellar this season and both his team and other clubs in Major League Baseball realize that, so he can afford to ask for a little extra. On the other, not many are willing to spend $4 million or more on a 40 years old starting pitcher knowing that he’s prone to injuries and could spend most of the time on the bench. makes a convincing case and the article suggests that Oakland general manager is going to re-sign Bartolo. On the off chance that the A’s will decide that his financial requests are unaffordable, the team will have to rely on its younger starting pitchers. Luckily for them, there is no shortage of talent in Oakland and names such as AJ Griffith, Dan Straley, Tommy Milone and Jarrod Parker sound promising enough, not to mention that Sonny Gray would also return in 2014.

Boston poised to take early lead over Tigers

Boston poised to take early lead over TigersThe Red Sox enjoyed a relatively smooth ride in the playoffs after winning the division and conference. This will guarantee them home pitch advantage all the way to the World Series and they will also host Los Angeles Dodgers or St. Louis Cardinals in the most important series of the season. Meanwhile, they need to outshine the Tigers, who were on the verge of elimination in a series against Oakland, before Justin Verlander pitched a gem in the decisive game.

Boston enjoyed a couple of days off after eliminating Tampa Bay in four games and were waiting for Detroit to finish its own series. They have for quality starting pitchers that can at least push the series into a decisive match and Jon Lester is their first selection. His earned run average stands at 3.71, with the numbers being just avearage when compared with the ones posted by his counterparts, yet he has 16 victories to his name in 2013.

Some might argue that Lester was lucky to benefit from the offensive prowess of the Red Sox and they would be partially right. His teammates delivered all the support he needed but when the starting pitcher had to rise to the occasion, he exceeded expectations. He was remarkable in the opening game of the series with Tampa Bay and made it unnecessary to pitch again in the fifth game. With four days between the two series, the entire Boston rotation got plenty of time to shake off injuries and sooth any soreness.

The same cannot be said about the Tigers who had everything on the line when Verlander was chosen to pitch in game five, after playing in the second match as well. Detroit chose to use him in this match and allow Max Scherzer the chance to play in the opening game, as a way of showing gratitude for his regular-season performance. He leads the American League with 21 victories and will feature in the second game of the series this time, with Anibal Sanchez playing the first game in Boston.

Last time he took to the mound things didn’t go according to the plan and Detroit lost to Oakland, but luckily for him he gets another chance to prove his worth. Overall, this promises to be a contested series, but due to the fact that the Red Sox have home pitch advantage in three games it is likely for Boston to advance to the World Series. Meanwhile pitchers should back them at full stakes in the opening game as they’re expected to win fairly easy and the odds are decently high.