The A’s are a consistently competitive team, which is impressive considering the tight payroll they adhere to, seemingly always the lowest or close to it in the Majors. But this year they have a lot of new faces and the scent of a rebuild in the air, with Matt Olson, Matt Chapman and Chris Bassitt headed to new places in the offseason and they shipped off Sean Manaea just this week to the Padres.
Oakland will more than likely take a significant step back this season, but this franchise is weird. They always seem to put together solid seasons with some older vet players and a slew of unknown guys, so they might end up being good. Here’s a projected look at the lineup they might roll out on opening day.
Oakland A’s projected starting lineup
- Anthony Kemp 2B
- Elvis Andrus SS
- Sean Murphy C
- Seth Brown OF
- Jed Lowrie DH
- Stephen Piscotty OF
- Eric Thames 1B
- Kevin Smith 3B
- Cristian Pache OF
This isn’t going to be a lineup with a ton of power. Only one player, Seth Brown, had more than 20 home runs a season ago. In fact, only two players in the lineup had more than 15 home runs last season. Speed won’t be their biggest asset either with only one player stealing double-digit bags a year ago. Their RBI numbers are solid, with every player contributing over 40 with the high-water mark being Brown’s 63. Still, that’s not a great way to head into a season with a ton of confidence.
The last-second trade of Manaea leaves a gaping hole in the rotation. He was likely to be the second starter in the rotation, but now everybody will move up a day outside of Opening Day starter Frankie Montas. Still, when they get to that fifth day it’s still a big question mark just days away from the start of the regular season.