|OAKLAND ( COLON )|
HOUSTON ( NORRIS )
|977||OAKLAND||-130||Ov 8.5,+110||-130||Ov 8,-115|
|978||HOUSTON||+120||Un 8.5,-130||+120||Un 8,-105|
|vs Right-handed Starters||2-2||-0.5||3-1||4.2||0.208||0.283||3.5||0.230||0.307|
|Past 7 Games||3-2||+0.5||4-1||4.6||0.237||0.312||3.2||0.217||0.286|
|vs Right-handed Starters||0-3||-3||1-2||1.0||0.165||0.182||6.3||0.290||0.372|
|Past 7 Games||1-3||-1.5||2-2||2.7||0.194||0.224||5.2||0.266||0.346|
|4/5/2013||STRAILY(R)||@ HOUSTON||PEACOCK(R)||8-3||W||-135||8.5 ov||O||10||11||0||9||7||1|
|4/6/2013||COLON(R)||@ HOUSTON||NORRIS(R)|| |
|4/7/2013||ANDERSON(L)||@ HOUSTON||HARRELL(R)|| |
|4/9/2013||PARKER(R)||@ LA ANGELS||WILSON(L)|| |
|4/10/2013|| ||@ LA ANGELS|| || |
|4/11/2013|| ||@ LA ANGELS|| || |
|4/12/2013|| ||DETROIT|| || |
|4/13/2013|| ||DETROIT|| || |
|4/8/2013||HARRELL(R)||@ SEATTLE||SAUNDERS(L)|| |
|4/9/2013||HUMBER(R)||@ SEATTLE||MAURER(R)|| |
|4/10/2013|| ||@ SEATTLE|| || |
|4/12/2013|| ||@ LA ANGELS|| || |
|4/13/2013|| ||@ LA ANGELS|| || |
|OAKLAND: HITTING: 2B JEMILE WEEKS may not be a legitimate .300 hitter, but he's still the best option they have at the leadoff spot. C KURT SUZUKI seemingly hits as many line outs as anyone in baseball. He has a solid bat for a catcher and qualifies as a middle-of-the-order option in Oakland. OF JOSH REDDICK is more of a line-drive hitter than a 25-HR guy, and he doesn't yet have the plate discipline to approach .300. 1B BRANDON ALLEN is an all-or-nothing hitter, but his potential for much-needed power should be enough for him to beat out DARIC BARTON. SS CLIFF PENNINGTON has quietly developed into a serviceable regular. With 3B SCOTT SIZEMORE out for the season with a torn ACL, either ERIC SOGARD or JOSH DONALDSON will win the job at third base. Neither player has reached 80 career at-bats yet. Highly-coveted Cuban OF YOENIS CESPEDES inked a four-year deal with Oakland, and will be expected to produced in the heart of the lineup immediately. OF COLLIN COWGILL is undersized, but has shown impressive power in the minors. The DH spot will fall to Allen when Barton is in the lineup. When he's not, it will be filled by such Quadruple-A types as KILA KA'AIHUE and CHRIS CARTER. |
STARTING PITCHING: BRANDON McCARTHY reclamation project worked out nicely. He's an injury risk, but when healthy he's one of baseball's better middle-of-the-rotation arms. BARTOLO COLON pitched better than expected with the Yankees last year (7.4 K/9, 4.00 ERA), and should perform just as well in his new spacious ballpark. DALLAS BRADEN (shoulder) and BRETT ANDERSON (elbow) are both question marks after major surgeries. Braden's return date has been pushed back to early May, while Anderson will might not take the hill until June. The jewel of the Trevor Cahill trade, hard-throwing righty JARROD PARKER has a chance to make a big impact if his arm is recovered from 2009 Tommy John surgery. The Gio Gonzalez trade landed Oakland TOMMY MILONE and BRAD PEACOCK, both of whom are coming off impressive minor-league seasons. They'll compete for rotation spots this spring. TYSON ROSS could get a few starts, but he's gotten very hittable over the past year. They're in no hurry to start the arbitration clock of top prospect SONNY GRAY, but he should make some late-season starts.
RELIEF PITCHING: With Andrew Bailey gone, righty GRANT BALFOUR (2.47 ERA, 1.03 WHIP) will get the first chance to close games. Though his occasional bouts with command issues make him a risk. If Balfour falters, BRIAN FUENTES will get the next look because of his ninth-inning experience and strong second half of 2011 . . . Long a favorite inside the organization, injury-prone righty JOEY DEVINE has long been considered a future closer and should get some late-innings duties. The highest upside option for a future closer is 25-year-old righty FAUTINO DE LOS SANTOS. He has overpowering stuff but his command comes and goes.
|HOUSTON: HITTING: This season will mark Houston's final year in the National League. Look away, children, as the Astros launch into what is sure to be the crappiest victory lap in baseball history. Tiny 2B JOSE ALTUVE's jump from High-A to MLB starter says more about Houston's pitiful state than anything. He belongs in Triple-A. CHRIS JOHNSON won the starting 3B job as JIMMY PAREDES was optioned to Triple-A. Johnson was thought to have 25-homer power, but last year he slugged just .378. 1B CARLOS LEE is in the twilight of a very productive career. Backup 1B BRETT WALLACE seems to be in the twilight of an unproductive one. OF BRIAN BOGUSEVIC has a low ceiling. But he's one of only a few recent draft picks who will even contribute. OF J.D. MARTINEZ doesn't blame you if you haven't heard of him, but he's the team's best player who hits third in the lineup. SS JED LOWRIE was a nice little pickup for a mid-tier closer. But his platoon split is intense. C JASON CASTRO will probably play ahead of CHRIS SNYDER. OF JORDAN SCHAFER has yet to put things together; but he'll be starting in center on Opening Day. Fourth OF J.B. SHUCK is only 24, but doesn't have a whole lot of upside. |
STARTING PITCHING: WANDY RODRIGUEZ has been a durable, above-average starter for five years, yet every season his real-world team limits his wins. He'll be traded at some point this year. Don't shortchange BUD NORRIS. He's an underrated source of strikeouts, and has improved his command. J.A. HAPP really needs to cut down on his walk total. JORDAN LYLES couldn't legally drink until the second-to-last week of the season. He's in the big leagues way too soon. He's yet another young Astro who isn't terrible, but won't ever set the world on fire. KYLE WEILAND came from Boston with Jed Lowrie and should earn the final spot in the rotation. Texas-bred fireballer JARRED COSART, 21, is a legitimately exciting (but risky) prospect who Houston will probably rush up to the majors at some point this year.
RELIEF PITCHING: BRETT MYERS flummoxed the Astros' front office with a stinker of a season. He's probably closer to that pitcher than to the one who posted a career-best 3.14 ERA in 2010 at age 29, but he'll move the bullpen this year to get the rare opportunities to close out a game when this awful team is actually leading. WILTON LOPEZ was good in 2011, but was much better the previous season, when he may have been the most underrated reliever in the National League. Houston will go with him in the ninth if they want Myers to return to the rotation. BRANDON LYON has seen better days. He bombed early, then was shut down for good with a bicep injury. He intimidates nobody now.
|~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ PA SPORTSTICKER AL PREVIEW (OAKLAND-HOUSTON) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ |
*Athletics-Astros Preview* ==========================
By JEFF MEZYDLO STATS Senior Writer
Oakland (3-2) at Houston (1-3), 7:10 p.m. EDT
The Oakland Athletics are happy to give Bartolo Colon another chance after he let them down last season.
Back from a 50-game suspension for testing positive for testosterone, the veteran right-hander looks to help the visiting A's win four in a row and hand the Houston Astros a fourth consecutive defeat Saturday night.
Colon was 10-9 with a 3.43 ERA after 24 starts when he was suspended by major league baseball Aug. 22. He admitted knowing he failed a drug test about six weeks before the suspension but continued to pitch. The A's, however, went on to win the AL West without him.
"The only thing I can say about last year is I apologize to everybody, even the fans, the team, the front office about what happened," Colon, who turns 40 next month, said during spring training.
The Oakland organization forgave him long before then and even re-signed him to a one-year contract worth $3 million.
"I feel loved, because Oakland gave me the opportunity to come back and be part of it again," Colon said.
Though Colon went 1-2 with a 6.30 ERA and allowed 31 hits over 20 innings in six spring training appearances, A's manager Bob Melvin confidently made the decision to start him when he becomes eligible to return Saturday.
"You want to get him started sooner than later," Melvin told the Athletics' official website. "We would've had to find another place for him to go pitch, and we just want to get him in there. We had targeted this all along."
Colon is 3-2 with a 3.54 ERA in six starts against the Astros, but has not faced them since 2007 with the Angels.
He'll face a Houston club that was shut out in 23 consecutive innings until scoring in the sixth of Friday's 8-3 loss to the A's (3-2).
Making their AL debut with the lowest payroll in the majors, the Astros (1-3) have recorded those three runs and 16 hits in three games since pounding out nine hits in an 8-2 season-opening win over Texas. They've also struck out an astonishing 56 games in four games, including 13 on Friday.
"In the major leagues you're going to get at least one pitch to hit, and when you get it you've got to put it in play hard," first-year Houston manager Bo Porter said. "And if you don't put it in play hard you're going to find yourself chasing the pitcher's pitch, and that's what happened (Friday)."
Second baseman Jose Altuve, who had an RBI against the A's, has seven of his team's 25 hits in 16 at-bats.
Oakland totaled one run while dropping its first two games but has scored 22 to win the next three. Coco Crisp hit a leadoff homer then had a pair of doubles with two RBIs during the A's seven-run fifth inning Friday.
Crisp is 6 for 14 (.429) in the last three games after going 0 for 7 in the first two.
The A's will get their first look at Houston's Bud Norris, who allowed two runs in 5 2-3 innings to earn the win Sunday. Those are the only two runs the right-hander has yielded over 19 innings while winning three straight starts dating to last season.
|Last Updated: 8/29/2014 9:18:05 AM EST|