Scouting Report: Athletics Update

August 10, 2009|By Jeff Zrebiec

Oakland swept the Orioles at home the first weekend of June, but the A's have made significant changes since then. They traded star outfielder Matt Holliday to the St. Louis Cardinals and then jettisoned veteran shortstop Orlando Cabrera to the Minnesota Twins.

Oakland also released slumping slugger Jason Giambi, who was unable to jump-start an offense that is last in the American League in home runs, batting average, slugging percentage and extra-base hits.

Entering Sunday's series finale at the Kansas City Royals, rookie closer Andrew Bailey had converted 10 straight save opportunities and ranked second among major league relievers with 71 strikeouts. While Bailey has anchored the A's bullpen, Oakland's rotation has included four rookies since June 2. Seventy-eight of the A's 111 games have been started by a rookie.

This season is the fifth in Oakland history in which the club has spent at least 100 days alone in last place.

- Jeff Zrebiec

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