Watching your team over the course of a weekend against a team whose lost 17 in a row on the road can certainly give one a false sense of excitement. The Athletics still remain double digit games back of the Texas Rangers, who’ve surged of late. But, the good news is with the All-Star break just around the corner, we know the A’s will have a representative. I’m not always a fan of the every team gets an All-Star, but more often than not it gets guys in that deserved it, but would’ve flown under the radar since their team was out of the pennant race. Very seldom do you see a guy make the All-Star team with underwhelming stats – Gil Meche from KC comes to mind. Today, though, I started thinking about who should get the All-Star nod from Oakland. Three guys come to mind…
Andrew Bailey, Closer – Bailey came out of nowhere last year and made the All-Star team, before finishing the year out as the AL Rookie of the Year. Now that Bailey’s on the map, he won’t get any gifts when it comes to All-Star selections. But he does have the numbers to back it up. His Saves aren’t mind-blowing, due in large part to playing for a losing team, but he’s one of only two AL pitchers with 30+ IP and a sub-2.00 ERA. (Jose Valverde is the other)
Kurt Suzuki, Catcher – Suzuki seems to garner a little All-Star attention each year now, but never really reaches the ranks of catchers like Joe Mauer and Victor Martinez. Although Martinez’s broken thumb this afternoon might affect some things. His numbers are modest: .264 avg, 10 HR, 32 RBI, but anyone who follows the A’s knows he deserves the honor. Though he wasn’t behind the plate for Dallas Braden’s perfect game, he’s managed the A’s pitching staff for the last three season, and I’d be willing to bet any of those pitchers would credit Suzuki for some of their success. He also has been the one to come up with all the clutch hits for the team lately; his 8th inning solo HR today gave the A’s a 3-2 win over the Pirates. I don’t see him getting the nod at catcher, simply because any manager would probably think Posada before Suzuki. Perhaps if he didn’t miss upwards of 20 games this season his power numbers would stand out a little more.
Trevor Cahill, Pitcher - After Saturday night’s 7.2 inning, 2 hit shutout performance, Cahill is definitely my pick right now. He’ll have another start, I think, before the votes are cast, and if he can get to 8-2, despite missing the first month of the season, his numbers should get him noticed. He currently ranks 8th among AL pitchers in ERA with a solid 1.88. His 1.08 WHIP and .213 BAA aren’t too shabby either. Those are good for 5th and 3rd in the AL, respectively. It’s too bad he was hurt to start the year, it’d be nice to see where he’d be at with four more starts. It’s too bad also that Brett Anderson’s been hurt this whole time, or we might be talking about him here as well.