SportsPickle is previewing each MLB team in the lead up to Opening Day 2010.
Today: Oakland A's (2009: 75-87, last in AL West)
STARTING PITCHING The A's have the potential to have a very good rotation behind Ben Sheets, Justin Duchscherer and Brett Anderson. As always, the concern is whether Sheets can stay healthy. Billy Beane gave him a one-year, $10 million contract even though he missed all of 2009 to injury. So let this be a lesson to you, young A's players: if you ever want to make money while playing for the Oakland A's, sustain a serious injury.
LINEUP What a collection of turds. Rajai Davis, Coco Crisp, Kurt Suzuki, Jack Cust, Kevin Kouzmanoff, Ryan Sweeney, Mark Ellis, Daric Barton, Cliff Pennington. Easily the worst lineup in baseball. Even if they were paid actors hired for the new "Moneyball" movie, these guys couldn't make the baseball scenes look believable.
BULLPEN Back to pitching: Oakland's strength. Andrew Bailey starred as Oakland's closer last year as a rookie. Unfortunately, he also won the Rookie of the Year award the same award previously won by A's legends Walt Weiss, Ben Grieve and Bobby Crosby. Whoops. They should probably just drown Bailey in the San Francisco Bay now and get it over with.
BENCH Eric Chavez is slated to start the season on the bench, but if he gets healthy for the first time in three years he could find himself back in the starting lineup. He would be Oakland's only threat at the plate and he would get walked a league record 500 times. That's a kickass OPS!
OUTLOOK The "Moneyball" movie is slated to open in 2011. It will be filming this year. There is no chance the ending will be changed a la "Fever Pitch" with a surprise World Series title.