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2014 Cleveland Gameday HQ

FIELDING How Crisp has never won a Gold Glove is a major surprise. All he does is make acrobatic catches with so much regularity that they appear routine. And last season he sported a pristine 1.000 fielding percentage in 110 games in center field. Donaldson was a revelation in his first full season at third base, committing just 16 errors and leading the league with 143 putouts. Lowrie doesn’t wow with his glove, but he makes all the routine plays and hardly makes mistakes. With 10 assists, Cespedes was one of just eight AL outfielders to reach double figures in that category. STARTING PITCHING The A’s got awful news when they learned late in spring training that Jarrod Parker would need a second Tommy John surgery. He was coming off a solid year, when he went 11-8 with a 3.97 ERA. A.J. Griffin also had a muscle strain in his pitching arm during spring, so he will miss some time early in 2014. Sonny Gray came out of the minors and was one of the best pitchers for the A’s during the second half of the season and the postseason. Scott Kazmir joins the A’s after having a career resurgence in Cleveland. RELIEF PITCHING Jim Johnson is the undisputed closer, coming over in a trade after saving a Major League-leading 101 games the past two seasons in Baltimore. Ryan Cook has been one of the best setup men in baseball, sporting a 6-4 record and 2.54 ERA last year. Luke Gregerson has quietly been one of the most consistent relievers in baseball, with an ERA of 3.24 or lower every year since his rookie year in 2009. Sean Doolittle was more than a situational lefty in his rookie year, throwing 69 innings and finishing 5-5 with a 3.13 ERA. MANAGING Bob Melvin took over the managerial reins for the final 99 games of the 2011 season, and with back-to-back AL West titles he’s shown to be the steady hands the A’s needed. It helps when GM Billy Beane does a great job acquiring talent like Donaldson, Gray, Cespedes, Moss and Josh Reddick. He hasn’t missed often over the past few years, and the A’s are loaded with depth among position players. If Beane can patch together a rotation that’s been tested by injuries, they could make it three in a row. Talk of a new stadium keeps cropping up, but Melvin doesn’t let it distract his team. Brandon Moss and Yoenis Cespedes THERON W. HENDERSON/GETTY IMAGES SPORT


2014 Cleveland Gameday HQ
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