Tag Archives: Cliff Pennington

Cliff Pennington – Oakland A’s Shortstop

Judging from reactions even after a productive stint with the big club, you’d think Pennington will still be fighting for a spot next year, and that some even want Orlando Cabrera back.

This from a supposedly objective, intelligent group of fans.

Switch hitter
Patient/good eye
Doesn’t strike out much, so his outs are more likely to be productive outs without him trying to sacrifice himself.
Quick enough to swipe a bag or two
Should be improving still

The “vs” argument boils down to a lack of power, it seems.

He’s got nearly an 800 ops going into the final stretch of the season.
But what if the power he’s shown is a fluke?
That wouldn’t be a surprise.

What if he peaks at 280/370/420 over a full year?
I think he can do better than that, but I’ll be a pessimist here.

What if he falls back to 250/350/380?

OCab hit 281/334/371 for us, less production all around – just a prettier batting average.
And that is exactly what we should have expected from him.

And Pennington is almost certainly a better fielder – or will be.

I don’t think we need to cover Bobby Crosby, who was less productive at the plate than either of his successors.

I expect that Pennington will be and maybe already is the A’s best shortstop since Tejada.

On a forum I frequent, some A’s fans were loving the idea of having jacoby ellsbury play center.
I argued in favor of Pennington (who the A’s drafted just before ellsburg was selected by boston).

Ellsbury has cut down his strikeouts, to his credit.
And his .349 OBP is higher than I expected.
And the guy is fast, with 60 steals and 9 caught stealing.

His rate states of 299/349/410 are less productive than Pennington’s (779 ops to this point) in the majors.
That is a 760 ops this year.
To go with a 730 ops last year.

Scott Podsednik had an 822 ops when he was 27.

Isn’t Ellsbury just Podsednik with a slightly prettier batting average?
Speed has its uses of course – speed doesn’t slump, I’ve heard people say.
But how many speed guys outside of rickey henderson aren’t hit by tons of injuries?
Ichiro, but he’s not normal.
Carl Crawford maybe.

I’ll take the switch-hitting shortstop with the batting eye.

Oakland A’s Offseason

Oakland A’s, 2009 Offseason

Do nothing.

C – Kurt Suzuki / Landon Powell
Suzuki is above average all around.
Powell shows good pop.

Prediction (combined):
.270/340/420 (760 ops)

1b – Daric Barton
Has had a great last month.
I expect it will carry over to next season this time.

270/380/435 (815 ops)

2b – Ellis / Cardenas / Patterson / Kennedy
Transition to Cardenas if Ellis gets hurt next year.
Or use Eric Patterson/Kennedy if Cardenas needs more time.
I’m confident that Patterson has more than enough bat.
Plenty of options here, and Weeks is coming too.

Prediction for Ellis
Ellis is due.
290/340/470 (810 ops)

Prediction for Cardenas
290/320/400 (720 ops)

SS – Pennington
Switch hitter.
Will probably walk more than he strikes out.
Can steal a base or twenty.
Good arm.
Could put up a .350 to .400 OBP.
And he deserves a long look, considering how many at bats
Orlando Cabrera and Bobby Crosby ate last few years.
Kennedy of course can give pennington a day off every once in a while.

280/365/400 (765 ops)

3b – Wallace
I’m ready for Wallace.
Kennedy can fit here too.

Prediction for Wallace:
280/335/430 (765 ops)

LF – Hairston
I would hope that Hairston has a solid first half, so he could be gambled away for prospects.
He’s had a rough transition to Oakland, but this is a guy that nearly cracked 20 home runs in San Diego.
He’s in his peak years right now.
Could fetch a decent amount if he doesn’t go on a Holliday.

260/320/480 (800 ops)

CF – Sweeney
The big question is if Sweeney’s last couple of month’s are a sign of things to come.

In august: 293/356/500 (856 ops)
September: 373/432/494 (926 ops)

Obviously, there isn’t much chance that he’s become a 370+ hitter.
But if he can slug near 500 his excellent defense makes him valuable.

I’ll be optimistic and say:
310/390/500 (890 ops)

Easily my biggest “out on a limb”.
But sweeney is still young, could improve suddenly.

RF – Buck/Cunningham
Both of these guys deserve time.
There is no way I’m ready to give up on Buck – a guy who had an 850 ops as a 23 year old rookie.

Cunningham hasn’t ever done poorly when given 100 at bats, something he’s yet to get in Oakland.

Buck prediction:
Provided health, I think Buck is due to revert to his rookie stats levels.
280/370/480 (860 ops)

290/360/500 (860 ops)

DH Carter/Cust
If Carter is ready, lets trade Cust rather than let him rot.
Though I’m afraid he may not get much interest.

I’m optimistic that Carter could smack 25 dingers his rookie year.
Whether that is next year or the following year.

Chris Carter
270/320/450 (770 ops)

Jack Cust
230/370/430 (800 ops)

Several optimistic predictions there.
But the A’s are due.

And its really the following year I expect to compete.
By compete I mean to run away with the division.

Next season – I don’t see any reason to upgrade anywhere.

What about the rotation?

Anderson – already good.

Cahill – already decent, and I expect he’ll eventually be great.

Gio Gonzalez – could be a high end pitcher, and he’s shown it in flashes.
I’d keep letting him take his lumps.

Dallas Braden – has shown he’s effective.

5th spot could be between Mazzaro, Clayton Mortensen, Tomko, or Outman (when he gets back)

Or they could choose to bring back the Duke.
I don’t see a need to waste money on the rotation, otherwise.

The pen?
Between Wuertz, Ziegler, Bailey, Breslow, Gray and Kilby, the pen looks ok.
And we should expect Joey Devine back at some point.

What about Rajai Davis?
I doubt he’ll get better.
I’d be open to trading him while his value is high.