A's: first-half awards, highs, lows, etc.


A's: first-half awards, highs, lows, etc.

This guy has become the A's most consistent force. Like the song he often walks up to the plate to, Reddick is a stone cold stunner. What more can be said about what he has done this year? He has 20 homers, relative health, and a disarming clubhouse presence. He is the total package.

Sean Doolittle
This time last year Doolittle was a first baseman struggling to find his way in the A's organization. Then A's director of player development Keith Lippman had an idea that created something so electric that Benjamin Franklin might be jealous. He turned Doolittle into a pitcher. In just 16 minor league appearances Doolittle had done so much that he was promoted from Single-A, to Double-A, to Triple-A, to the Oakland A's. Doolittle hasn't slowed down either, he has a 14.73 K9 average, hasn't allowed a home run, and routinely hits 95-mph on the radar gun from the left side.

Ryan Cook
The A's lone All-Star representative has eight saves in 10 chances since being named the A's closer. He began the season with a 23 inning scoreless streak, which is the longest such streak by an A's pitcher on the opening day roster since at least 1918. Not bad for a guy that was a throw in piece from the Diamondbacks when the A's sent them Trevor Cahill.

SLIDESHOW: Pratt's five keys to second half

Once one of the A's most promising players, Suzuki's stock is plummeting so fast that a parachute might not slow him down. Once considered a "hitting catcher" the A's backstop has ceased doing so. He is stuck in a career-worst 75-game homerless streak. He is still extremely valuable defensively and with the pitching staff, but rookie catcher Derek Norris is effectively shoving him out the door.

Jemile Weeks
After a remarkable rookie season Weeks was the face of the franchise. The speedy second baseman wasnt fast enough to outrun the dreaded sophomore slump though. Weeks is one of the most talented players on the team, which is why he is one of the biggest disappointments of the first-half. Weeks is hitting just .222, but is showing some signs of life. He leads the AL with five triples, and his 38 walks tie him with Reddick for the most on the A's.

Brian Fuentes
Fuentes was the highest paid pitcher on the A's roster before they designated him for assignment. Still owed the remainder of his 5M contract in 2012 and a 500K buyout for next season, Fuentes fell off the map and then the roster. The left-handed veteran got off to a good start, but over his last eight appearances he allowed 13 earned runs, four home runs, and walked seven batters, in just six innings pitched.
You could capture the essence of the A's first half by reminiscing about any of their eight walk-off wins. Three in particular stand out: Norris' walk-off homer to avoid a sweep at the hand of the Giants. Cespedes' laser beam blast to left field to sweep the Dodgers. Chris Carter's tape measure walk-off shot to beat the Mariners. You could picture the pitching at its finest: Tommy Milone's three-hit complete game against the Dodgers. Jarrod Parker's eight-inning one-hit shutout of the Rangers. Or just envision the incredible 462-foot home run that Cespedes hit against Jason Vargas. A home run the likes of which hasn't been seen since larger than life monsters like Jose Canseco and Mark McGwire roamed the field at the Oakland Coliseum. Combined they equal a .500 record at the All-Star break. The A's will need to build off of their first half and achieve greater heights.

Riddled with injuries the team hit their lowest point in late May. They endured a nine-game losing skid that appeared to be the end of any hopes of contention. The players called it embarrassing. Grant Balfour even ranted in the clubhouse about how much he hated losing. The offense went through a stretch in which they had been shut out six times over a stretch of 16 games. This was the darkest time for the A's. Since the skid they are 21-13, and have put the struggles of May in the rear-view mirror.

Reddick Reddick Reddick Reddick That's what it looks like if you check the list of A's team leaders. Reddick leads the A's in batting average (.268), home runs (20), RBI (43), runs (53), hits (84), doubles (15), and outfield assists (8). He has played in all but three of the team's 86 games, and has batted third in 78 of them. The A's right fielder has been Reddick-ulously consistent.

Statistically speaking, if you look at wins above replacement (WAR), Suzuki is the least valuable player on the A's. That's not to say he doesn't have intangible qualities -- he most certainly does. He helps the A's young pitching staff, prevents runs with his defense, and has been instrumental in helping Derek Norris make the transition to the Major Leagues. His slash line of .211.248.259 is abysmal though. He has zero home runs in 246 plate appearances, and 16 RBI. A hand injury he suffered earlier in the season could be to blame, but at this point, he has to be considered the least valuable player.

Yoenis Cespedes: 'I’m going to play the last year of my career with Oakland'


Yoenis Cespedes: 'I’m going to play the last year of my career with Oakland'

After signing a four-year, $36 million deal with the A's before the 2012 season, Yoenis Cespedes' time in Oakland came to an end halfway through his third season.

The current Mets star certainly hasn't forgetten his time in Oakland, sharing his desire to end his career back where he started it to the San Francisco Chronicle

“I wish that happens,” Cespedes said on Friday with the A's taking on his Mets in New York. “I told (Jerry) Blevins, ‘I don’t know how many years I’m going to play, but I’m going to play the last year of my career with Oakland.’ I don’t know if that’s possible or not, but that’s my goal.”

Cespedes, who has also played in Boston and Detroit, loved his time in Oakland. 

“I still love the A’s, they were the first team to give me an opportunity to play in the big leagues," Cespedes said. “I love Oakland all the time.”

Another key reason for Cespedes' hope to return to the A's one day is how much he enjoyed playing for manager Bob Melvin. 

“I tell my guys here all the time that he’s the best manager for me so far,” Cespedes said. “I don’t think there’s a better manager than Melvin.”

Cespedes hit .262 with 66 home runs in his time with the A's. Over his six-year career, the slugging outfielder owns a career .272 batting average with 146 homers. 

Report: A's bringing back former slugger first baseman


Report: A's bringing back former slugger first baseman

The A's hit a lot of home runs and they appear to be bringing back a player that hits a lot of home runs.

Chris Carter, who played for the A's from 2010 through 2012, is reportedly signing a minor league contract to return to the organization.

News of the deal was first reported by FanRag Sports' Jon Heyman.

Carter was released by the Yankees on July 10. In 62 games for New York, Carter hit .201/.284/.370 with five doubles, eight home runs and 26 RBI.

Over the previous four seasons between Houston and Milwaukee, Carter hit 131 home runs and drove in 328 runs.

Carter's high-water mark with the A's came in 2012 when he hit 16 home runs in 67 games.