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Baltimore Series – Quick Game 2 Preview and George Kottaras?

July 28, 2012

The Athletics and Orioles are at it again tonight after a wild finish last night. Tonight’s starting pitchers are about as enigmatic as it gets. Enough talking, let’s break it down.

Probables

Honestly, when I look at Tommy Hunter’s career numbers I could not believe that he had accumulated nearly 3.5 WAR over his career. So far this year, he’s pitching like a guy who should be in AAA right now. His K/9 and BB/9 are 4.72 and 1.51, respectively. His ERA/FIP/xFIP are 5.57/5.65/4.41.

Hunter throws a fourseam fastball, sinker, cutter, curve, and change (in order of frequency). None of his pitches are overpowering as his BIP% ranges from 19-25%. Of all the games in this series, this one I feel the most comfortable about.

As far as Colon, it depends on which Bartolo shows up. I’ve been worried that he has just been laying the ball in there and hoping for the best. If he throws quality strikes and his fastball dances like it has been, he’ll be fine. If not, well, Eutaw St. could see a lot of action.

The Lineup

Now that the A’s are finally facing a RHH, Seth Smith is back in the lineup! Which, in my honest opinion is completely dumb. Smith should be out there against RHP’s and LHP’s. Not a fan of Crisp and Weeks hitting 1-2, but Melvin has been doing this all year. He’s not going to start now. Glad to see Sogard get the start. Still think he’s an upgrade over Hicks at the plate. If the A’s are really going to make a push for the Wild Card, Melvin really needs to put his best offensive lineup out there every night. And until Pennington comes back or the A’s trade for someone, Sogard, I feel, gives them the best shot.

George … Kottaras?

There’s a rumor swirling that George Kottaras could be on his way to the Athletics. If this is true, it’s not that bad of an acquisition. Yes his .209 BA this year looks horrid, but some (not all) of that could be explained by his .254 BABIP. His walk rate is something to dream on this year (25%), but even at this career rate of 13.8% is upgrade.

At this point any offensive production out of the catchers spot in the lineup can only be good for the Athletics. Norris possibly could go to AAA, which I know people will complain about, but it could only help him to play everyday. That’s unless Suzuki is traded, which I don’t really see happening until after the season is over.

As for price? He will come cheap. Very cheap. The Brewers, I think and I like to think that I am right, are just looking to try and restock their farm system. After completely gutting it in their “win now” attempt to get Greinke, it is time for them to replenish it. Now that they are in the post-Greinke era, they just need players. Not superstars. A C-grade prospect or two, or just prospect and cash could easily get the job done.

And no, Billy is not done.

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