Oakland AthleticsManager: Bob Melvin
Stadium: Oakland Coliseum
2008 Record: 75-86 (3rd in AL West)
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-- Buster Olney
HITTER TO WATCH:
If Ryan Sweeney doesn't hit, Rajai Davis isn't the answer, which could give Aaron Cunningham a shot at the center-field job.
PITCHER TO WATCH:
Brett Anderson has plus command of a four-pitch mix that includes an out-pitch curveball; he's a definite Rookie of the Year candidate because of his feel for pitching and favorable home park.
-- Keith Law, Scouts Inc.
Is underrated Mark Ellis among the top second basemen in the American League? Is perennial All-Star Matt Holliday now the league's best left fielder? Is Kurt Suzuki worthy of consideration as the AL's No. 1 catcher in 2009? Register your vote.
Brett Anderson, the 21-year-old lefty, has shown mound presence and command beyond his years this spring and will have a rotation job to start the season. He's definitely a player to watch who will be available dirt-cheap in mixed leagues.
A popular sleeper for some pundits, Dallas Braden may ultimately be just too hittable to have consistent success as a starter in the big leagues. He has a starting job to begin the year but may not keep it.
-- Jason Grey
Joey Devine has one of the best names in professional sports
and now he's paying a visit to one of the biggest names in professional sports. Devine's ailing right (throwing) elbow will be examined by Dr. James Andrews next week. The fact that Devine requires a trip to the well-known orthopedic surgeon is bad enough; what's worse is that this is a recurrence of a problem that caused him to miss two months last year. Devine was divine when he returned to action, but serious symptoms this early generally do not signal good times ahead. He will join teammate Justin Duchscherer on the DL to start the season. The A's have to hope that Devine's stay is just temporary.
-- Stephania Bell
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