Five years ago, the Oakland A's were the feel good team that stormed the playoffs on saber metrics alone and captured the heart of the league. Now, it's 2016, and they're back to their old, pathetic selves.
It's even hit Sonny Gray, who had the first comparatively down season of his career. He's still a great pitcher, but he didn't have his best numbers this season, not even in the ERA category. Hopefully he'll recover in 2017.
Sean Manaea was one of the big rookies the A's brought up to help the failing pitching staff, and of the lot, Sean Manaea had the best impact, and the best chance of sticking around in the future (without any offense meant towards Daniel Mengden). His stuff's not perfect, but his 2016 numbers lead me to believe that the future's gonna be bright.
Kendall Graveman, in Gray's absence, was essentially the staff ace this year, and did a pretty nice job of it, if not absolutely perfect. He's better in a third-or-fourth starter role, but given the circumstances he did alright, and his stuff isn't bad.
As I ended yesterday's post with a former Phillie closer, I might as well do that with this one, too. Ryan Madson was the closer for my beloved 2011 Phillies, and this was his first full season after numerous surgeries. He responded by giving the A's 30 saves and reminding people that he can still be a pretty damn reliable reliever.
Coming Tomorrow- Four members of the 'shouldn't have gone as far as they did' Toronto Blue Jays.