Athletics Arrival and Departures
The A’s added a new member to their club on Friday when the Colorado Rockies completed the Mark Ellis trade by naming the player to be named later. The A’s acquire outfielder Eliezer Mesa, who is a not very highly regarded 23-year-old prospect who is the nephew of former closer Jose Mesa. Don’t look for Mesa to be a big part of the organization as in 2011 with the Modesto Nuts of the California League, he put up a .250/.315/.305 slash line in 53 games which added up to an abysmal .298 wOBA and 69 wRC+.
The departures are much more significant as yesterday the Athletics announced that they will not be retaining three members of Bob Melvin‘s coaching staff: hitting coach Gerald Perry, pitching coach Ron Romanick and bench coach Joel Skinner. While I haven’t been particularly impressed with Perry (he has been especially noteworthy for leading a club that has proven inept at every facet of hitting this season) or Skinner, I worry about the loss of Romanick. Romanick has been a part of the A’s organization since 1999 and has worked well and worked with virtually every Athletics pitcher for a good chunk of their career. Since he has been up with the A’s his pitchers have succeeded. As can be seen in this graph (stats for 2008-10 reflect just bullpen numbers vis-a-vis other bullpen corps whereas 2011 reflects the entire pitching staff vis-a-vis other pitching staffs).
|Year||FIP||FIP Rank (MLB)||ERA||ERA Rank (MLB)||WAR||WAR Rank (MLB)|
As one can see Romanick has (the exception being 2010) led pretty impressive staffs and the thanks he gets is the boot. I wish him the best, but am really upset that he is being let go as I think he is an asset. I get that the manager wants his own staff but Romanick is getting results. Susan Slusser in a column in today’s San Francisco Chronicle expressed her surprise at Romanick being relieved of his responsibilities and also suggested two possible new coaches writing,
“it’s likely Oakland will ask for permission to speak to Reds pitching coach Bryan Price, who worked with A’s manager Bob Melvin in Arizona and Seattle and is a Bay Area native (attended Tamalpais High and Cal) – or that the A’s will turn to their former pitching coach, Curt Young, who was on Terry Francona‘s staff in Boston this year. With the Red Sox cutting ties with Francona on Friday, it’s expected that Young might not be retained, though he has a year left on his deal.”
The other departure for the A’s was that Andy LaRoche elected to become a free agent. After winning the backup infielder role in spring training, LaRoche played forty games with Oakland posting a .247/.320/.333 slash line with a .291 wOBA and 82 wRC+ while being worth -0.4 WAR. LaRoche was DFA’d on June 5th, cleared waivers and was outrighted to Sacramento where he posted equally unimpressive numbers: .254/.335/.376 with a .322 wOBA and 77 wRC+.