Marty Lurie Talks San Francisco Giants Baseball

Time For A's Report Card

With the Athletics sitting four games back of the Mariners in second place in the AL West, it is time to assess the players and give them grades for the first 52 games of the 2003 season, about one third of the year now in the books.

Mark Mulder is getting better every time out on the mound. Thursday night, the big lefty completely dominated the Royals enroute to his eighth win of the year. As I said two weeks ago, unless something happens to Mulder, he will start the All Star game in Chicago for the American League.

Mulder gets an “A” for his work in 2003.

Click below for my take on the rest of the team.Let’s start with the pitchers:

Barry Zito “A-“…. no problems for the Cy Young Award winner, some games are better than others, but no one is going to knock him around very often.

Tim Hudson “A”…. it’s not his fault that the A’s either don’t hit for him or the bull pen gives up his leads.

Ted Lilly “B” …. certainly alot better than last year and gives the A’s a chance to win everytime out. Needs more consistency from the sixth inning forward. Needs to reduce pitches early in the game.

John Halama “C” …an average fifth starter on this team which has high standards for every pitcher. Not as bad as the fans make him out to be, but not long for the rotation.

Aaron Harang “incomplete”, but his first outing will move Halama to the pen.

Keith Foulke “A” ….virtually perfect every game. Another excellent pick up by the team.

Ricardo Rincon “C”…. A’s expected more from this lefty. His slider is still not biting and his hamstring may still be bothering him. Not a factor so far.

Chad Bradford “B+” …has done the job when called upon in the 8th or whenever the manager needs him….a big piece of the bull pen puzzle…can’t field worth a darn unfortunately.

Micah Bowie “C-” Injuries are holding him back, but he had one helluva strike out of Torii Hunter in Oakland. Manager doesn’t seem to have confidence in him.

Michael Neu “B” …has done everything the A’s wanted, he won’t get many important chances, but he is helpful in his role mopping up when needed.

Jim Mecir “A” for being a good patient. “C-” for not being able to contribute much so far.

Scott Hatteberg “A-” better than most thought at first. Injuries slowing his power at the plate, but one tough out as the second place hitter. Never gives an at bat away.

Mark Ellis “B+” …excellent in the field, still a tough out, takes pitcher deep in the count, having a solid season and can bunt, a plus on this team.

Miguel Tejada “C” …playing better lately, his defense now up to MVP status, his bat looks better every day….first month was horrendous, thus low grade..

Eric Chavez “C” …..defense has been steady, but his clutch hitting not up to his potential…can’t hit a lefty right now which makes him a liability from that side in clutch situations. Hasn’t gotten hot yet, you know it is coming in July. Not what I expected the first two months.

Adam Piatt “D” …can’t get his bat going…hasn’t been the answer in limited playing time.

Eric Byrnes “A+”….has saved the A’s the entire month of May…gives them lift just being on the field. One of the few that looks like he has fun during the game. Exceeded all expectations. Will not see the bench soon.

Chris Singleton “B” …not much power, but puts the bat on the ball against righties. Adequate on defense but no Johnny Damon…still a welcome addition to the team..a classy pro.

Terrence Long “C” …still doesn’t hit enough and acts like he has it made. Played well defensively but has to produce more if he wants to stay in the line up regularly.

Jermaine Dye “D” … injury has kept him out for the month of May, but before that was buried in a horrible slump. A’s need his bat and glove in the lineup full time.

Ramon Hernadez “A-“… has fallen off lately, but his start was terrific. …possibly an all star if he can get hot again…still won’t block the plate but the big three love pitching to him… very pleasant surprise.

Frank Menechino “C+” ….. A’s don’t ask much of him, but he is ready to fill in when needed and adds to the life of the clubhouse in a positive way.

Mark Johnson “D” …I thought he could hit a little, not so far…his receiving may be OK but his lack of offense is disturbing.

Adam Melhuse “incomplete”….didn’t help himself getting doubled off in Minnesota.

Billy McMillon “incomplete” but he will be called upon soon to fill in.

Last but not least Erubiel Durazo “A”….hits like a veteran, runs surprisingly well for a big man, makes everyone nervous in the field, but a major acquisition and this lineup would be hurting big time without him.

Ken Macha “B” …needs to show confidence in his bull pen more often, it is a long season. Needs to pull the trigger on Chavez and slide him down against lefties until he gets hot. Should give a vote of confidence to his hitting coach instead of staying mute when reporters speculate that A’s hitting woes are Thad Bosley’s fault.

Team: “B+” …overall in fine shape with the best pitching in the league….once hitting kicks in, the race is on. Injuries will be a factor in this division over the course of the summer. Not A’s fault that Seattle is beating up on all the teams they should, A’s just need to stay close until their usual second half dominance takes hold.

Not easy being a grader.

What do you think?


1 Dave { 05.30.03 at 4:13 am }

As Vince Vaughn said in Sliders, “Mikey, you money!”. Mike Neu has come out and done what skip has asked him to do — and he has faced some tough situations (maybe meaningless in the game, but pitching in Yankee Stadium is never easy.) He also pitched two more against the Yanks at the Net, and pitched 1 2/3 innings against Minnesota. Of course his ERA wouldn’t be 0.71 if he had 20-30 innings, but the guy needs confidence. If you keep the B, give him a big chance for extra credit, because he’s done the job so far.

2 Anonymous { 05.30.03 at 12:03 pm }

Good assessment. Hope you send copies to the players and coaches.

I would make a couple of changes if I were grading. Miggy gets a C+ as he continues to improve. Poor guy has had a lot to deal with. Long get a C- (How could you give him the same grade as Miggy?). And a comment on his report card that he is in danger of being left back (ie, sitting on the bench) if there is not immediate improvement. And I would almost give Hudson an A+ for hanging in there without team support. He is one strong fellow mentally.

Overall, I agree with a B+ for the team. By All-Star break I would hope that has gone to an A- at least.

3 marty { 05.30.03 at 12:13 pm }

Well put, Long must have a lower grade than Miguel. Good comments on the others.



4 Anonymous { 05.30.03 at 1:02 pm }

Lately Chavy’s defense has not been consistent. His defensive mistakes and poor hitting against leftys seem to be weighing heavily on him. Last night in K.C. after a poor at bat, the camera followed him to the dugout, the mic. picked up a very loud “sh-t.”

5 naturalcool { 06.16.07 at 3:18 am }

6 Anonymous { 09.22.07 at 1:47 pm }

7 Anonymous { 09.22.07 at 2:18 pm }

8 Anonymous { 09.22.07 at 3:03 pm }

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