Inbox: Lack of All-Stars for first-place Oakland
Athletics beat reporter Jane Lee responds to fans' questions
I still can't believe a first-place team only has one player going to the All-Star Game. What gives? What more do the A's have to do to be given the recognition they deserve? When do we finally get more than one All-Star?
-- Nico D., Concord, Calif.
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It goes without saying that the A's deserve more than one All-Star. A team doesn't land in first place without a couple, and the A's certainly do have several who deserved to be deemed as such. I do strongly believe that by the time All-Star festivities begin, Bartolo Colon will be joined by Grant Balfour. Manager Bob Melvin said American League manager Jim Leyland was well aware that Colon would be starting the Sunday before the All-Star Game at the time of his selections, so the only possible explanation for him leaving Balfour off the roster, it seems, is that he knew Balfour could potentially replace Colon should Colon choose to be ineligible. It would be an A's player taking over for an A's player. Simple, right?
Still, I also strongly think it shouldn't happen that way. Balfour was more than worthy of being named an All-Star at the time of the official announcements, and it's something of a slap in the face to the AL's best reliever -- based on numbers -- that he wasn't. As for Josh Donaldson, who most definitely put up All-Star numbers, he should've been placed on the Final Vote list.
So what's the long-term plan for Grant Green? Do you see him sticking on the roster for the rest of the season, or is this just a temporary thing until the A's find a better solution at second base?
-- Bryan O., Fremont, Calif.
I think the A's do want to give Green ample time in the big leagues to prove himself at the highest of levels, especially since his journey to get here wasn't exactly a brief one. They're confident that his offensive ability is there, but his defense has always presented concern, and he has looked shaky in his short time at second base thus far. It's still early, but if that continues, the A's aren't likely to keep the experiment going in the middle of a playoff run. I'd also have to believe that second base might be the one area they may look to upgrade, anyway, if given the chance to do so before the Trade Deadline.
What do you think happens with Adam Rosales? Is there any way he stays in the A's organization?
-- Lauren K., Livermore, Calif.
It all depends on if another organization wants to pick him up. It would take a minor trade or a waiver claim for that to happen, but should neither scenario pan out by the end of next week, the A's could outright him to Triple-A Sacramento and keep him in the system. Obviously, that's their preference, given what Rosales has been able to give them as a versatile piece off the bench. He's also very much well-liked by everyone in the organization. At the same time, Rosales could be a nice addition to a club looking for some backup middle-infield help, and if watching him go to another team means watching him get another big league chance, I'm sure the A's would be fine with that.
What do you think the rotation looks like by the end of August? Do you really think Brett Anderson will be pitching again this season?
-- Marc E., Houston
Whether or not Anderson is pitching in August will clearly affect the makeup of the rotation, and it's hard to say with certainty that he will be in there by then. I'm more optimistic about a September return for the lefty, so assuming he's not part of the August equation, I'd have to think Colon, Jarrod Parker, Tommy Milone and A.J. Griffin will be joined by Dan Straily. After watching Sonny Gray's spectacular debut on Wednesday night in Pittsburgh, that was a tough call to make, but Straily is more experienced and has looked sharp in his past couple of starts. Gray, of course, is at the top of the list should the A's need another starter, but in the meantime, he'll remain in the bullpen.
What's the latest on Colon possibly being suspended?
-- Rob B., Visalia, Calif.
There's question as to whether, no matter his possible involvement with the Biogenesis clinic, Colon would even need to serve a suspension, given he already did so last year when he was busted for high testosterone levels. Melvin has repeatedly said he shouldn't have to based on this, and there really doesn't seem to be much worry around the club on Colon being slapped with another suspension for the same infraction. Colon, too, has said on multiple occasions that he hasn't heard from anyone involved with the ongoing investigations, so it's just kind of a wait-and-see thing at this point.
Who has the best hair in the A's clubhouse, John Jaso or Griffin?
-- Rhett N., Fair Oaks, Calif.
That's a tough one, but I'd have to go with Griffin, who sports some seriously voluminous golden locks.