questioning the Athletics’ relevancy. Nothing more Miguel Andujar Jersey , nothing less."Oakland Athletics2018: 97-67, 2nd in AL West, lost in AL wild card game to New York YankeesWho?The Oakland Athletics. You know, the team that assembles a team of misfit toys, shrewd trades and the occasional elite prospect to ascend to under-the-radar brilliance on a 2018 opening day payroll less than half of that of the Angels’? Yeah, them.Were they even good last year?Certainly. While an extensive injury list to the rotation forced them to roll with a ragtag team of musketeers, the impact was offset by a terrific defense and a strong bullpen. Matt Chapman proved himself to be the real deal, and Jed Lowrie lambasted his peers with a five-win season. Khris Davis, Matt Olson, and Stephen Piscotty provided all-important thump, and Blake Treinen is consistently nasty. Still, the team shouldn’t have been nearly as incredible as they were last year, as everything went right and little went wrong.What did they do this offseason?Losing Jed Lowrie, Kendall Graveman, Shawn Kelley, Familia Tim Tebow Jersey , Emilio Pagan, and Trevor Cahill is quite the blow to the squad’s talent base, and the plethora of buy-low candidates in Marco Estrada, Robbie Grossman, and Jerry Blevins isn’t nearly enough to fill the gap. Oakland’s hallmark trade for this winter was acquiring former top-prospect Jurickson Profar from Texas, who is somehow just 26 years old and posted 2.9 fWAR last season, a nice Lowrie replacement if performance holds. Joakim Soria helps replace relief pieces who didn’t return to the organization. Nick Hundley is a fine yet underwhelming seasoned catching addition on a minors deal. 2019 Projected LineupORDERPOSPLAYERBATSAGEZiPS (fWAR)ORDERPOSPLAYERBATSAGEZiPS (fWAR)Stats and info courtesy of FanGraphs The heart of the A’s lineup is stacked with power, no doubt, but it’s the getting on-base that could be a problem without Jed Lowrie. Surely, Piscotty or Profar will step up to fill the role but I’m skeptical such large shoes can be filled. This is a nice lineup overall, though the bottom has much to be desired — keep in mind that this will be improved through use of platoons. 2019 RotationPLAYERThrowsAGEZiPS (fWAR)PLAYERThrowsAGEZiPS (fWAR)Not a lot of confidence to be inspired in these pitchers whose best days have been had long before. The A’s are banking on defense and large AL West parks to outperform their pitchers’ true talent level and have starters produce enough volume to be competitive. Furthermore, Sean Manaea, Jharel Cotton, and Jesus Luzardo are all on the shelf, three MLB-quality starters. Top prospect A.J. Puk isn’t on the roster, either. 2019 BullpenPLAYERThrowsAGEZiPS (fWAR)PLAYERThrowsAGEZiPS (fWAR)Treinen has the ability to wipe out the best of hitters. We all know how good Joakim Soria is. Liam Hendricks and Lou Trivino have found considerable success Jay Bruce Jersey , and Buchter presents a unique look from the left side. Old friend Yusmeiro Petit is still at it with his deception, too. This is an okay group as a whole, but it’s nothing special and the additions aren’t nearly enough to make up for the talent that was lost this offseason. If their starters can’t go three times through the order, they could be in big trouble this season.What is their strength?Defense, defense, defense. Matt Chapman is a stalwart on the left side, as is Matt Olson at the opposite corner. Marcus Semien improved considerably last season (9 DRS, 8.3 UZR), an incredible plus considering poor defensive ability nearly derailed his career before it even took off. What is their weakness? Starting rotation depth definitely exists, but is lacking in talent. Jesus Luzardo has the tools to be one of the better starters in the league and Manaea has shown flashes, but the rest of the group leaves much to be desired in aggregate. It may not hurt the A’s so much in their home ballpark, but it will be exposed in road games against the Astros. Furthermore, I am not convinced the team has the necessary table-setters it needs to win games by considerable margins, despite packing a punch with the long-ball. So, what can we expect?I expect an A’s team with their typical modus operandi. They’re going to scratch and claw and fight in every game, and make it close. It’s what they do http://www.metsfanproshop.com/authentic-tim-tebow-jersey , and it’s what they’ve always done. But there’s little doubt that the team massively overperformed last year, and hasn’t done nearly enough to add more talent to offset that which was lost. I see a third-place finish for the A’s in the 84-88 win range, and definitely threatening for playoff time in September. What’s the most accurate song representation for this team?Goofy Goober Rock from the Spongebob Squarepants movie, because they simply don’t know how to quit. MILWAUKEE (AP) — Brewers reliever Corey Knebel says he will have Tommy John surgery and miss the season, a major setback for the NL Central champions.Knebel revealed his decision Friday before Milwaukee played St. Louis.The 27-year-old right-hander had been pitching with a damaged ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow since 2014, when he was pitching for the Texas Rangers. He has been sidelined since March 17, when he experienced discomfort in his elbow while pitching in a spring training game.Knebel was 4-3 with 16 saves and a 3.58 ERA in 57 games last season. He was outstanding in the playoffs, pitching nine games with a 0.90 ERA in 10 innings as the Brewers relied on a dominant bullpen to come within one win of the World Series.Knebel had 39 saves and was a 2017 NL All-Star.“It happened five years ago and now it’s just gotten a little worse,” Knebel said. “I don’t want it to really hurt me in the long run. Right now, I’m 27. I think it’s better to do it now than wait until later.”The decision was left up to Knebel and he said it was a tough one, but he opted for the surgery rather than trying to rehab the injury and possibly being out a longer time or not knowing if the pain would return.Orthopedist Neal ElAttrache will perform the surgery on Wednesday.“I’ve had the information now for a week and I couldn’t just decide right away,” Knebel said. “I hated that it was my decision. I really wish the doctor would have told me, ‘Here’s what we’re doing.’“As much as I want to pitch, it’s going to be tough to just watch,” he said.The Brewers beat St. Louis 5-4 Thursday in a season opener.Knebel said he would not be with the team this season but instead begin the healing process at the Brewers’ training complex in Maryvale, Arizona.“I’ve been reading a lot about everything and the success rate of Tommy John is very good David Wright Jersey ,” Knebel said.Knebel said he felt comfortable using ElAttrache, who did surgery on Brewers right-hander Jimmy Nelson last season.“He did a great job with Jimmy’s shoulder,” Knebel said.Brewers manager Craig Counsell said he already knew Knebel would be out for an extended period, so the news did not change the team’s bullpen plans.“We fully support him making that decision,” Counsell said. “Either way it was going to be a significant injury.”Lefty Josh Hader remains a late-inning force for the Brewers, and he earned a two-inning save against the Cardinals in the opener.Counsell said all eight of his relievers could close a game and he would not designate one or two pitchers for the role.Right-handed reliever Jeremy Jeffress is out with a right shoulder injury but is expected to return next month.Counsell said Jeffress would pitch a spring training game on Saturday and would be on schedule to pitch in Arizona every three days.“That takes him to when the Triple-A season starts,” said Counsell, who indicated Jeffress would pitch for San Antonio next Friday.Nelson, one of the Brewers’ top starting pitchers, is making progress in Arizona and should throw a bullpen session early next week, Counsell said. He is expected to pitch once or twice more in Arizona before joining Triple-A San Antonio.“He does have to pile up some innings, just health and learning about himself,” Counsell said.Nelson was injured while diving into first base in a game against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field in 2017, and he missed all of the 2018 season.