Oakland A's: Bob Melvin Is Currently the AL Manager of the Year

Peter FournierContributor IIJuly 26, 2012

The A's crushed the Blue Jays 16-0 on Wednesday.
The A's crushed the Blue Jays 16-0 on Wednesday.Brad White/Getty Images

Throttling the Toronto Blue Jays 16-0 on Wednesday does not necessarily mean the Oakland A's are legitimate playoff contenders. 

They've been making that case for the past month. 

If the season ended today, they would be in the top three in ERA, but second-to-last in batting average.

Besides Yoenis Cespedes and Josh Reddick and the numerous walk-off victories, how have the A's stayed in contention?

Bob Melvin.

Melvin has led the A's to being nine games over .500 and just five games behind the Texas Rangers in the AL West.

That's stunning.

Bob Geren would be trying to figure out how the A's are winning if he was still in Oakland.

Geren's not, thankfully.

Melvin has managed the A's rotation into one of the best despite injuries and call-ups from Triple-A Sacramento because of them.

When Brandon McCarthy went down, Melvin called on A.J. Griffin to take his spot in the rotation. He has done nothing but shine.

He's stuck with Bartolo Colon and developed a solid rotation with Jarrod Parker, Colon, Tommy Millone, Griffin and Travis Blackley (when needed). 

He promoted Ryan Cook to the closer's role when he showed promise as a set-up man and brought Grant Balfour back to setting up, which he loves to do. 

Melvin has kept the lineup mostly the same. He has not benched Brandon Inge despite his near .200 average. Inge's pop has proved valuable in the past week.

Melvin is making his own decisions instead of seemingly acting like Billy Beane's pawn.

There's no debating where Melvin's knowledge has gotten the A's this year and little doubt that decisions on the diamond are his.