The Oakland A's have had an up-and-down season so far.
They were in first place in the American League West at the beginning of June.
At the All-Star Break the A's are now 43-46 and seven-and-a-half games out of first place and three games out of second.
Now is time to take a look at the grades for each player the A's have had at the break. I'll start with the infield, then outfielders, relievers, and then the starters for the A's.
The reason why the grade is not higher is because as of late Suzuki has been slumping at the plate.
Defensively, he is one of the best defensive catchers in baseball.
He does lead the A's in home runs with 10, ranks second in RBI, and after collecting three hits yesterday brought his average up to .252.
Another reason why Suzuki's grade isn't higher is that he's not finding the gaps as often.
If you look at his 2009 season at the all-star break he had 23 doubles. This year he only has seven.
He had a significantly higher batting average, yet drove in the same amount of runs as he did last year.
Landon Powell doesn't get the chance to play much but he's a solid backup for the A's. When Suzuki was on the disabled list, Powell filled in nicely. He has a knack of picking up big hits and is good at calling games.
He was the catcher behind the plate for Dallas Braden's perfect game. He's appeared in 22 games has a homer and six RBIs, while batting .250.
Josh Donaldson got into 10 games while Suzuki was on the disabled list. During that time Donaldson didn't look very good behind the plate or at bat. I understand he's a young hitter but he was overly aggressive and struck out on bad pitches.
Also, when there's a catcher like Suzuki it's hard to replace him with a guy with little experience at the big league level. Would have preferred to see more of Powell while Suzuki was on the disabled list.
Daric Barton has matured as a hitter. However, that has led to a few things: some good, some bad.
He is among the league leaders in on-base percentage, and he leads the American League in walks with 54, and that shows patience.
The bad thing about his patience is that he does get some good pitches to hit and instead of swinging aggressively at it he watches it go by for a strike in hopes of drawing a walk or getting an even better pitch to hit.
He hasn't shown a ton of power with only five home runs. He does rank fourth on the team in RBI's with 32, and he's tied for the team lead in doubles with 20.
Heading into the all-star break he has slumped a bit and his average is now at .272
Defensively Barton leads the American League in errors with nine but he also leads the league in putouts with 780.
He's remained injury-free, having played in all 89 games this year.
Mark Ellis has played 46 games at second base.
He'd be talked about as an all-star if he hadn't missed games because of an injured calf. Ellis is one of the more under-appreciated players in baseball.
He can hit for a solid average, provides some pop, and on occasion he'll steal a base.
So far in the 46 games he's batting .286 with two homers, 19 RBI's, three stolen bases, and seven doubles.
Defensively Ellis has not made an error all season.
Adam Rosales spent a bulk of the time playing second for the A's and impressed A's fans with his hustle and big arm.
For a second basemen Rosales is tall at 6'3. That allows him to be the utility guy for the A's because he's seen time also at first base, third base, shortstop, and left field.
Rosales has seen the most time at second base due to the injury to Ellis. He hit a respectable .255 in the 44 games at second base, hit two home runs, driven in 17, and has seven doubles.
Defensively, like Ellis, Rosales has not made an error at second base. When you combine their numbers at second base Ellis and Rosales have combined for four home runs, 36 RBI, three stolen bases, 14 doubles, and again no errors.
Cliff Pennington has been great for most of the season.
He started out hot and hit three homeruns, which wasn't expected from him.
The only reason why his grade isn't higher is he did have a major slump and had his average at one point at .208, but as of late Pennington has been on fire with the bat.
The ninth position in the order suits him well. He won't drive in a tremendous amount of runs while down there, but he's still among the American League leaders in RBI by a shortstop with 26.
Pennington at the break is batting .264, with three HRs and 26 RBI. He leads all shortstops in the AL with six triples, and has 13 stolen bases.
What has been even more impressive though is his defense. He's made barehanded plays with ease and he has a cannon for an arm at short.
Rosales has appeared in 11 games at shortstop and hasn't done much hitting-wise with a .231 average, hasn't hit a homer or driven in a run, and has just one double.
Kevin Kouzmanoff is a tremendous defensive third basemen. He only made three errors last year with San Diego.
The big problem with Kouzmanoff and why he has such a low grade is his hitting.
He has a decent average of .266 now, but if it weren't for a hot streak he'd be hitting in the .220 or .230' at the break.
He does lead the A's in RBI with 40 but he has struck out 54 times while walking only 15 times, and he's grounded into 13 double plays.
There's not much to say about the A's left field situation.
It's been a platoon of players with Gabe Gross, Rajai Davis, Travis Buck, Rosales, Eric Patterson, Matt Carson, Jake Fox, Jack Cust, Matt Watson, and Conor Jackson.
Basically, ten players have played in left field for the A's.
Now it looks like Davis should be getting more time out there with Jackson on the disabled list. But, there's been little to no production offensively from the A's left fielders.
It's bad when Patterson is leading the team in games played t in left field. Gross has played 20 games in left, and Jackson 11.
Rajai Davis has played the most games in center field, but now that Coco Crisp is healthy, Davis is the late inning defensive replacement in left field or he'll start against left handed pitchers.
While Crisp was injured, Davis has been amongst the league leaders in stolen bases.
His only problem has been that he's been in a slump as of late so he was having a hard time getting put into the lineup with the return of Crisp.
Crisp has been impressive since he returned from his second stint on the disabled list.
He's been hitting for a solid average, providing some power, and stealing bases.
Ryan Sweeney, Matt Carson, Gross, and Patterson have also seen time in center field but only in a few games.
Ryan Sweeney has been battling a sore knee of late.
He's had a good year average-wise, hitting .294, and hasn't really slumped this year.
His problem though is that for a right fielder he doesn't possess any power.
He only has one homerun this year.
He does have 20 doubles this year which is tied for the team lead with Barton. In the second half he needs to start pulling some pitches out of the ballpark.
Sweeney gets a majority of his hits to left field.
If he does manage to pull a ball, it's usually on the ground and if there's a runner on first he's liable to ground into a double play which he's done 14 times this year.
The good news about Sweeney is that he's third on the team in RBI and he doesn't strike out a lot.
Gross, Cust, Davis, and Carson have also played a few games in right field.
The A's starters were supposed to be strong and it has been even with Brett Anderson on the disabled list for a while now. There's been very few starts that A's pitchers have been knocked around.
Vin Mazzaro has been solid since his callup, Clayton Mortensen had a strong start before being sent back down to Triple A Sacramento.
Ben Sheets has struggled a little bit and even though his record looks bad he has pitched well for the A's.
Gio Gonzalez still needs to mature a little bit on the mound and find better control but he's been solid.
Anderson looked good before his injury.
Justin Ducscherer looked good until he was injured.
Dallas Braden has gutted his way through some performances and he's been great, his highlight of course is pitching the perfect game.
Trevor Cahill at the age of 22 has become the ace of the staff and made the all-star team. Sunday you saw the maturity of Cahill. He learned from his mistake to Alex Rodriguez.
In his start against the Yankees he found himself in bases loaded situation with two outs and Cahill gave up a grand slam to Rodriguez.
Cahill was even in a more difficult situation with the bases loaded and nobody out against the Angels. He was able to induce a double play and then get the next batter without the Angels scoring a single run.
The A's came in with one of the strongest bullpens in the American League last year.
This season it hasn't showed except for Brad Ziegler, Craig Breslow, and Andrew Bailey.
Tyson Ross has struggled and was finally sent down to be groomed as a starter at Sacramento.
Jerry Blevins has struggled.
Cedric Bowers has struggled as expected with a rookie reliever.
Michael Wuertz has struggled after coming back from the disabled list hopefully in the second half he regains his 2009 form.
Chad Gaudin was horrible and ultimately released.
Edwar Ramirez was bad and was sent down.
Ross Wolf has only seen one game and he looked good even though he allowed a run.
Henry Rodriguez had control issues and was sent down.
Brad Kilby looked good but was sent down.
Thus far the designated hitter position has been a bust. There hasn't been a consistent power source.
Cust is looking like he's going to start hitting some more home runs, his average has been very good since he was called up after being designated for assignment at the beginning of the season.
Even with Cust back and hitting well the A's have had in the designated hitter role Eric Chavez, another injury has likely ended his career, Fox, Ellis, Donaldson, Powell, Suzuki, Gross, and Jackson.
Nine players were used in the designated hitter spot in total. That's a big sign that there's been very little production for the designated hitter spot in the lineup.
With the A's 43-46 and only three games back from second place and seven and a half games out of first, I find that Geren does get a decent grade.
I wanted to say F, but couldn't at this point.
I wouldn't put the grade any higher because he has cost a number of wins for the A's this year as well.
But, at this point if the A's get some hitting they could make some noise or at the very least play the role of spoiler.