San Francisco can rebound in 2014. It’s a particularly encouraging sign that its best players this season were its youngest: Bumgarner (23), Belt (25), Posey (26), and, primarily for his fielding, shortstop Brandon Crawford (26). Cain, who is 28, has posted a 3.46 ERA over his last 15 starts, 11 of which were quality. Pagan has been productive when healthy, even if his power dropped off, giving the team a solid up-the-middle quartet with Posey, Crawford and the ageless and perpetually underrated Scutaro. Add in Romo as the bullpen anchor, and the core is still there. Sandoval remains a project, and Pence will be a free agent.
– Cliff Corcoran, SI.com
With Josh Reddick back and hitting home runs, the Oakland Athletics are bringing some more muscle and a bigger lead into a crucial weekend series.
Reddick homered and had three RBIs, A.J. Griffin allowed just two hits in seven innings, and the A’s beat the Minnesota Twins 8-2 Thursday afternoon to increase their division lead to 3 1/2 games over idle Texas in the American League West. It is Oakland’s largest lead over the Rangers since Aug. 3. The teams are to scheduled play a three-game series this weekend in the Lone Star State.
– Associated Press
The lack of significant roster turnover and the absence of any high profile additions over the summer is a good indication that the Sharks would like to pick up right where they left off, when they were ousted in the seventh game of the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs last May.
After general manager Doug Wilson successfully retooled the roster just prior to last season’s trade deadline, he and the team’s brain trust stood pat, for the most part, in the months following that disappointing loss to the rival Los Angeles Kings.
– Kevin Kurz, CSNBayArea