Kurt Suzuki welcomes new pitchers on A's

Oakland Athletics' Kurt Suzuki
March 27, 2012 7:36:46 PM PDT
There are lots of new faces in Oakland. Players come and go on the A's roster from year to year, but one guy remains a constant -- catcher Kurt Suzuki.

Suzuki has seen it all in his five years with the A's, including this off season's fire sale of the team's starting pitchers.

"It's a new beginning, you traded away Gio, Bailey and Cahill, three guys who were a force on our pitching staff," said Suzuki

The A's picked up several young pitchers in these trades, so Kurt's experience will be a key to the team's success.

"My main thing is keeping these pitchers loose and keeping them comfortable, knowing they belong and we'll guide them through the way and I'm ready to go," said Suzuki.

"Whether it's younger pitchers or whether it's veteran pitchers, he's got a presence and a knowledge. That's why we hold him in very high esteem," said A's manager Bob Melvin.

Suzuki had a career low batting average last season, hitting .237, with 14 home runs and only 44 RBI. He lost some weight this off season hoping it will keep him stronger throughout the year.

"I don't want to just be a defensive catcher, I can't come in and say, 'I'm just going to work on defense.' I want to work on everything, and obviously the last two years haven't been kindest to me, you know, it happens," said Suzuki. "You learn, you learn from things."

Brandon McCarthy is the top gun on this year's staff and will pitch the opener in Japan against Seattle.

When asked if he thought Brandon was ready to be the ace, Suzuki said, "I can't find any reason he wouldn't be. That guy's preparation, his work ethic, his demeanor on the mound and his ability, I mean he's got everything it takes to be that guy to anchor a pitching staff."

Let the games begin.


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