Oakland A’s Preview: Look who’s back (now for Seattle)! Alonso in the short two-game series between the A’s and the Mariners

August 7, 2017

MLB, Oakland Athletics

Former Oakland Athletics first baseman Yonder Alonso (17) swings a bat during batting practice before a game against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, on August 4, 2017, played at Angel Stadium of Anaheim in Anaheim, CA He was dealt to Seattle during the series. (Photo by John Cordes/Icon Sportswire) (Icon Sportswire via AP Images)

by Jerry Feitelberg

OAKLAND- The Oakland A’s have an off-day on Monday. They finished the short five-game road trip to San Francisco and Los Angeles with a record of three wins and two losses. The A’s resume play Tuesday night in Oakland against the Seattle Mariners.

The Mariners beat the Kansas City Royals on Sunday to remain one game above the .500 mark with a record of 57-56 and are in second place in the AL West. The Mariners trail the Royal by a game and a half in the race for the second wild card spot. The Mariners made a move on Sunday as they acquired the A’s first baseman and All-Star, Yonder Alonzo. The Mariners claimed Alonso off waivers and then made a deal that sent outfielder Boog Powell to the A’s. Alonso will platoon with former Athletic Danny Valencia. The A’s announced that they will recall Matt Olson from Nashville. Olson will get more playing time at first base now that Alonso is gone.

The pitching matchups for the short two-game series will feature Kendall Graveman(2-3, 4.96 ERA) pitching for the A’s and the Mariners will have Ariel Miranda (7-5, 4.41 ERA) doing the honors for Seattle. Graveman did not have a good outing against the Giants last Thursday in San Francisco. He lasted just two innings, and it looked as if Graveman was pitching batting practice. It was his first start since May 19th, and there was no doubt that there was a little rust on the arm but Graveman just could not get loose, and he did not have a lot of velocity on any of his pitches. On Wednesday, Jharel Cotton (5-8, 4.96 ERA) is on the hill for the A’s and the veteran Yovani Gallardo(5-8, 5.48) will go for the M’s. Both of these pitchers have been struggling this season, and the A’s hope is that Cotton will find the magic that he showed last season when he arrived in Oakland in the trade with the Dodgers for Rich Hill and Josh Reddick. The Mariners’ Gallardo has been around the block several times, and he is hoping to do better as the Mariners need him to get them a win so they can possibly move up in the race for the Wild Card.

The A’s are now committed to the youth movement. Matt Chapman, Ryan Healy, Mark Canha, Marcus Semien, Bruce Maxwell and Chad Pinder along with the veteran Khris Davis all made significant contributions in the 11-10 win over the Angels on Sunday. The A’s may make other moves before the end of the season. There is no information available if the put Jed Lowrie, Matt Joyce, and Rajai Davis on waivers.  The young guys will see most of the action the remainder of the season.

The Mariners, on the other hand, are a veteran team with several All-Stars. The offense is led by second baseman Robinson Cano. Cano is hitting .272 with 19 dingers and 75 RBIs. Kyle Seager at third, Jean Segura at short, and Danny Valencia and Yonder Alonzo handling first base give the Mariners a good infield, and each of the hitters has a lot of pop in their bats. The outfielders are Ben Gamel, Jarrod Dyson, and Guillermo Heredia.  Gamel came to the Mariners from the Yankees and is hitting .303. Carlos Ruiz and Mike Zunino handle the catching. Nelson Cruz, who is having another productive season, is the DH and his batting average is .272 with 24 homers and 84 ribbies. Cruz has an on base percentage of .365 and a very high OPS (on base plus slugging) of .882.

The A’s pitchers will have their hands full trying to slow down the Mariners offense, and the same could be true for the Mariners as the young A’s players have a lot of power and the A’s play much better at the Coliseum than they do on the road.

The pressure will be on the Mariners as they are fighting for a spot in the playoffs while there is absolutely no pressure on the A’s. The A’s are building for the future. The starting rotation has been hard hit by injury and the trade of Sonny Gray to the Yankees. The A’s have several new faces in the bullpen due to trades and injury. The new guys will also be auditioning for the future.

Tuesday’s game starts at 7:05 pm at the Coliseum and Wednesday’s game will be at 12:35 pm. The A’s will welcome in the Baltimore Orioles for four games starting Thursday night.


About rxslugger

Retired pharmacist who now has a career as a sports writer and broadcaster

View all posts by rxslugger


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