Royal pain: A’s pound the Royals again 14-5 and sweep the four game series

by Jerry Feitelberg

AP photo: Oakland A’s third baseman Ryon Healy (48) celebrates the four game sweep of the Kansas City Royals with Matt Olson (back) Thursday night at Kaufman Stadium

Kansas City, Mo – The Amazin’ A’s swept the four-game series with the Kansas City Royals as they pounded them again 14-5. The A’s, without question, played the spoiler role as they just about ended any hope that the Royals may have had about making the playoffs this year. The Royals, defending World Series Champs, did not look like the team that won the AL Pennant in 2014 and the World Series crown last year. The A’s manhandled their pitching as they outscored the Royals 43-12 in the series. The A’s starter, Daniel Mengden, pitched effectively Thursday night, and he recorded his second win of the season. Mengden went seven innings and allowed no runs and just three hits. He struck out six and did not walk a single batter. J.B. Wendelken pitched a scoreless eighth inning and lefty Dillon Overton was roughed up for five runs in the bottom of the ninth. Bob Melvin had someone warming up just in case, but Overton was able to get the final out of the game.

The A’s scored the first run of the game in the top of the second to start the ball rolling. With two out, Ryon Healy and Marcus Semien hit back to back doubles for the score. The A’s continued to attack the offerings of Edinson Volquez as they plated five more runs in the third. Joey Wendle singled. Volquez walked Danny Valencia to put men on at first and second with no out. Stephen Vogt doubled down the right field line to drive in both runners. After a walk to Yonder Alonzo, Ryon Healy hit a mammoth home run to put the A’s in the lead 6-0. Healy’s ball traveled an estimated 480 feet.

The A’s scored three more times in the fourth. Vogt drove in a run when he walked with the bases loaded. Khris Davis doubled to drive in two more and Royals’ manager Ned Yost removed Volquez from the game trailing 9-0. The A’s continued the onslaught. They added two more in the sixth when Vogt unloaded with a man on board to up the lead to 11-0. The A’s hitters kept blasting away and sustained the night of torture for the Royals and their fans when Marcus Semien hit his twenty-fifth of the season with two men on to make it a 14-0 game.

The Royals score five times in the bottom of the ninth but it was too little, too late and the A’s completed their first sweep of a four-game series since 2012 when they turned the trick against the Cleveland Indians

Game Notes- Hitting stars were Joey Wendle, Stephen Vogt, Ryon Healy, Khris Davis and Marcus Semien. Wendle had four singles in six tries. Vogt had a double, RBI walk and a home run. Healy had a double and a monster three-run dinger as did Marcus Semien. The A’s had just one three-run dinger in September until this series with the Royals. They had four in this series.

The A’s travel to Arlington, Texas where they will play the Texas Rangers over the weekend. The Rangers own the best record in the AL, and they will not take the A’s lightly as they want to have home-field advantage throughout the playoff. Kendall Graveman will pitch for Oakland Friday night and the Rangers’ ace, lefty Cole Hamels, will try to shut the suddenly potent A’s offense down. The game will start at 5:05 PM PT.

It’s official: Coco goes to back to Cleveland for minor league pitcher

coco hair

by Charlie O. Mallonee

The Coco Crisp era in Oakland has come to an end. The A’s and the Cleveland Indians have reached an agreement on a trade that sends Crisp back to his original major league team.

In return, the Athletics will receive minor league left-handed pitcher Colt Hynes.

Cleveland has been looking for outfield help since Michael Brantley went out for the rest of the season due to surgery on his right biceps. The Indians have been using a group of five players to platoon against right-handed and left-handed pitching. The switch-hitting Crisp can be used in all situations.

The Indians will lose one of the outfielders they are using in post-season play. Abraham Almonte is not eligible for the post-season because he was suspended for the first 81 games of the season due to a positive test for a performance-enhancing substance. He is not allowed to participate in the post-season as a part of his punishment.

Crisp gives the Indians a player with post-season experience. He has participated in divisional and championship play with Boston and Oakland. Crisp was also a member of the 2007 World Champion Boston Red Sox team.

Crisp was batting .234 with 11 home runs and 47 RBI in 102 games for the A’s this season. He leads the majors with a .424 batting average with runners in scoring position. Crisp can play all three outfield positions.

Crisp had recently expressed his unhappiness with the A’s over the way he was being used as a player. Crisp has an incentive based $13-million contract for 2017 that would automatically vest if he plays 130 or more games this season. He felt the A’s were deliberately platooning him in the outfield to avoid having the final year of the contract go into force.

LHP Colt Hynes has been well traveled this year. He started the season with the Toronto organization and was traded to Cleveland on August 3rd. Hynes has pitched at the Double-A and Triple-A level this year with a combined record of 3-1 with two saves and an ERA of 3.99 in 38 relief appearances. He has pitched in the Major Leagues for San Diego and Toronto.

Infielder Joey Wendle has been recalled from Triple-A Nashville to take Crisp’s place on the roster. He was battling .279 with 12 home runs and 61 RBI for the Sounds. Wendle came to the A’s from Cleveland in 2014 as part of the Brandon Moss trade

A’s trade lefty reliever Rzepczynski to Nationals for 2B prospect Max Schrock



by Charlie O. Mallonee

The Oakland Athletics made a trade today with the Washington Nationals that makes it abundantly clear they are in a youth movement as the end of the season approaches.

The A’s sent left-handed relief pitcher Marc Rzepczynski and cash to the Nationals for minor league infielder Max Schrock.

Rzepczynski was acquired over the winter from the San Diego Padres as part of the Drew Pomeranz trade. He was 1-0 with a 3.00 ERA in 56 relief appearances for Oakland this season. Rzepczynski will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season.

Rzepczynski broke into the major leagues in 2009 with Toronto. He has also pitched for St. Louis, Cleveland and San Diego.

The A’s received second baseman Max Schrock from the Nationals. Schrock was selected by Washington in the 13th round of the 2015 draft out of the University of South Carolina.

The 21-year old Schrock is 5-foot-8, 180 pounds. He bats left and throws right. Schrock is known as being a pure hitter. He is not a power hitter but he makes the most of every opportunity he has with the bat. Schrock is a good fielder and average runner.

Schrock was promoted from Class-A to High Class-A Potomac of the Carolina League at mid-season. In 54 games with Potomac, he hit .341 with a .373 on base percentage. Schrock collected 79 hits in 232 at bats including 11 doubles, five home runs and 29 RBI. Schrock also was trying to make a name for himself as a base-stealer at Potomac by going 7-for-9 in the stolen base category.

Schrock can be considered to be on the fast track of player development as he has gone from short-season A ball to High Class-A in less than a season. Scouts are projecting that Schrock could be ready for major league service as early as the 2018 season.

The A’s have their number 14 prospect – 2B Joey Wendle – at Nashville and Franklin Barreto – Oakland’s number one ranked minor leaguer – is playing second base for Double-A Midland. So, where does Schrock wind up playing? For now, he will probably wind up in a Stockton Ports uniform for the rest of the season unless there are some major late season roster moves in the farm system.

With Pinder, Wendle, and Barreto all at second base, how does Schrock fit into the A’s players development plans? Simply put – he can hit. In baseball if you can hit, a team will find a position for you to play. In the case of Schrock, do not be surprised to see him being worked out at a corner outfield spot – especially in left field where arm strength is not as crucial.

For now, the A’s minor league spotlight is on Max Schrock.