Vogt homers in last career at bat to give A’s 3-2 edge over Halos at Coliseum; Oakland sweeps LA in three games

Oakland A’s catcher Stephen Vogt rounds third base after hitting a go ahead home run in his final career at bat in the bottom of the seventh at the Oakland Coliseum off Los Angeles Angels relief pitcher Zack Weiss on Wed Oct 5, 2022 (@Athletics photo)

Los Angeles (73-09). 2. 6. 0

Oakland (60-102). 3. 4. 0

Wednesday, October 4, 2022

By Lewis Rubman

OAKLAND-In a famous essay published in “Take Time for Paradise,” one time professor academic administrator, and, incidentally, MLB Commissioner , A. Bartlett Giamatti publicly confided that baseball “breaks your heart, it is designed to break your heart.

The game begins in the spring, when everything else begins again, and it blossoms in the summer, filling the afternoons and evenings, and then as soon as the chill rains come, it stops and leaves you to face the fall alone.”

The final alliteration gently calls attention to the puns on “fall,” the season of the year and the consequence of man’s first disobedience. You can hear the leaves fall, while the persistence of aural memory also suggests a slight, stuttering misreading of the phrase to give us “leaves you to face the fall all alone,” all of which makes the whole paragraph vibrate beyond all the fancy writing of its opening sentence.

Giamatti expresses a true sentiment, and does it beautifully. But it is a limited, parochial sentiment. Baseball’s reach extends beyond New England. where Giamatti was born, studied, taught, and eventually reigned over Yale University.

Try telling that to a baseball fan from the vast reservoir of baseball talent that is the Caribbean basin! The Caribbean Series ends in early to middle February, just days before pitchers and catchers report to the Grapefruit and Cactus Leagues.

The climate of the San Francisco Bay Area isn’t as harsh as that of New Haven,CT, and enviorons. That’s one reason why the old PCL used to have seasons of more than 200 games. But we do have an autumn, and that does

contribute to the sadness we feel when the baseball season ends, successfully or, as happened to both our teams this year, in failure.

The the game, a squeaker that the A’s won 3-2 on an emotional filled home run by Stephen Vogt, ended a high note, and the sadness, at least for me, set in later.

It was a warm, sunny day in Oakland, but there still was a resigned sadness mixed in with the festive cheering among the 11,232 fans in the old ball park before Vogt’s electrifying homer.

The presence of Sohei Ohtani on the mound and at the plate added to the emotional complexity of the game. Even A’s fans wish him well and appreciate the added excitement he brings, especially when pitching, to the game. His performance today in that category was excellent.

Ohtani set down the first 13 batters he faced, not allowing a baserunner until he issued a 3-2 walk to Vogt with one down the the bottom of the fifth Chad Pinder followed that with Oakland’s first hit, a ringing double to left that moved Vogt to third. Ernie Clement ran for Pinder, but it was Vogt who scored the tie breaking run on a sac fly to center by Conner Capel.

That ended Ohtani tenure on the mound, but he stayed in the game as designated hitter. His pitching line was one run, earned, on one hit and a walk with six strikeouts over five innings. He threw 69 pitches, 46 for strikes. He was charged with a tough loss left him at 15-9, 2.33.

At the plate, Ohtani went went one for four and made the final out in the in the Halos’ last ditch attempt to tie the game in the eighth.

The numbers that Ken Waldichuk, Oakland’s starting pitcher, brought with him (1-2,6.28) were no match for Ohtani’s (15-8,3.55), but the young left hander more than proved himself up to the ocassion. He threw seven innings of three hit shutout ball, walking just one batter and hitting another. He struck out four Angels and threw 100 pitches, 62 of them for strikes.

Waldichuk earned his second win, evening his record at 2-2 while his ERA dipped to 4.93

Nash Walters was the new Halo hurler in the bottom of the sixth. He lasted the minimum allowable three batter, allowing a one out single to Tony Kemp and a walk to Sean Murphy.

Portsider Rob Zastryzny took over and retired Seth Brown and Jordán Díaz. The two runners advanced a base on a wild pitch to Díaz, but no one scored, and the A’s retained their 1-0 lead.

Zack Weiss replaced Zastryzny replaced Walters for the home seventh and faced Vogt, who pulled a Ted Williams on Weiss’s first pitch. It was the fan favorite’s last at bat, and he pulled a 94 fastball 369 feet into the right field seats.

Oakland tacked another run on to that with a one out single by Capel, who stole second before García struck out on a wild pitch that put runners on the corners. Capel then scored on Allen’s sac fly to right that put the home team ahead 3-0.

The Halos closed the gap to 3-2 after Norge Ruíz replaced Waldichuk in the seventh. Jo Adell opened with a triple to right center that originally was

scored as a double and a error, but the scorer checked the video and gave Adell the three base hit. Logan O’Hoppe smacked a pinch hit single to left to make it 3-2.After Rengifo grounded into a 6 unassited-3 DP, Trout blasted his 40th home run of the year, a monster shot 462 feet into the upper deck in straightaway center field.

That brought Kirby Snead in from the bullpen to put out the fire with a ground out to third by Ohtani. That and a perfect top of the ninth gave Snead his first save of the year.

Jaime Barría retired the side in order in the bottom of the ninth.

That’s all, folks, for 2022.

What’s Wrong With The Yankees? More Like What’s Right With The A’s in 4-1 win

By Morris Phillips

OAKLAND–Mark Kotsay promised enthusiasm would be his greatest currency in what has proved to be a trying, first season as manager of the A’s.

On Saturday, Adrian Martinez matched that enthusiasm and carried into Sunday’s series finale with the Yankees.

The 25-year old rookie shut down the AL East-leading Yankees into the sixth inning, and the A’s made two, first inning runs stand up in their 4-1 win. Martinez, making his fourth appearance in Oakland this season each time summoned from Triple-A Las Vegas was impressive, mixing pitches and changing speeds to fluster the New York lineup for a second straight day.

“When I saw Adrian last night, he had a big smile on his face,” Kotsay said. “This kid just seems to feed off big environments or the Triple-A numbers don’t show how he’s able to go out and perform here. He did that today against one of the best lineups in the league.”

Aaron Judge, the Major League leader in WAR (7.4) and home runs (49) was transformed into Martinez’ poster child, striking out twice, both times on just three pitches. Judge finished the day 0 for 4.

“Got a lot of swings and misses on the changeup and threw strikes with his fastball,” Kotsay said.

The win didn’t prevent the A’s (48-81) from mathematical elimination from the AL West crown (the earliest they’ve been eliminated in Oakland history) but it did open the door to the possibility that Martinez could earn a regular turn in the rotation down the stretch. His door was opened by Kotsay’s decision to move Zach Logue to the bullpen.

“I’m going to keep on working and continuing to work will hopefully allow me to continue to be with the team,” Martinez said with the aid of an interpreter.

Meanwhile the Yankees ended a week of bi-coastal ups and downs highlighted by desperately-needed wins over the Mets on Tuesday and Wednesday, followed by 18 innings of one-hit offense against A’s pitching starting with the final innings on Friday night. Yankees fans and manager Aaron Boone glossed over the five-game win streak the Gothams squeezed in and fretted over their one-series win (Mets, two games) in their last eight series.

“We should be able to put together more offense,” Boone said. “We got to if we’re going to be the kind of team we expect to be.”

A’s 20-GAME WIN STREAK REUNION: The 2002 A’s might not be the biggest fans of “Moneyball” the movie dramatizing the team and the organization with the 20-game streak being the film’s dramatic apex, but they are fans of each other and what they accomplished.

“I tell people this all the time, and all of us are in the same boat, we all won the lifetime lottery ticket,” said Rick Peterson, that team’s pitching coach.

Approximately half of the 2002 squad and many of the coaches were present for the reunion prior to Sunday’s game and the invitation-only meet-and-greet. Manager Art Howe, players Dave Justice and Scott Hatteberg, among the biggest personalities from the movie spoke to the assembled. Justice voiced his displeasure with how Howe was portrayed in the movie.

One of the team’s biggest stars, Miguel Tejada who departed for Baltimore after the 2003 season, was especially jazzed to be in the Coliseum and revisit his professional roots.

“This is the team that gave me the opportunity to come from the Dominican,” he said. “I played my first game in this stadium. Walking here makes me proud.”

Cory Lidle, who died tragically in a 2006 plane crash in which he was the pilot, and Jeremy Giambi, who committed suicide less than a year ago, were fondly remembered.

A’s release Andrus; Elvis had the fifth longest shortstop streak in baseball

Oakland A’s shortstop Elvis Andrus rounds the bases after hitting a two run homer in the top of the seventh at Globe Life Field in Arlington against the Texas Rangers on Tue Aug 16, 2022 was released Wed Aug 17, 2022 by the A’s (AP News photo)

A’s release shortstop Elvis Andrus

By Amaury Pi Gonzalez and Lewis Rubman

Elvis Andrus, born in Venezuela, has played 1,872 career games in the field, all at shortstop, which is the fifth-longest career-opening streak of appearing only at shortstop in Major League history behind Derek Jeter (2674), Luis Aparicio (2583), Ozzie Smith (2511) and Alan Trammell (1910).

He is a .270 career hitter with 87 home runs and 703 RBI in 1,904 games in 14 seasons in the majors. Andrus is the active leader in stolen bases (324), is tied for fourth in triples (50), ranks sixth in hits (1948) and games (1904), and ninth in runs (994).

Jed Lowrie and Stephen Piscotty were also released by the A’s recently. Vogt could be next, they are “cleaning up” more payroll, and all the veterans are methodically being released. Paul Blackburn is out for the rest of the season due to discomfort in his pitching hand. The A’s are currently on the road in Texas against the Rangers.

Amaury Pi Gonzalez is the lead play by play announcer on Spanish radio for the Oakland A’s and Lewis Rubman is an Oakland A’s beat writer at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Oakland A’s podcast with Daniel Dullum: Kaprielian and Piscotty standing shoulder to shoulder trying to get over shoulder pain

Oakland A’s right fielder Stephen Piscotty (left) gets congratulations from Jed Lowrie (right) after belting a two run home run in the 11th inning on Sat Jul 10, 2022 at the Ball Park in Arlington against the Texas Rangers. Piscotty is rehabbing his sore throwing shoulder and hopes to get in the line up soon in Cactus League action in Mesa with the A’s (AP file photo)

On the Oakland A’s podcast with Daniel:

#1 Oakland A’s right fielder Stephen Piscotty says he’s feeling good after receiving a low dose cortisone shot and was in Los Angeles at the Kerlan-Jobe Institute. Piscotty said before the shoulder would have pain for two days following hitting but is hoping after the cortisone he can swing and put the pain behind him.

#2 Piscotty has not played a pre season game yet and worked out on Wednesday at Hohokam Stadium taking on field defensive drills and took batting practice and after putting it to the test Piscotty could be ready to get in one of the Cactus League games.

#3 A’s pitcher James Kaprielian a right hander is having issues with his throwing shoulder. The A’s trainer Nick Paparesta says that Kaprielian has irritation in the AC joint of his should and is scheduled to throw from the mound on Saturday.

#4 A’s manager Mark Kotsay said that Kaprielian will not be in the rotation until after April 5th and at that time Kotsay said he will see live hitting and will throw in various bullpen sessions.

#5 The A’s who added catcher Stephen Vogt on Wednesday and who played for the A’s between 2013-2017 was brought back to bring a veteran presence in the clubhouse. Vogt is expected to be a back up catcher to first stringer Sean Murphy.

Join Daniel for the A’s podcasts Fridays throughout the 2022 season at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Craw Goes Cray Cray: Giants’ Crawford piles up 3 homers, 9 RBI in Giants’ sweep of Colorado

By Morris Phillips

Trying to form the best characterization of the San Francisco Giants mid-July 2019, and can’t seem to quite get it right using terms like buyers, sellers, winners or losers?

You’re not alone.

But try this phrase: movers, as in the Giants are riding a historic, offensive awakening and moving up in a crowded, but opportunity-filled National League Wild Card chase. On Monday, the Giants snatched a pair from the Rockies, winning 19-2 and 2-1 in a day/night doubleheader at Coors Field.

The formerly, offensively-challenged Giants have averaged better than seven runs per game in road contests since June 1, that after they piled up 24 hits and 21 runs on the Rockies, then cruised, going scoreless over the final five innings of the night cap, in which they pitched and defended in a 2-1 victory.

At 45-49 they’re not exactly winners, but they’re not losers either. The Giants are red hot, having won 10 of 12. As for moving up, the Giants are now just three games behind the Cardinals, who currently own the second wild card spot by percentage points over the Phillies.

With such a dramatic turnaround for a club that remains in last place in the NL West, and still has five clubs between themselves and the Cardinals, the occasion of the sweep is no time to tackle the Herculean effort needed to continue the ascent to a playoff berth. But it is an opportunity to celebrate Brandon Crawford, who smacked three homers in the twin bill. In the first game, Crawford became the first ever big league shortstop to compile five hits and eight RBI in a single game.

“I’m seeing the ball well,” Crawford said. “You expect to get hits when that happens.”

Crawford didn’t stop there. He and Stephen Vogt homered consecutively in the fourth inning of the second game, all the offense the Giants needed in a 2-1 win. Dereck Rodriguez was gifted the spot start and shined, going five inning while allowing four hits and a run.

Jeff Samardzija pitched into the seventh inning in the opener, picking up the win while allowing four hits (two home runs allowed) and striking out nine. Samardzija was awful in three, previous starts at Denver, but not this time. The veteran hurler evened his record at 7-7, and navigated his way through a 13-0 lead after four innings, and 16-1 through six.

Rockies manager Bud Black removed his starter German Marquez in the third inning after he allowed 11 hits and 11 runs. With four games between the clubs in a tight, three-day window, Black was in no mood to burn his bullpen. That’s when he turned to first baseman Mark Reynolds to pitch the ninth inning, and the slugger made it through in 21 pitches, but allowed the final two runs of the game. Afterwards, Black couldn’t recall ever in his career as manager and as a pitching coach resorting to using a position player to pitch.

“I really don’t like to do it, but I felt in this game I needed to because of saving arms in the pen and knowing where we are in the season, and what we have in front of us,” Black said.

After the first game of the doubleheader, the Giants had compiled 90 runs in their previous 11 games, the most runs the team has scored in an 11-game span since they moved to San Francisco in 1958. They had never scored as many as 19 runs in a game at Coors Field until Monday.

NOTES: Evan Longoria was placed on the 10-day injured list due to a plantar fasciitis issue in his left foot. For Longoria, the timing of the injury couldn’t be worse; the slugger just came off a stretch where he homered six times in 11 games, his hottest stretch in a year-plus as a Giant.

The trade front continues to heat up, especially in regards to Will Smith. The Brewers are rumored to be the Giants’ most likely trade partner for the closer, and the Giants’ win streak probably will not keep Smith from being moved, but with the Giants playing well, the team will likely listen to other suitors, and may only move Smith to an AL club that they don’t have to compete with in the wild card race.

As for Madison Bumgarner, the trade market continues to revolve around prospects at the lower levels of the minor leagues. With the market so tepid for the iconic San Francisco pitcher, would the Giants consider keeping him for the stretch run, and then resigning him in the off-season? The Giants’ hot streak definitely creates the possibility of some other options for the 2014 World Series hero.

Longoria wins it on home run in seventh SF wins 1-0

photo from sfgate.com: San Francisco Giants’ Evan Longoria, left, is congratulated by third base coach Ron Wotus (23) after hitting a solo home run against the St. Louis Cardinals during the seventh inning of a baseball game in San Francisco, Sunday, July 7, 2019.

By Jeremy Kahn

SAN FRANCISCO-Evan Longoria ended two things against Jack Flaherty with one swing of the bat.

Longoria hit a solo home run with one out in the bottom of the seventh inning, breaking up both a shutout and a no-hitter and it helped the San Francisco Giants to a 1-0 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals before a crowd of 33,841 at Oracle Park.

This was only the third shutout of the season for the Giants and the first since April 24 against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre.

On the afternoon, the Giants only got two hits, and this was the fewest hits in a game where they won since a two-hit over the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on March 30, 2018.

Flaherty was throwing a perfect game until he walked Alex Dickerson to lead off the bottom of the fifth inning.

After the Longoria home run, Dickerson singled to left, but then Flaherty got Stephen Vogt to fly out to Dexter Fowler and then Kevin Pillar lined out to Paul DeJong to end the inning.

It was the 12th home run of the season for Longoria, and his fifth in his last six games. During the six-game stretch, Longoria is hitting .429 (9-for-21) with seven extra base hits (two doubles and five home runs), 10 RBI and eight runs scored.

Longoria is no stranger to breaking up no-hitter, as it was the fourth time in his career that he broke up a no-hitter in the 7th inning or later.

With DeJong on first base in the top of the seventh inning, Paul Goldschmidt hit a line drive into the right-center gap; however, Pillar flew through into the air and made a fantastic catch that kept the game scoreless.

The Longoria home run made a winner out of Jeff Samardzija, who pitched a tremendous game, as he went seven innings, scattering four hits and striking out two on his way to picking up his sixth win of the season.

This was the first time since August 28 and September 2, 2017 that Samardzija went seven innings with two or fewer runs. That was also the last time he pitched at seven innings in consecutive starts.

It was a tough loss for Flaherty, who also went seven innings, allowing one run on just two hits, walking one and striking out six and saw his record fall to 4-6 on the season.

Sam Dyson pitched one inning, allowing one hit and struck out three. Closer Will Smith came on in the top of the ninth inning and despite giving up a single to Goldschmidt, he picked up his 23rd save in 23 chances, as Fowler grounded into a double play to end the game.

Over his last 19 outings, Smith has not allowed a run in 17 of those games and is possessing a 0.96 earned run average (two earned runs in 18.2 ip) with 30 strikeouts and opposing hitters are hitting .156 against him.

NOTES: Pillar also drove in the only run of the game on April 11, when he homered against the Colorado Rockies in a 1-0 Giants victory that made a winner out of Samardzija.

The Giants are now 18-9 in one-run games and 4-7 in final games of the series.

This was the seventh time this season that the Cardinals have been shutout, and it was the first time that the Cardinals have lost a series to the Giant since May 19-21, 2017 at Busch Stadium.

UP NEXT: Following the All-Star break, the Giants begin a three-game series against the Milwaukee Brewers on Friday night.

Shaun Anderson will open the series against the Brewers at Miller Park on Friday night, followed by Madison Bumgarner and Tyler Beede. The Brewers starter has yet to be determined.

Giants come back from 8 down, win 12-11 behind Vogt, Longoria

Photo credit: @MLB

By Jeremy Kahn

This will be a game that Stephen Vogt will never forget for the remainder of his major-league career.

Vogt hit a game-tying home run with two outs in the top of the ninth inning, and then Evan Longoria hit the tie breaking home run in the top of the 11th inning, as the San Francisco Giants came back from an 8-0 deficit to defeat the Cincinnati Reds 12-11 at Great American Ballpark.

This was the Giants first win at Great American Ballpark in three years, and were outscored 58-15 during a seven-game losing streak that ended with this thrilling victory.

As for largest comeback in Giants history, this was the fifth time in team history that the team came back from an eight-run deficit.

The four prior times came on Sept. 8, 1947 at Pittsburgh; April 14, 1970 at Atlanta; Sept. 23, 1970 at Los Angeles; and Sept. 4, 1989 at Cincinnati.

Derek Dietrich hit two three-run home runs, as the Reds jumped out to an 8-0 lead at the end of just three innings and it looked like this game was going to get out of control; however, the resiliency of this team did not allow to happen.

The Giants began to chip away at the Reds big lead in the top of the fourth inning, as they scored three runs off of former Oakland As pitcher Sonny Gray.

Brandon Crawford got the Giants on the board, as he grounded out to score Buster Posey, who led off the inning with a single.

After Kevin Pillar flew out for the second out of the inning, Steven Duggar cut the lead down to 8-3, as he singled to center to score Longoria and Brandon Belt.

It was a huge night for Duggar as well, as he backed up his first ever three hit game on Wednesday night against the Los Angeles Dodgers and then went 3-for-5 in the opener of this three-game series.

Yaisel Puig then scored the ninth run of the game for the Reds, as he scored on a play that saw Nick Vincent commit two errors on ball hit by Dietrich.

Kyle Farmer extended the lead up to seven runs once again, as he hit a solo home run to extend the up to 10-3.

Then the Giants began to chip away even more, as they scored four runs in the top of the sixth inning, when Duggar hit a sacrifice fly to score Crawford, then Vogt doubled to right on a play where you saw Puig nearly throw Pillar at the plate after falling in the outfield and then Joe Panik launched a two-run home run to get within three runs.

Jesse Winker gave the Reds a four-run lead, as he hit a ground-rule double to score Tyler Barnhart in the bottom of the seventh inning.

The Giants cut the lead down to one in the top of the eighth inning, as Brandon Belt hit a two-run single that scored Duggar and Vogt and then Longoria came up with the first of his two big hits on the evening, as he singled to score Tyler Austin.

With two outs in the top of the ninth inning, Vogt hit the first pitch he saw from Reds closer Raisel Iglesias to tie up this wild game.

It would be tied until Longoria led off the inning, as he hit a solo home run off of Jared Hughes that barely landed into the left field seats that gave the Giants their first and what turned out to be their only lead of the game at the most opportune time.

Reyes Moronta pitched one inning, allowing a walk and striking out three, as he won for the first time this season.

Will Smith struck out two in the bottom of the inning to pick up his eighth save of the season.

Tyler Beede made his season debut, and it will be one that the rookie would like to forget as soon as possible. Beede lasted just two and one-thirds innings, walking two and striking out three and did not fare in the decision.

Gray, who liked he was on his way to his first win of the season, as he left the game with the lead and went five innings, allowing three runs on four hits, walking three and striking out two, as he did not fare in the decision.

Mike Gerber, who was President of Baseball Operations Farhan Zaidis first acquisition, but was designated for assignment during spring training was recalled from Triple-A Sacramento and he doubled and walked in four plate appearances.

NOTES: To make room for Gerber on the roster, the team designated outfielder Gerardo Parra for assignment. Parra, who signed a minor-league contract with the team in February, hit just .198 with one home run.

Erik Kratz was placed on the 10-day injured list with a strained left hamstring.

UP NEXT: Dereck Rodriguez, who allowed six runs in his last start against the New York Yankees on Saturday afternoon will take the mound on Saturday, while the Reds will send Tanner Roark to the hill.

Oakland A’s Sunday day off report: A’s may show what they’ve got to offer sooner rather than later this season

Oakland Athletics’ Yonder Alonso slides to score against the San Francisco Giants in the third inning of an exhibition baseball game Saturday, April 1, 2017, in Oakland, Calif. Alonso scored on a two-run double by Athletic’s Matt Joyce. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

By Morris Phillips

OAKLAND–The A’s enter Monday’s season opener at the O.co Coliseum against the Angels with this unsettling fact in the back of their collective minds: they haven’t won a game in more than a week, losing their last six exhibition contests and 8 of 9.

Luckily, regular season momentum isn’t always built in spring training.  But for a club that lost 93 games in 2016, scored an American League worst 653 runs, and lost 47 games at home where its offense was its most tepid, a fast start would be a welcome change, and quite obviously, a good sign.

But the A’s schedule doesn’t offer many soft landing spots, especially in the first two months, so whatever the A’s have to do to win, it likely will have to start with playing well.  In the first two months, the A’s play the Angels 10 times, the Twins three times and the Marlins twice.  Other than that, Oakland will  see a steady diet of teams that consider themselves playoff contenders and threats to win the AL pennant. The Mariners, Rangers, Yankees, Indians, Royals, Astros, Tigers and Red Sox comprise 38 of the A’s first 53 games and all eight of those teams figure to be in the mix for the AL postseason.

To counter all those talented clubs, the A’s have to get the most out of their youthful, but promising pitching rotation, their experienced bullpen, and their hopefully improved lineup.  But Sonny Gray, the presumptive ace, will start the season on the disabled list, and Ryan Madson, the guy most likely to earn a closers’ role, didn’t pitch well in the spring.   The A’s starting lineup offers Jed Lowrie, Matt Joyce and Trevor Plouffe as experienced additions, but this is an offense that has to build itself up from scratch based on last year’s inability to score runs.

If the A’s do overcome all the inertia that might be pulling them downward in the AL West standings, a couple of names stand out: Kendall Graveman, Sean Manaea and Stephen Vogt.

Graveman made five spring starts, allowing just 13 hits in 19 2/3 innings of work.  He stuck out 16, and issued only three walks.

November is coming and things will be heating up for the A’s



by Charlie O. Mallonee

With the World Series almost over, that means the “Hot Stove League” is warming up. Let’s see what might be cooking for the Oakland Athletics.

Arbitration-Eligible Players

Khris Davis swings away

  • Danny Valencia IF/OF is ARB 3 and will get a projected $5.3-million in arbitration if the A’s go there. The question is do they need Valencia at this point? The answer is probably not. They have Healy at third base and Valencia is not a great outfielder. Look for Valencia to be a free agent.
  • Yonder Alonso IF/DH is also at the ARB 3 level and is projected get a contract worth $4.1-million. With Billy Butler gone, the A’s will be using a platoon system at the DH spot. Alonso can supply some power at the plate and plays a decent first base. Look for the A’s to pony up the bucks to keep him around.
  • Khris Davis OF/DH is eligible for arbitration for the first time in his career. Coming off a 42 home run – 102 RBI season Davis is looking forward to the process which will probably get him a $5-million contract.
  • Sonny Gray RHP is also eligible for arbitration for the first time. Unfortunately for Gray, he is coming off an injury-riddled season that will keep his numbers down. The projection is that he will receive a $3.7-million deal.
  • Stephen Vogt C will also experience the arbitration process for the first time in his career. Coming off back-to-back All-Star seasons cannot hurt his negotiations. Look for him to get around $3.7 million.
  • Liam Hendriks RHP – the Aussie reliever – made 53 appearances for the A’s the in 2016. The Athletics have to decide if that production is worth a $1-million contract which is what he’s projected to get in arbitration.

Players file for arbitration in January and the teams then respond with contract offers or inform the player an offer will not be tendered. If a contract cannot be negotiated, an arbitration hearing will take place in early February.

Arbitration salary projections are from RosterResource.com that has a track record of being very accurate with their projections

Players for whom Arbitration is only a dream


  • Marcus Semien SS arbitration eligible in 2018
  • Kendall Graveman RHP first arb year in 2018
  • Ryan Dull RHP the young reliever will not see arbitration until 2019
  • Sean Manaea LHP  will join Dull at the arbitration table in ’19
  • Ryon Healy IF/DH the young phenom will not see arbitration until 2020

Given the cost of MLB players in today’s market, you can see why the cost conscious Athletics like find talented young players that they can control through the pre-arbitration process and then trade during the arbitration years for … younger players.

Free Agent Moves

Lambo had his 2016 season cut short when it was discovered that he had testicular cancer. He had to undergo surgery but has recovered and is ready to get back to playing the game. Lambo batted .255 in 56 games a Triple-A Nashville.

Cubs in the World Series nets the A’s a pitcher

The A’s claimed LHP Giovanni Soto off waivers from the Chicago Cubs. He was designated for assignment to make room on the Cubs 40-man roster for Kyle Schwarber who went to the Arizona Fall League and is now on the Chicago World Series roster.

Soto made his Major League debut in September 2015 with the Cleveland Indians. Cleveland traded Soto to the Cubs in April 2016 for cash. He spent the season at Triple-A Iowa where he went 1-3 with 5.14 ERA in 33 relief appearances.


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.