Several media outlets are reporting that the A’s and St. Louis Cardinals have all but completed a deal that sends Matt Holliday to the Cards. The A’s reportedly would receive three minor leaguers, with the marquee prospect being third baseman Brett Wallace, a 2008 first-round pick. I’ll throw more information on here as I get it. First impression: Getting minor league prospects for Holliday, who have at least a little bit of a professional track record, is a better bet to me than waiting until the offseason and collecting draft picks. …
Archive for July, 2009
They just announced that first pitch is tentatively set for 9:40 local time (6:40 West Coast). The grounds crew is about to take the tarp off the field. There’s a pretty wicked wind whipping through the ballpark. We’ll see if that affects the way the ball flies out of Yankee Stadium, which has been a launching pad this season …
We’re 45 minutes into this rain delay, and no concrete word on when the game might start. I’ll keep you updated. There is talk that 9 p.m. (6 p.m. West Coast) might be the magic time, but no confirmation for that.
Meanwhile, in the “That Just Ain’t Right” category, the Yankees’ JumboTron just showed a man and woman each wearing the same T-shirt. It had a big Yankee logo on the front and “Mazzaro” on the back. I know that Vin has a lot of fans here tonight, and I know they’re all probably Yankee fans at heart. But come on folks, choose a side …
Well, the tarp is on the field and the rain is coming down pretty good at Yankee Stadium. We’re about 30 minutes from the scheduled first pitch, and weather.com lists the chances of continued rain at 95-100% through 10 p.m. local time. A 100% chance of rain? Does that mean Mother Nature has dictated rain WILL FALL, no questions asked???? Dallas Braden came into the clubhouse drenched after running out on the field and doing a “tarp dive” (Andrew Bailey captured footage on his cell phone). Right now, tarp diving looks like the only activity that might be taking place on this field tonight. The A’s just can’t catch a break here. Tonight’s game is a makeup from their last trip to the Bronx, when they had an April 20 contest rained out. If they don’t play tonight, they’ll probably play a doubleheader at some point this weekend. We haven’t gotten any word on a Plan B yet.
–You’ve probably seen this report from ESPN’s Buster Olney, who has a source saying there’s a 50-50 chance the A’s and Cardinals swing a deal for Matt Holliday. No surprise that the A’s might be zeroing in on St. Louis third base prospect Brett Wallace, who was a heavy consideration for them during the 2008 draft.
–Surely there’s a large group of Vin Mazzaro fans who hope tonight’s game gets played. Mazzaro, from nearby Rutherford, N.J., is scheduled to make his first start in Yankee Stadium. He’ll have plenty of people cheering him on, as Andrew Bailey did during the last series here. Jack Cust is the A’s third New Jersey native.
–Some details if this game does get played: Adam Kennedy gets a rare day off, as Bob Geren said he’s trying to budget some time off for his everyday players during this 28-day stretch of consecutive games. Rajai Davis is leading off and playing right field. Bobby Crosby (7-for-23 with a HR lifetime against Yankees starter C.C. Sabathia) is playing third base. Cust is the only left-handed hitter in the A’s lineup.
–Justin Duchscherer update: His first rehab outing might come Sunday for Single-A Stockton against the San Jose Giants in San Jose. Geren said that was a possibility instead of Duchscherer throwing Monday in an Arizona Rookie League game. Hold tight on that for now. We’ll probably know more tomorrow. …
Last night’s game is still the talk at the ballpark this afternoon. Michael Wuertz had a crowd of reporters around him picking his brain about the final out at home plate. From what I’m told, Twins manager Ron Gardenhire still had plenty to say about the play. Something tells me his version of events and Wuertz’s probably clash a bit, huh?
Anyway, looking back on last night’s craziness, I have to think Matt Holliday’s performance made an impression on any teams considering him as a trade target. Scouts from several teams are watching this series — Yankees, Giants, Tigers, just to name a few. All three of those teams are believed to have at least some degree of interest in Holliday. Consider these 10 days left until the trading deadline a showcase for Holliday to convince a team to make a run at him.
In other news, A’s manager Bob Geren said he would wait to see how Andrew Bailey felt in his pregame throwing before determining if his closer was available tonight. Bailey is battling a sore left knee, but it’s not thought to be serious.
Justin Duchscherer threw a 20-pitch simulated game today and came out of it well, Geren said. He’ll pitch in his first minor league game Monday, not Sunday, as was originally announced. There’s no game scheduled in Phoenix on Sunday for Duke to pitch in.
I really can’t believe that game only went 8 1/2 innings. It felt like it was about 11 or 12 innings with everything that happened. I couldn’t possibly cram everything into tomorrow’s newspaper, so here’s a few extra bits:
–Matt Holliday tied an Oakland record with four extra-base hits.
–Was Gio Gonzalez let off the hook or what? It’s not often you give up 11 earned runs in 2 2/3 innings and nobody is really talking about you after the game. Gonzalez was just the third pitcher in Oakland history to allow as many as 11 earned runs in a game. We’ll see if he remains in the rotation …
–Michael Wuertz got the call in the ninth because Andrew Bailey had a lubricant injection in his left knee. Both Bob Geren and Bailey said he could be available to pitch as soon as tomorrow night. Bailey revealed that his knee’s been bothering him pretty much all season. He had an MRI two months ago apparently …
That’s all for now …
Just got done with our pregame session with Bob Geren, but we didn’t learn a whole lot of specifics about Jason Giambi’s quad injury. But Geren said it wasn’t an injury that happened yesterday, but has been building for a while. Can he return when he’s eligible to come off the DL Aug. 4? Geren didn’t say, so hopefully I’ll be able to grab Giambi when we’re allowed back in the clubhouse. His legs have bothered him pretty much all season, but how much that’s contributed to his .193 batting average is anyone’s guess.
I’m thinking the A’s won’t rush him to get back on the field. This is a chance for Daric Barton to get a long look, especially since Nomar Garciaparra’s health concerns limit his availability. But Geren pointed out the A’s will face lefties in three out of four games on the upcoming road trip to New York and Boston, so he’ll want Garciaparra in the lineup for those games as much as possible.
–The A’s invited fourth-round draft pick Max Stassi to take batting practice with them today. A catcher out of Yuba City High, Stassi caught Trevor Cahill’s bullpen session in front of a large group of A’s officials. The A’s really want to sign Stassi, who has gotten rave reviews from scouts. But he’s signed with UCLA, so he has a nice fallback plan. “I’m excited,” said Stassi, who’s being advised by Greg Genske. “Both ways it’s going to be a tough decision. We’re going to get to talking and see where it goes from here.”
A quick update before I head down to the A’s clubhouse. Jason Giambi was placed on the 15-day DL with a strained right quadriceps. Daric Barton was promoted from Triple-A Sacramento to take his spot.
There’s no details yet on how Giambi hurt himself, but Bobby Crosby replaced him at first base for the top of the ninth yesterday. More details to come …
Just some extra thoughts that didn’t get into my stories for tomorrow …
I was a little surprised A’s manager Bob Geren didn’t let Brett Anderson return to the mound for the ninth inning in a 0-0 game. But I can see the logic on this one. Anderson was up to 104 pitches, and if the A’s are serious about monitoring the innings of their young starters for the rest of the season, this was a chance to exercise that strategy. Anderson gave the intelligent response after the game. “I told (Geren) I was fine, but I had thrown over 100 pitches or whatever, so you could kind of tell what was going on,” Anderson said. “I told him I felt fine, but in that situation it’s understandable, especially with our All-Star (closer, Andrew Bailey, available).”
If the A’s are going to limit the starters’ innings, maybe it’s time to start preserving Bailey a little bit as well. I’d like to see him pitching one inning, tops, except for rare occasions. Bailey, Craig Breslow and Michael Wuertz are all carrying a pretty heavy workload.
Allowing Anderson to take the mound in the ninth would have given him a chance to leave to one last ovation, but I don’t expect Geren to manage with that in mind in a tight ballgame. Speaking of the crowd’s reaction Sunday, Anderson gave the fans a thumbs-up. I look around at the mostly empty seats for most home games, and I think it can’t be the greatest atmosphere for these guys to get jacked up to play. But Anderson said he liked the boos he heard when Erick Aybar threatened to bunt while Anderson still had a perfect game going. The feeling around the Coliseum was that it would have been a cheap way to end a perfect game/no-hitter. “I was just happy with the way the crowd responded when Aybar tried to bunt,” Anderson said. “That was kind of special. And another ovation they gave me when I gave up a hit. It’s good to have a crowd like that today.”
The Twins, who have been playing well on the road, arrive for a three-game set starting tomorrow. Check in w/you before the game …
Bobby Abreu ended Brett Anderson’s perfect game with two outs in the seventh, shooting a clean single between third base and shortstop on a 2-1 pitch. Anderson received a nice standing ovation from the Coliseum crowd. Then he promptly picked Abreu off first base, so he’s still faced the minimum.
Now, we’ll if his teammates can help him with some scoring against John Lackey … 0-0 entering the bottom of the seventh …