In for Joe Stiglich today …
The A’s have called up first baseman/outfielder Brandon Allen and right-handed pitcher Bruce Billings from Triple-A Sacramento and optioned infielder Adam Rosales and left-handed pitcher Jordan Norberto, and Allen gets the start today at first for Conor Jackson.
Allen, acquired in the Brad Ziegler trade with Arizona, might be best described as a left-handed version of Chris Carter, and in more ways than one. Like Carter, he’s very soft-spoken and carries a very prodigious stick … when he makes contact. They’re still buzzing about the 455-foot homer he hit for the Diamondbacks against Milwaukee in July during a brief call-up, which was one of the longest homers ever hit in the history of Chase Field. Take a look: http://tinyurl.com/3gnk5zo
In his combined Triple-A stops in the rarified air of Reno as well as Sacto, Allen hit 21 homers with 73 RBIs. A big contrast with Carter, even though he has 101 strikeouts in 344 at-bats, is that he also walks a bit. He has 66 walks this year and an on-base percentage of .413. He was effectively displaced in the Diamondbacks organization when power prospect Paul Goldschmidt made the jump from Double-A and became the regular Arizona first baseman earlier this month.
Hard to say how the A’s view Allen for the future — he could also play some left field while he’s here — but if nothing else, he provides a little depth at the first base position as Carter tries to sort out his issues at Triple-A.
Billings, acquired in the Mark Ellis deal with Colorado, also had his first taste of major-league experience earlier this year when he recorded a two-inning save against St. Louis earlier this year. In his MLB debut, he got Albert Pujols to hit into an inning-ending double play. For the year with Colorado Springs and Sacramento, he is 6-2 with a 4.67 ERA and has 34 walks and 66 K in 71 1/3 innings. He’s primarily a fastball pitcher with a circle change. He said the A’s have him slotted as a long man.
Both Allen and Billings are 25 years old.
Coco Crisp was out of the lineup for the sixth straight day with a calf strain. He did some pre-game baserunning with manager Bob Melvin and the training staff looking on, so he should be close. Jackson, shortstop Cliff Pennington and catcher Kurt Suzuki are all getting the day off.
Here are today’s lineups:
OAK: 2B Weeks, 3B Sizemore, DH Matsui, LF Willingham, RF DeJesus, 1B Allen, CF Sweeney, C Powell, SS Sogard. P Cahill.
TEX: 2B Kinsler, SS Andrus, LF Hamilton, 3B Young, RF Cruz, DH Napoli, 1B Moreland, C Torrealba, CF Chavez. P Lewis