Reddick will return this weekend; A’s sign Oakland Tech product

Josh Reddick is likely ticketed for a Sunday return to the A's lineup.

Josh Reddick is likely ticketed for a Sunday return to the A’s lineup.

Josh Reddick remains scheduled to return from the disabled list this weekend, but it might not come Saturday when he first becomes eligible.

A’s manager Bob Melvin said Reddick will be back at “some point at time in this series.” Sunday seems like the liklier timeframe for Reddick’s season debut, with Melvin going as far as joking “it would be like a normal Opening Day” for Reddick.

That’s because it’ll be Felix Hernandez on the mound Sunday for the Mariners. Hernandez started against the A’s on Opening Day for four straight years from 2010-13, including Reddick’s first two seasons with the A’s.

The A’s will have to make a roster move when Reddick comes back, so delaying it a day makes all the sense in the world. Seattle is throwing left-hander J.A. Happ on Saturday, so Reddick might sit anyway. This probably gives Cody Ross a chance to get another start. Continue Reading


Ladendorf shares his MLB debut with two special people

Tyler Ladendorf looks to umpire Jim Wolf after sliding by Rangers Robinson Chirinos Wednesday.

Tyler Ladendorf looks to umpire Jim Wolf after sliding by Rangers Robinson Chirinos Wednesday.

Tyler Ladendorf got his first big league start Wednesday.

It came just in time for his two biggest fans. Ladendorf’s mother, Linda, and his grandmother, Judy, were both in the stands but were heading back to their Chicago-area home Thursday.

Before they left, they saw him triple home a run in his first at-bat. Before his Wednesday was done, he’d scored two runs, driven in two and drawn a walk.

And the ball with which he delivered his first hit was a gift to his mother.

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Smooth debuts power A’s to 10-0 win over Rangers

OAKLAND – The A’s crushed the Rangers 10-0 on Wednesday thanks to a series of successful debuts.

Mark Canha and Tyler Ladendorf made an impact in their first major league games and Cody Ross also joined the party on his first day with the A’s before 19,479 at O.co Coliseum.

Scott Kazmir mowed the Rangers down, even after experiencing what appeared to be some discomfort in his back or oblique. He needed a mound visit from manager Bob Melvin and head trainer Nick Paparesta in the fourth inning, but delivered seven innings of one-hit, shutout ball.

Kazmir didn’t allow a hit after Leonys Martin led off the game with a bunt single. He allowed only three other baserunners before leaving the game after throwing 95 pitches.

Canha’s first impression was a big one as he came within a few feet of two home runs. Instead, he settled for a 3 for 5 day with two doubles and four RBIs. Continue Reading


Cody Ross was “blindsided” by Diamondbacks release, but happy to join a winner in Oakland

Cody Ross will platoon against left-handed pitching for the A's. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Cody Ross will platoon against left-handed pitching for the A’s. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

New A’s outfielder Cody Ross was “blindsided” by his release from the Arizona Diamondbacks, but said he’s thrilled to come to Oakland with a chance to win.

“It caught me off guard,” Ross said of Arizona releasing him on Saturday.  “I was definitely blindsided and obviously upset and had some bitter feelings.

“You sit back and look at the way the roster’s made up and what they’re trying to do and it just wasn’t a fit. To be honest with you, I don’t want to be on a rebuilding team.  I love those guys over there. I wish them nothing but the best. But I think my aspirations are a little higher and it was sort of a blessing.”

To make room for Ross, the A’s sent outfielder Billy Burns to Triple-A Nashville and designated outfielder Alex Hassan for assignment. Continue Reading


A’s manager Bob Melvin: “Just a bad game for us overall”

Manager Bob Melvin said the A's "just played a bad game" on Friday night.

Manager Bob Melvin said the A’s played “just a bad game for us overall” on Friday night in a 4-0 loss to the Giants.

The A’s eight-game spring winning streak is over. Oh. The Horror.

Of course, nobody is going to fret about that. The A’s lost 4-0 to the Giants on Friday night in what manager Bob Melvin called, “just a bad game for us overall.”

“We’ve been swinging the bats, we’ve been playing great defense, we’ve been getting great pitching,” Melvin said. “We just didn’t play a very good game today.” Continue Reading


Kazmir sharp in spring finale, finishes with a 1.00 ERA

Scott Kazmir finished a strong spring with six solid innings in a win against the Giants on Thursday night.

Scott Kazmir finished a strong spring with six solid innings in a win against the Giants on Thursday night.

Scott Kazmir closed out a second straight strong spring training for the A’s on Thursday night with six sharp innings in Oakland’s 8-2 win over the Giants.

He allowed four hits and one run (on an Angel Pagan solo home run) and watched his ERA raise slightly from 0.75 to 1.00. Afterwards, he said the might’ve been the best he’s ever felt coming out of spring training.

“In the past, I’ve had one or two pitches really working and other stuff I’m still working on,” Kazmir said. “This spring, I felt like out of the gates, I had a good feel for everything.” Continue Reading


Zito convinced he can start in a Major League rotation, but he’s not sure what he’d do if the only offer was in the minors

Barry Zito had his streak of consecutive innings without a run allowed end at 13 Tuesday, but he feels good about the way he's pitched.

Barry Zito had his streak of consecutive innings without a run allowed end at 13 Tuesday, but he feels good about the way he’s pitched.

Barry Zito ended the Cactus League season with a 5.03 ERA, and that doesn’t bare much resemblance to the way Zito pitched this spring.

Before giving up seven runs in the third and fourth innings combined in a 13-10 win over the Angels, Zito stretched his streak of consecutive innings without allowing a run to 13. Before the Angels got eight hits and seven runs off him in his four innings, Cactus League batters were hitting .135 against him.

So believe Zito when he says the one awful inning — three homers from the Angels first five hitters in the third — doesn’t negate what he’s done all spring.

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Radio voice Korach on DL, will miss first homestand, road trip

Ken Korach will miss the first homestand and first road trip of the year while he rehabs his knee. His goal is to be back April 24.

Ken Korach will miss the first homestand and first road trip of the year while he rehabs his knee. His goal is to be back April 24.

The number of A’s on the disabled list has gone up by one; radio play-by-play man Ken Korach will miss this week’s Bay Bridge Series, the first homestand against Texas and Seattle and the first road trip as well.

Korach, who had a left knee replacement in 2012, has been rehabbing the knee since suffering an injury. The rehab is progressing, but Korach, entering his 20th year doing A’s radio work, isn’t ready at this point for a grueling 162-game season on 95.7 The Game, the A’s flagship station.

“I’ve wanted to find a way,” Korach told this newspaper Monday. “But it became clear there wasn’t, not with the amount of time I still need to get healthy.”

Korach and A’s vice president of communications and broadcasting Ken Pries have been talking this over for more than a month. At one time, it seemed like Opening Day April 6 against the Texas Rangers in Oakland was a goal worth working toward, but “I am getting, better just not that fast,” Korach said.

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Billy Butler has a grand time with his ex-Royals mates, then makes them pay

Billy Butler mashes a two-run double against his old team, the Royals.

SURPRISE, Ariz. – Billy Butler admits he still feels the tug of the Kansas City blue, and the pull was particularly strong Friday when the A’s met the Royals for the first time in Cactus League play.

“I’ve got a lot of friends over there, and it doesn’t matter if you’re playing on the other side,” Butler said. “This game brings you together and bonds you, and what we accomplished last year, that stuff stays with you for life.”

Butler received a huge ovation from Royals fans when he came to bat with runners on first and third and one out in the first inning. He then gave A’s fans in attendance something to cheer about when he pulverized the second pitch he saw past fleet center fielder Lorenzo Cain for a two-run double.

“I told Cain I was going to burn him,” said Butler, who also had a fielding highlight at first base when he alertly tagged out Brett Eibner stepping inside the baseline toward second base following a single.

Butler spent time in the Kansas City clubhouse once the A’s arrived at the ballpark, even sitting on his old locker stool. The Royals also poked some fun at their former DH. Someone posted a bogus notice on an information board denoting “Billy Butler Tribute at 12:20.” Talkative outfielder Jarrod Dyson asked Butler if he’d like to step on a scale for old times’ sake.

“I think they would have mad if I didn’t go over to see them,” said Butler, who was lifted after two solid at-bats. “I had to let Dyson have his way with me for a little while.”

The A’s will visit Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City during the second week of the regular season and Butler believes that will be a lot more emotional.

“Spring training’s one thing, but in April when we go there, that’ll be the tough one,” he said. “I spent my whole career there. I did a lot of stuff in the community. Just being in the organization for so long, I have a lot of friends in the city that I’ve met. And it’ll just be weird going over to the other dugout.”
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Kazmir’s spring training debut coincides with Ferrell’s, but pitcher revels in the spirit of it

Spring training 023

If it wasn’t tough enough for Scott Kazmir to wait a week to make his first spring training start with the A’s, he had to do it Thursday with comedian Will Ferrell playing behind him at shortstop.

Kazmir was held back from making his first Cactus League appearance, as was fellow starter Sonny Gray, because of the load both pitchers had during the 2014 season. Kazmir threw 190 1/3 innings, the most he’s thrown since 2007, and the club wants to take it slow this spring with the starters who worked the most last season.

Hence, it just happened that Kazmir finally got the nod on the day Ferrell was filming for his HBO special about playing all nine positions in one day for 10 different teams, shuttling from park to park over the course of the day.

Kazmir pitched a scoreless first inning with Ferrell playing behind him but admitted it was a challenge to his concentration. He wound up throwing 2 2/3 innings, giving up three hits, two walks and striking out four. He threw 48 pitches, but none were more challenging than those first innings one with Ferrell chattering behind him.

“That was tough,” he said. “Pretty much all I wanted to do was turn around and see what he was doing. I heard him pretty much every pitch. But it was awesome, it was cool to have him back there.”
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