Chris Bassitt was determined to return from a shoulder injury this year, and Thursday he did.
Chris Bassitt will get one more start to show the A’s, and himself, that his right shoulder is healing.
Even after allowing six hits and three runs in three innings, Bassitt was relatively pleased with his performance. He was happy just to get back on the field after not having pitched in a game since Aug. 26 with a strain in his right shoulder.
“I felt good, maybe a little rusty,’’ Bassitt said after taking the loss with the A’s falling 8-1 to the Texas Rangers. “I got the ball up a little bit. I got a lot of weak fly balls that turned into hits. That happens.’’
The A’s had been concerned that Bassitt, one of the players brought in by the club along with catcher Josh Phegley and shortstop Marcus Semien as when Oakland traded starter Jeff Samardzija, wouldn’t be able to get back on the mound before the season was over.
Bassitt, however, harbored no such fears.
Stephen Vogt is the A’s players’ choice as the Catfish Hunter Award winner.
The awards just keep coming for A’s catcher Stephen Vogt, who added this year’s Catfish Hunter Award to his growing collection of honors.
This is the second consecutive Hunter award win for the catcher, who represented the A’s in the All-Star Game and who has been a clubhouse leader with growing stature since his arrival in Oakland in 2013.
Vogt, who is scheduled to make his first start behind the plate since Sept. 6 Friday night against the Giants, was honored in a vote of his teammates. The award has been given annually since 2004 to the A’s player who best exemplifies Hall of Fame Jim “Catfish’’ Hunter through his play and his conduct.
Stephen Vogt missed 12 games with one of the worst foul tip shots to the groin you are ever likely to see on a baseball field. I hadn’t actually seen the video until Tuesday night, and it was hard to watch. You’d like to say you feel Vogt’s pain, but … uh, no thanks.
“I don’t wish that on my worst enemy,” Vogt said. “It was the worst 10 days of my life, and I don’t ever want to go through it again.”
But he’s finally getting back to normal. After a couple of games at designated hitter, Vogt was at first base against the Rangers and he could be getting back behind the plate sometime this weekend, perhaps for Barry Zito’s momentous Saturday start against old pal Tim Hudson.
W”e’re pretty much healed, we’re glad to be back in there,” he said. I want to play every day. I’m glad that it wasn’t anything more than it was. I’m glad it was a two-week thing and not a life thing. I’m very blessed and lucky that it wasn’t anything worse.”
Vogt also has been prepping for getting behind the plate both mentally and physically. He caught what he said was an hour’s worth of bullpen sessions Tuesday, because the biggest challenge is overcoming the psychological aspects of the hit he took. You get a little gun-shy after what he went through, and he wants to break through those mental barrier.
Sean Nolin has a couple of starts left to re-state his case for the A’s 2016 season.
Sean Nolin got relatively high marks from his manager Tuesday night.
He didn’t give himself the same grades, however.
Nolin, who is in a late-season audition that will help determine if he’s in teh running for a spot in the Oakland rotation next spring, gave up five runs in five innings against Texas.
And while he didn’t take the loss in an 8-6 A’s defeat, he did let a 4-1 lead slip away in the fifth and sixth innings.
Barry Zito has been promoted by Oakland to finish out the season with the A’s
There is a crack in the door, however, for Zito to maybe get one special start.
The A’s called up Zito Wednesday was called up by Oakland Wednesday with the A’s facing a shortage of pitching. Reliever Edward Mujica’s season ended with a strained right hamstring Sunday and Wednesday’s starter Jesse Chavez has to be scratched with a rib fracture.
General manager Billy Beane told this newspaper that while Zito was called up because the A’s pitching has “literally gotten decimated,’’ he has thought some too about a possible matchup a Tim Hudson-Zito matchup when Hudson and the Giants come to the Coliseum Sept. 25-27. Hudson and Zito, along with Mark Mulder, comprised the A’s Big Three rotation a decade ago.
Josh Reddick brought back `Careless Whisper’ as his walkup music Wednesday and walked away with his 16th homer.
The A’s have tried most everything to get going this year, so when Josh Reddick dipped into the audio file to bring back George Michael’s “Careless Whisper’’ for his walkup music, probably it shouldn’t have been much of a surprise.
Reddick, who got a cult following from swaying fans in the right field bleachers and around baseball when he went to “Careless Whisper’’ last year, had said on more than one occasion that he wasn’t going to bring it back, ever. He’d moved on.
There it was Wednesday in the A’s 11-5 loss to the Houston Astros. And it took the fans in the right field bleachers hearing about five seconds of the song to get up and get back and party like it was 2014 all over again.
Will this scene of A’s manager Bob Melvin greeting right fielder Josh Reddick after a home run be repeated in 2016?
With Bob Melvin getting his managerial contract extended Wednesday, it’s only natural to ask what his team will look like come next February.
Some players like reliever Edward Mujica and first baseman Ike Davis are unlikely to be back. Others, like starter Sonny Gray and catcher Stephen Vogt certainly will. In general, the players with minimal Major League experience are likely to be back while those closer to arbitration or free agency are likely to be gone.
Josh Reddick is closer to the second group than the first, but as a Gold Glove defender and an RBI producer, it’s possible that the A’s may make an accommodation to bring him back with a bunch of big contracts off the docket, including the $11 million that would have gone to Scott Kazmir before he was traded to Houston and reliever Tyler Clippard and second baseman Ben Zobrist, who were making over $15 million between them.
It’s been a tough year for Bob Melvin, but the A’s manager is getting a contract extension today.
A’s general manager Billy Beane will announce a contract extension for manager Bob Melvin Wednesday afternoon in a press conference at the Coliseum.
The A’s are in the midst of what likely will be the worst season in Beane’s 17 years as general manager, but Beane has made it clear all along that he doesn’t blame Melvin for the 60-79 record Oakland takes into Wednesday’s series finale with the Astros.
And managing owner Lew Wolff said that while there was no rush to get a deal done “Bob’s a long-term part of the organization.’’
Wolff and Beane have said that a ceaseless series of injuries, unexpectedly poor performances from the bullpen and lower than expected home run potential have combined to lead the A’s where they are.
“Bob and Billy and the group have been dealt some tough breaks this season,’’ Wolff said. “But they are all a part of the long-term equation here. An announcement like today’s was going to happen sooner or later.’’
Mark Canha is greeted at the plate by fellow A’s rookie Billy Burns after a three-run homer in the fifth inning Tuesday.
For a team that’s 14 games out of first place and owner of the worst record in the American League at 60-79, the A’s do have some good things happening.
They have two of the better performing rookie hitters in the league in center fielder Billy Burns and left fielder-turned-first baseman Mark Canha.
That’s not to say that either will win the Rookie of the Year award, but both will merit consideration.
Burns was supposed to be spending the 2015 season honing his skills at Triple-A Nashville, but injuries and shoddy performances in the A’s outfield created opportunity, and he’s hitting .296 with an on-base percentage of .335.
Catcher Stephen Vogt hasn’t been at the Coliseum since being helped off the field Sunday. He’s expected back Wednesday.
Tuesday was another day without Stephen Vogt, but the A’s are reasonably optimistic it will be the last day their catcher/first baseman won’t be with them.
Vogt was resting at home for a second day after having been hit by a foul tip in the groin Sunday. He had a second ultrasound, which confirmed the findings of the first that there is no rupture and nothing requiring surgery.
“It could be a while,’’ manager Bob Melvin said about being able to write Vogt’s name into the starting lineup. Melvin said Vogt will leave Thursday with the A’s on a 10-game road trip through Texas, Chicago and Houston.