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Marcus Semien making strong case to be A’s All-Star

 

Marcus Semien is looking increasingly like an AL All-Star.

Marcus Semien is looking increasingly like an AL All-Star.

Two weeks ago when talking about the A’s possible All Star Game representation, Marcus Semien’s name wouldn’t have shone particularly brightly.

Time changes matters like that Semien has gone from a player with an outside chance to be the A’s All Star representative to being the player with perhaps the best chance to landing the coveted berth for the July 12 game in San Diego.

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Cuban star Lazaro Armenteros likely to sign with A’s Saturday

The international signing period for Major League teams starts Saturday, and the A’s are expected to make as big a splash as any team with the signing of 17-year-old Cuban outfielder Lazaro “Lazarito’’ Armenteros.

Sources say Armenteros, who played for the Cuban national youth team before defecting to Haiti and eventually the Dominican Republic, is expected to get in the neighborhood of $3 million when the international signing period opens.

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Sudden move to DL has Sean Doolittle seriously frustrated

Sean Doolittle had been feeling great, but all of a sudden he's on the DL again.

Sean Doolittle had been feeling great, but all of a sudden he’s on the DL again.

“This,’’ Sean Doolittle said, “has been a long day.’’

Doolittle knows from long days. He had five months full of them last year when he couldn’t pitch because of the pain in the back of his shoulder.

It was a rotator cuff issue, and it limited him to one game the first five months of the season. He came up and pitched most of the last month of the season, enough to ease his mind that things were right with his shoulder.

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Sean Doolittle lands on DL with a bum left shoulder

Sean Doolittle landed on the disabled list Thursday and had an MRI after he couldn't get loose in a bullpen session Wednesday.

Sean Doolittle landed on the disabled list Thursday and had an MRI after he couldn’t get loose in a bullpen session Wednesday.

The A’s had hoped all disabled list stories running up to the All-Star Game would be about players coming off the list, but that all changed Thursday when left-handed reliever Sean Doolittle went on the 15-day DL.

The injury-plagued A’s had gone two weeks in which they hadn’t put anyone on the DL and had claimed reliever Liam Hendriks, right fielder Josh Reddick and starter Sean Manaea from its grasp. More than that, starter Rich Hill is due back Saturday.

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Sean Manaea boosts hope that A’s rotation will be a factor

Sean Manaea is back, and the A's rotation is coming back at the same time.

Sean Manaea is back, and the A’s rotation is coming back at the same time.

A week ago, one could make a reasonable assumption that the A’s weren’t going to have much to play for the rest of the way.

Their starting pitchers hadn’t been doing much. They were in a 17-game stretch in which they were 0-9 with a 5.29 ERA. And that’s a scary long time to go without a win for an entire rotation.

Only once, almost two decades ago, had an A’s rotation gone dry longer, an 18-game stretch from July 24-Aug. 12, 1997. And if the A’s history of the last two decade says anything, it’s that the A’s are at least competitive when their rotation gives them a chance.

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A’s lefty Sean Doolittle a little weary, but he’s not hurting

Sean Doolittle has a little pain in his shoulder, but he's hoping to pitch in a day or so.

Sean Doolittle has a little pain in his shoulder, but he’s hoping to pitch in a day or so.

When A’s manager Bob Melvin didn’t go to lefty Sean Doolittle Tuesday on a night when Oakland was running desperately short of help, red flags immediately went up.

After all, Doolittle missed five months last year with injury problems. His health is a matter of prime concern to an Oakland bullpen that has been getting excessive work.

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Reborn offense puts a serious hurt on Giants for a second straight night while Madsen saves an aching pen

With Josh Reddick off the disabled list and back in his familiar third spot in the batting order Tuesday night, the A’s fielded their optimum offensive lineup for the first time in more than a month.

Even though Reddick didn’t have much to do with it, Oakland once again looked like a team that has rediscovered some serious potential at the bat rack. Even though the A’s saw their bullpen spring a leak for the second time in three days, the A’s rallied from a pair of three-run deficits for a wild 13-11 victory over the Giants at AT&T Park.

Jake Smolinski’s three-run pinch-hit home run off veteran Giants reliever Javier Lopez in the eighth inning was the most dramatic blow that ultimately gave Oakland its fifth victory in six games, and a two-game mini-sweep at a park where they’d lost 13 of 16 coming into this year’s Bay Bridge clash. Now it’s over to the Coliseum for two more to see if they can inflict even more damage to the reeling Giants.
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Daniel Mengden dazzles Giants, may be here for long term

Daniel Mengden has done nothing but impress since he brought his wacky windup, high socks and handlebar mustache to Oakland, and the A’s finally rewarded him for all of his fine work on Monday night.

After scoring just four runs for him combined in his first three major-league starts – all losses Mengden didn’t really deserve — the A’s hammered the Giants’ Jeff Samardzija for five runs in the second inning, continued to add on in later frames and rolled to an 8-3 victory at AT&T Park.

Marcus Semien’s towering three-run homer to center field was the big blow in Oakland’s early outburst as the A’s continued to gather steam following an impressive four-game series in Anaheim, where they won three of four from the Los Angeles Angels and were a bullpen blowup from completing a sweep.
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Coco Crisp continues upsurge with third career slam

Coco Crisp is locked in at the plate these days, with seven RBI and seven runs scored in last four games.

Coco Crisp is locked in at the plate with seven RBI and seven runs scored in last four games.

Coco Crisp has been around long enough to know that you can’t win them all.

At the same time he didn’t want to see Sunday’s game get away, not after Sonny Gray had pitched well for six innings, handing a 6-2 lead to the bullpen. As it happened, the pen wasn’t up to the task.

Crisp was invested in this game. His seventh homer of the year and his third career grand slam seemed to have turned the game around in the fourth inning. As the ball sailed over the left field wall, Crisp pumped his right arm, fist clenched, to the sky.

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Will re-signing Josh Reddick get done by Aug 1?

 

Josh Reddick could get another offer of a contract extension from the A's soon.

Josh Reddick could get another offer of a contract extension from the A’s soon.

Josh Reddick wanted to have any contract extension deal with the A’s done by the end of spring training.

It didn’t happen, so the right fielder agreed to give it a little more time.

More than a little time, three months, have passed – five weeks of which with Reddick on the disabled list with a fractured left thumb – but the hopes of a deal are still flickering.

According to a report from Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, sources are telling him the A’s want to revisit contract extension talks with Reddick through his agent, Seth Levinson.

When talks last were ongoing, they stalled not over money as much as it was over length of contract, Reddick wanting a four-year deal and the A’s offering three.

Now the A’s, who have made it clear they would like to keep Reddick aboard, seem to want to take one more run between now and the Aug. 1 trade deadline – normally it’s July 31, but that falls on a Sunday this year – to get something done.

There are going to be contending clubs wanting to trade for Reddick for the stretch drive, and the failure to get an extension would increase the likelihood that Oakland would trade Reddick. That being said, even without a deal, there are plenty of reasons for the A’s to hold on to their No. 3 hitter.

By holding on to Reddick for the entire season, then giving him a qualifying offer before free agency – which Reddick would almost certainly turn down – would earn the club a first-round compensation draft pick if Reddick signed with another club.

If you turn that around, with the A’s knowing they would get at least a first-round draft pick in compensation by holding on to Reddick, that would drive up the price for him between now and Aug. 1 for teams wanting to pry him away from Oakland.

Reddick still has to get healthy. He’s due to come off the disabled list this week, and he’d had just one hit in his first 17 at-bats on an injury rehabilitation assignment. But he was having a breakout season at .322/.394/.466 with five homers and 18 RBI, and if he can come back at the same level, that would driving up his price whether he stays or goes.

And Reddick isn’t the only A’s player drawing interest as June prepares to morph into July. The Mets have been linked to talks concerning third baseman Danny Valencia for a while now, and the Kansas City Royals and Cleveland Indians are both showing signs of interest. The Royals are without Mike Moustakas for the season and Cleveland hasn’t had much productivity from third base, just a .238 average and nine homers from its group of third basemen this year.

Valencia came into Sunday with a .333 average and 11 homers despite a stint on the disabled list.