Catcher Carson Blair needs surgery on his left medial menisicus and his season is over.
Maybe there is something in the local water that negatively impacts Oakland catchers.
The A’s lost rookie catcher Carson Blair for the season Saturday, the club announcing that Blair needs season-ending surgery for a medial meniscus tear. Manager Bob Melvin said Blair felt some discomfort in his left knee in a start Thursday, played through it only to have an MRI Friday reveal the problem.
The A’s have already lost catcher Josh Phegley for a year to a concussion and Stephen Vogt is just back and healthy after missing the better part of three weeks after taking a vicious foul tip off his groin.
Sean Doolittle and Stephen Vogt have a mutual admiration society.
Sean Doolittle has nothing but faith in A’s catcher Stephen Vogt.
On Friday Vogt called for nothing but fastballs as Oakland’s left-handed closer was asked to get the last four outs of a 5-4 win over the Giants. The left-hander complied, and while it took 38 of them, the formula worked.
No matter, Doolittle will throw what Vogt asks.
“Vogt could put down a six (six fingers instead of one, denoting a fastball) and I’d try to throw like a submarine knuckleball or something,’’ Doolittle said. “I trust him with everything. I know how hard he works with his preparation.
Sonny Gray came out of Friday’s game with some hip pain leaving his final start of the season up in the air.
The A’s have managed to keep just one starting pitcher healthy all season, but there’s no telling if Sonny Gray will make his final start next week in Anaheim after beating the Giants 5-4 Friday.
Gray, troubled by a hip injury in his last start against Houston, gave up two runs in the first inning and kicked into gear after that. He said the hip pain flared up again in the fifth inning, and after pitching out of a jam in the sixth the A’s weren’t going to push it with their ace.
“I was pressing with my pitches in the sixth,’’ Gray said, singling out a battle with the Giants’ Marlon Byrd that resulted in a strikeout with men on second and third. “In the fifth I threw a pitch, it slipped a bit and started to be sore.
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.