0

Scouting report on Reddick may not be quite up to date

Josh Reddick believes he might have a bit of an advantage when the A’s play National League teams, which Oakland did for the first time Monday night in San Diego.

    Reddick has made it a point to drive the ball up the middle this year. He was a dead pull hitter in 2012 when he first came to the A’s and hit 32 homers. And his natural swing is that of a pull hitter.

    So teams tend to put a pull hitter’s shift on him, including the Padres, So when he drove in the game’s first run Monday, it was a single to left fielder, catching the defense completely off guard.

    Continue Reading

0

Vogt needs a day off after his night as human pinball

Stephen Vogt will get Tuesday off after getting beat up some in Monday's 9-1 win over the Padres.

Stephen Vogt will get Tuesday off after getting beat up some in Monday’s 9-1 win over the Padres.

No one knows better than Bob Melvin how important Stephen Vogt has become to the A’s this year.
So the A’s manager didn’t come lightly to the idea that Vogt will get Tuesday’s start against the Padres off. All the more so because after a terrible first two weeks of June, Vogt reemerged with a three-hit, five-RBI game in Monday’s 9-1 win over San Diego that got Vogt back in the middle of the Oakland offense.
But what’s Melvin to do with a man who’s become a virtual pinball machine? He got a foul tip off the side of his mask, his jaw and his shoulder.
Continue Reading

0

Norris doesn’t recognize too many faces on current A’s roster

Derek Norris figures his trade to San Diego has worked out well for both the A's and the Padres.

Derek Norris figures his trade to San Diego has worked out well for both the A’s and the Padres.

The last time the A’s saw Derek Norris, he was putting his beaten up body behind the plate after Geovany Soto was injured in the American League Wild Card game against Kansas City last Sept. 30.

Norris had no real business being behind the plate, but John Jaso was on the disabled list, Stephen Vogt was playing on one foot and Soto, the man being used as a bridge to get the A’s through to the AL playoffs proper, injured his thumb in the third inning.

He was the last strong-armed catcher the A’s had left and Norris, plagued by back spasms and shoulder issue saw the Royals run on him, taking advantage of his infirmity.

Continue Reading

0

A bit of a crazy day for Sogard on his return to A’s lineup

Eric Sogard had a big return to the A's lineup with two hits, 3 RBI and an odd bunt.

Eric Sogard had a big return to the A’s lineup with two hits, 3 RBI and an odd bunt.

Eric Sogard’s return to the lineup Sunday was not without its abnormal moments.

The A’s second baseman, one of the best bunters on the team, dropped down a bad bunt in the second inning, but some shoddy defensive work produced a run after Ben Zobrist, who started the play at second base, hurdled the prone catcher Chris Iannetta to make it to the plate.

Sogard would later become integral in adding to the A’s lead in what would be an 8-1 win over the Angels. He singled home a run in the three-run sixth, then doubled home two runs in the seventh.

Continue Reading

0

Hahn going back to roots in San Diego, complete with his bat

Jesse Hahn faces the Padres Monday, the team that traded him to the A's this off-season.

Jesse Hahn faces the Padres Monday, the team that traded him to the A’s this off-season.

Jesse Hahn will tell you off the top he’s not the world’s greatest hitter.

The statistics would tend to support the A’s right-handers assertion. He’s come to the plate 24 times in the big leagues, and half the time he’s struck out. His batting average? Just .091.

For a couple of weeks now he’s been carrying around a bat, off-and-on, trying to hone his skills. When he starts Monday against the San Diego Padres in Petco Park, he’ll be the first A’s pitcher to swing a bat this season at the start of Oakland’s first interleague road series of the season.

Continue Reading

0

Lack of clutch performances suggest change is in the wind

A's GM Billy Beane has made to moves to tear up the roster, but it was at about this time in 2012 he did so, with great success.

A’s GM Billy Beane has made to moves to tear up the roster, but it was at about this time in 2012 he did so, with great success.

The A’s have built their entire season on statistical oddities, but none is quite as off the wall as having the worst record in the American League – 25-39 after Saturday’s 1-0 loss to the Angels – while having outscored their opponents.

Albert Pujols homered in the first inning off A’s starter Kendall Graveman, and that was it for this one, Oakland’s 18th loss in 22 one-run games.

When the A’s win, they often win big, as they did Thursday in a 7-0 win over the Rangers. When it comes to close games, however, the A’s have minimal success despite having outscored opponents 265-257.

Oakland has been shut out six times while A’s pitchers have thrown nine shutouts. In the losses, the A’s were one swing away from at least tying the game in five of them, the exception being a 13-0 loss to the Twins on May 6.

It’s a much different story when you look at the shutouts the A’s have thrown. Final scores in the shutouts the A’s have won have included 12-0, 10-0, 8-0, 7-0, 5-0 (twice), 4-0 (twice) and 3-0.

Scores like that are the reason the A’s have more runs scored than allowed. But a 12-0 or 10-0 victory only counts for one victory. When it’s crunch time, this team hasn’t gotten it done.

You can see that in the A’s record in one-run games, now 4-18. The last three losses have all been by one run.

Those numbers are not all about the offense, although the hitters have bogged down plenty with the game one the line. The bullpen with its 5-15 record, has contributed mightily to the one-run loss stat, as has the American League’s worst defense.

It’s just these kinds of chaotic performances that will induce a general manager to start cleaning house, although A’s GM Billy Beane has made no moves in that direction yet.

But it’s worth noting that three years and a week ago, Beane began scuttling what the A’s had in what was a disappointing season – eight games under .500 and nine games out of first place in the American League West. He did it by bringing up reliever Sean Doolittle, then outfielder-turned-first baseman Brandon Moss from Triple-A in the space of three days. Later that June they added catcher Derek Norris to the mix, called up starter A.J. Griffin for the first time and brought in first baseman Chris Carter.

As the summer wore on, catcher-turned-third baseman Josh Donaldson, pitcher Dan Straily and shortstop Stephen Drew were brought in.

The team that was at one point 13 games out of first place, turned around, kicked into gear and won the American League West.

It’s hard to see that happening this year – the winning the division part, that is. The freefall collecting of new faces, that’s easy to see.

 

0

Griffin activated from DL, optioned to Triple-A Nashville; Doolittle moved to 60-day DL to clear space

A.J. Griffin was activated from the disabled list and will pitch for Triple-A Nashville before an expected return to the Oakland rotation.

A.J. Griffin was activated from the disabled list and will pitch for Triple-A Nashville before an expected return to the Oakland rotation.

Just over 13 months after undergoing Tommy John surgery to have a replacement ligament put in his right elbow, A’s starter A.J. Griffin came off the disabled list Saturday.

That doesn’t mean he’ll be joining the A’s, however. He’s be activated and optioned to Triple-A Nashville, the team for whom he started Friday night, throwing 4.1 innings, giving up eight hits and six runs, four of them homers.

The runs and homers notwithstanding, this is a big step for Griffin, who was shut after a March 13, 2014 Cactus League start and operated on April 30 once it became clear that rest wasn’t going to relieve the problem in his elbow.

Friday’s injury rehabilitation start went without any walks, which A’s manager Bob Melvin said was a sign that his command was reasonably good, even if the home runs suggested he was getting too many pitches up in the strike zone.

“His command was good, maybe up in the strike zone a little bit with velo in the 86 range,’’ Melvin said. “The reports that we got weren’t bad, he just gave up a few homers. It was his longest stint, 80 pitches, and I know he felt good, and that’s what we’re looking for right now.

“He’s not ready to be here right now. It’ll take him some time before we’ll potentially get him up here.’’

 

NOTES

–To make room on the 40-man roster for Griffin, the A’s moved closer Sean Doolittle to the 60-day disabled list, the list that Griffin had been on before being activated. Doolittle now doesn’t count against the 40-man roster. And it’s further evidence that the left-hander is likely not to pitch much, if at all, again this season after his shoulder suffered a second strain the last week of May.

–First baseman Ike Davis played five innings at first base Friday for Nashville in the game that Griffin started. It was the first injury rehab assignment for Davis since suffering a left quad strain in May. He went 1-for-3 and Melvin said the reports were that Davis hit the ball hard on all three occasions. He’s scheduled for a seven-inning start Saturday.

–Right fielder Josh Reddick had homers in both Thursday and Friday’s games, but he wasn’t in Saturday’s starting lineup. It was a scheduled day off, tied in part to Reddick’s .143 career batting average against Angels’ starter C.J. Wilson.

–Moving into right field in Reddick’s stead was Sam Fuld, who has struggled all season until getting five hits in his last seven at-bats, including a pinch-hit single Friday. Fuld is that rare lefty hitter whose numbers (.245 batting average, .323 on-base percentage) are better against lefties than against right-handers (.228 and .307). “He’s a guy I look to get in there against lefties,’’ Melvin said.

–Catcher Josh Phegley was in the fifth spot in the Oakland batting order Saturday, the first time this season that’s happened. Phegley has been a something of a rampage with 16 hits in his last 43 at-bats over his last 14 games. Against lefties as a whole he’s hitting .357 with both of his homers, including one Friday. Melvin likes the chance to play Phegley behind the plate and get Stephen Vogt a break – the catcher has been at first base both Friday and Saturday with the Angels throwing lefties – and it’s paid off. His last five hits have included four doubles and Friday’s solo homer.

–The A’s signed nine more picks from this week’s draft, including their third-round pick Dakota Chalmers, once of just five high school (North Forsyth, GA) players taken by the A’s in the draft. Also signing were 1B Chris Ararat (12th, Houston), 2B Ryan Howell (15th, Nevada) , RHP Dustin Hurlbutt (16th, Tabor College), C Brett Sunde (18th, Western Michigan), OF Seth Brown (19th, Lewis & Clark State), LHP Andrew Tomasovich (21st, Charleston Southern), C Jordan Devencenzi (26th, Nevada) and SS Tim Proudfoot (35th Texas Tech). Chalmers was 4-4 with a 1.50 ERA in 12 games, striking out 82 in 51.1 innings without allowing a homer. The A’s have now signed or agreed to terms with 27 of their 40 picks in the draft, including eight of the first 10 and 16 of the first 21.

 

0

Chavez giving A’s quality innings with little to show for it

Jesse Chavez does what he can to not get wound up in the fact that he's pitched much better than a 2-6 record.

Jesse Chavez does what he can to not get wound up in the fact that he’s pitched much better than a 2-6 record.

Jesse Chavez deserves better than this. The A’s season being what it is, however, a 2.64 ERA that has resulted in just two wins serves as a microcosm for the Oakland season as a whole.

Chavez came to spring training planning on being in the rotation. The A’s had injuries and departures in the rotation. In their place there were new and untested arms. With Chavez coming off a decent half-season in the rotation in 2014, the notion wasn’t out of the question.

It didn’t work. He’d faded some late last year with the number of innings he was being asked to throw, and he’d been so reliable in middle relief that the club decided to live him there. That decision evaporated in about three weeks.

He was in the rotation by April 23, and he’s had a 2.90 ERA since then. He’s only give up three homers as a starter and his WHIP of 1.169 has been more than up to the challenge of facing American League hitters.

Continue Reading

0

Venditte hoping to be back after just 15 days on the DL, says throwing just left-handed wouldn’t let the injury heal

"Oakland Athletics switch-pitcher Patrick Venditte (29) delivers a pitch in the fifth inning of their baseball game against the Texas Rangers held at O.co Coliseum in Oakland, Calif., on Wednesday, June 10, 2015. (Doug Duran/Bay Area News Group)"

“Oakland Athletics switch-pitcher Patrick Venditte (29) delivers a pitch in the fifth inning of their baseball game against the Texas Rangers held at O.co Coliseum in Oakland, Calif., on Wednesday, June 10, 2015. (Doug Duran/Bay Area News Group)”

After climbing the highest peak he’d ever dreamed of just by making it to the Major Leagues, Pat Venditte didn’t get the chance to enjoy it long.

The big league’s only full-time ambidextrous pitcher in over a century, Venditte went on the disabled list Friday with a right shoulder strain just a week after he’d been called up for the first time.

The injury, curiously enough, cropped up when he was pitching left-handed Wednesday. He hoped the pain would ease on its own, but when he tried to throw right-handed on the side Thursday, the pain intensified.

An MRI held both good and bad news, reflecting back to a surgery to repair his right labrum in 2012. That cost him almost all of that season at Triple-A in the Yankee organization.

Continue Reading

0

Venditte lands on A’s DL after just a week in big leagues

Pat Venditte's ability to throw from both sides has been slowed by a right shoulder strain that has him on the disabled list.

Pat Venditte’s ability to throw from both sides has been slowed by a right shoulder strain that has him on the disabled list.

The A’s brief five-game road trip through Southern California got off to a rough start with the club putting switch-pitcher Pat Venditte on the disabled list with a right shoulder strain.

Venditte, called up just a week ago to become the first full-time ambidextrous pitcher in the big leagues since the 1880s, made for a feel-good story after he spent seven years in the minor leagues trying to show he wasn’t just a novelty act.

He would up pitching in four games, throwing 5.2 innings and didn’t allow a run.

Continue Reading