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Home runs are cutting both ways for the A’s

 

Sean Manaea is going to have to learn to keep the ball inside the fences if he's going to have success with A's.

Sean Manaea is going to have to learn to keep the ball inside the fences if he’s going to have success with A’s.

It’s easy to look at the A’s and their hitters’ home run production since the All-Star break – 26 homers in 17 games – and think the power game is going Oakland’s way.

It’s not.

That’s because the A’s pitcher are being entirely too liberal with the gopher ball themselves.

Two homers off lefty Sean Manaea Tuesday in a 5-4 loss accounted for all the Angels’ runs. And while the A’s hitters have been blasting balls at a 50 percent higher rate post-All-Star break (1.53) than they had been before (1.01), the pitchers are picking up the pace, too.

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Hill-Reddick trade gets decent support in Twitter poll

A's executive VP Billy Beane (above) and GM David Forst got considerable support in an online poll for the trades of Josh Reddick and (in particular) Rich Hill.

A’s executive VP Billy Beane (above) and GM David Forst got considerable support in an online poll for the trades of Josh Reddick and (in particular) Rich Hill.

The A’s in general and executive vice president Billy Beane in particular always will catch flak at any trade deadline move that sees Major League talent leaving and minor league talent coming in.

And so it was Monday and Tuesday in the wake of the decision by Beane and general manager David Forst to trade away right fielder Josh Reddick and starting pitcher Rich Hill for three minor league pitchers from the Dodgers organization that most A’s fans had never heard of – Jharel Cotton, Frankie Montas and Grant Holmes. All three are right-handed and all three could wind up in the A’s rotation if the Beane/Forst calculations are correct.

When (if) those calculations are proved out, all will be forgiven, presumably. In the immediate aftermath of the deal, however, there were any number of suggestions on Twitter that Beane and Forst are the ones who should be traded, and more than a few willing to package managing owner Lew Wolff with them.

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Bob Melvin, A’s deal with baseball after Reddick/Hill trade

Bob Melvin was sad to see Josh Reddick and Rich Hill be traded, but he said the A's played themselves into this kind of move.

Bob Melvin was sad to see Josh Reddick and Rich Hill be traded, but he said the A’s played themselves into this kind of move.

Josh Reddick was the A’s best overall player this season, which made it tough for manager Bob Melvin to see the club trade him Monday to Los Angeles.

Rich Hill was the A’s best starting pitcher, and Melvin saw him go, too, packaged with Reddick for minor league pitchers Jharel Cotton, Frankie Montas and Grant Holmes.

Suffice it to say Monday wasn’t a great day for Melvin who was able to talk to Reddick but could only exchange texts with Hill as the two men scrambled to join the Dodgers for a flight to Colorado.

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Could Rich Hill get contract extension in lieu of a trade?

Rich Hill, who may start for the A's Friday if he's not traded, could wind up with a contract extension from Oakland.

Rich Hill, who may start for the A’s Friday if he’s not traded, could wind up with a contract extension from Oakland.

The A’s are working on a contract extension with left-handed pitcher Rich Hill even as the club is fielding offers about trading their most successful starting pitcher.

Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports tweeted of the A’s interest in an extension with Hill, which followed up a Thursday comment from Oakland general manager David Forst that suggested keeping the 36-year-old long term was well within the realm of possibility.

The Major League trade deadline is Monday at 1 p.m. PT, and Hill is very much a hot commodity. He was highly coveted by at least half a dozen contenders already, and then on Sunday, the Dodgers’ Bud Norris came out of a start for Los Angeles with back problems.

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Rich Hill scratched from Sunday start because of blister; moderate chance exists A’s could trade him by Monday

 Rich Hill won't start Sunday because of his blister, and there is still a chance he could be traded by Monday.

Rich Hill won’t start Sunday because of his blister, and there is still a chance he could be traded by Monday.

The A’s will hold off on having Rich Hill start for them Sunday, one day ahead of the trade deadline, but Hill’s blistered left middle finger won’t keep the club from trading him if they get the right deal.

Oakland general manager David Forst said on a conference call that while no deal was close, Hill’s health status wouldn’t be a barrier to trading him if the club likes what it is being offered in return.

And manager Bob Melvin said the club might have a yes-or-no decision on Hill going to the disabled list as soon as Saturday.

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Dillon Overton on Saturday; A’s hope it’s Rich Hill Sunday

 

Dillon Overton will return to the A's Saturday to start in Cleveland.

Dillon Overton will return to the A’s Saturday to start in Cleveland.

The A’s pitching rotation for the weekend series in Cleveland is getting some clarity, but only some.

Dillon Overton, the left-handed rookie who has helped pitch the A’s to two wins in three starts, will be recalled from Triple-A Nashville to start Saturday against the Indians. And Rich Hill remains probable for Sunday’s series finale, but if his blister problems have yet to be resolved, then Sonny Gray would get Sunday.

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Is Coco Crisp’s RISP production worth a second look?

Coco Crisp has the Majors' best batting average with runners in scoring position, but he's not drawing trade interest.

Coco Crisp has the Majors’ best batting average with runners in scoring position, but he’s not drawing trade interest.

Coco Crisp isn’t talked about much by those discussing deals that could be made with the trade deadline upon us next Monday.

Maybe that’s a mistake. Crisp gave the A’s the lead in Tuesday’s 6-3 win over Texas with a fourth-inning homer that carried into the second deck, and he delivered an double off the foot of pitcher Sam Dyson to give the A’s bullpen a bit of insurance.

The double was something of a fluke. It could have been a single up the middle, or it could have been a grounder to the pitcher, the second baseman or the shortstop that ended the inning.

Instead the sharply hit ball caught Dyson in the foot and with shortstop Jurickson Profar heading toward second base and left field Ryan Rua not expecting the ball to come his way, Crisp had enough time to leg out a double.

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Hill likely back on Sunday, but A’s still a starter short with Daniel Mengden sent down; Dillon Overton could go Saturday

Rich Hill is optimistic he will start Sunday, but with Daniel Mengden sent down, A's still need Saturday starter.

Rich Hill is optimistic he will start Sunday, but with Daniel Mengden sent down, A’s still need Saturday starter.

The A’s have sent their scheduled starter for Saturday, Daniel Mengden, to the minor leagues, leaving couple of open spots in the rotation for this weekend in Cleveland.

Rich Hill, Oakland’s winningest pitcher at 9-3, 2.25, hopes he’ll start Sunday against the Indians. After making 20 throws from 60 feet without a bandage covering his blistered left middle finger and 50 throws in a regular bullpen session with the blister covered, Hill said “I do think it’s real possible I can pitch on Sunday.’’

There is, always, the chance that Hill could be traded between now and then, but he doesn’t want to go and the A’s don’t seem in any hurry to pull the trigger on a deal. Sunday could be big, because it’s the day before the Aug. 1 trade deadline.

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A’s are defeated, but don’t feel defeatist; that’s a plus

Danny Valencia sees A's playing winning baseball, even after a walkoff loss to the Rangers.

Danny Valencia sees A’s playing winning baseball, even after a walkoff loss to the Rangers.

There was the predictable silence in the A’s clubhouse after Monday’s game ended with Adrian Beltre taking Ryan Madson deep for a game-winning two-run homer.

There wasn’t any of the predictable woe-is-me that often befits teams in fourth place and not even within periscope range of first place.

Instead the A’s talked about having playing well in the recent past, about having played well on this night and about there being no reason they can’t continue to play well in the future.

It’s sort of like the ghosts visiting Ebenezer Scrooge six months early, but with bats and balls.

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Jesse Hahn’s return to Triple-A just a matter of A’s schedule while Oakland doesn’t know when Rich Hill will pitch again

Jesse Hahn had a pretty good idea he was only coming up for one start, thanks to a schedule quirk.

Jesse Hahn had a pretty good idea he was only coming up for one start, thanks to a schedule quirk.

Jesse Hahn, brought up from Triple-A to start Sunday, left the game having not allowed a run in 7.2 innings.

When his teammates left after the game for Arlington, Texas, Hahn remained behind and will fly Tuesday to a different destination. He will be heading back to Nashville to rejoin the Triple-A Sounds.

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