Jesse Hahn is in danger of not making the A’s rotation. He has an 11.15 ERA with just one spring start left.
Jesse Hahn’s chances of remaining in the A’s starting rotation took a hit, or closer to the point, 10 hits, Monday. The Indians got that many off Hahn in 4.2 innings as he gave up six runs.
Hahn pitched his way into the rotation with a 3.06 ERA last spring, but this time around the ERA is more than triple that at 11.15 with one more start left to him against the Giants Saturday in the Coliseum.
Asked if he is feeling a sense of urgency with the A’s having six starters and only five jobs, Hahn said “absolutely. I have to get some guys out.’’ The right-hander said he was happy with his location and stuff, but he’s not getting the same downward plane from his sinker that he did 12 months ago.
“I don’t want to carry this into the season,’’ Hahn said. “I need to come out and attack hitters like I have in the past.’’
Manager Bob Melvin said no decision have been made, but the club “is looking for results.’’ So far, Hahn’s haven’t been good.
“He started out up in the zone, and they got some pretty good swings off him,’’ Melvin said. “They ne made some good pitches but just not consistently enough to get outs to stop some of the damage he had. He had breaking balls up in the zone again, and he’s a sinkerball pitcher.’’
Hahn said he continues to throw the sinker, but it’s flattening out instead of diving into the dirt, and that can only help the hitters.
“I know I’m a better pitcher than I’m showing right now and I need to get some guys out,’’ Hahn said. “I’m not seeing the same sinker that I usually have. It was better today; it had good action today, but it’s still not where it needs to be.’’
“It’s a little frustrating, but at the same time it’s still spring training. I have time to figure it out. I have another start. I’m getting hit right now, and I think it’s because my fastball isn’t sinking. It usually sinks.’’
The A’s are wondering if the hot days and drier-than-normal Arizona air is playing into the problem. Hahn’s next start will be in the Coliseum, so those results may suggest something.
–The A’s are taking everyone still in camp except lefty starter Sean Manaea to the Bay Area for the three-game series with the Giants that starts Thursday. Among other things, this means third baseman Matt Chapman, non-40-man roster player who has been one of the shining lights for Oakland both with his power, four homers, and his defensive work. The A’s will bring 35 players north.
–Manaea, threw a pain-free bullpen session Monday, will stay in Arizona to pitch in a minor league game Thursday. He said the left groin problems that had been bugging him were not in evidence today. “I felt great,’’ he said. “I’m trying to keep on top of it with treatment.’’
–Tuesday’s game, the Cactus League road finale for Oakland, will be a matchup of staff aces, Sonny Gray for the A’s and Jake Arrieta for the Cubs. Chapman impressed Melvin by being excited, rather than nervous, at the chance to face Arrieta. The A’s and Cubs have agreed to use a DH so that neither pitcher will have to hit against the other.
–Melvin said he believed outfielder Jake Smolinski, sent down Sunday, “has the potential to be an everyday player.’’ The manager particularly likes the simplicity of Smolinski’s swing.
–Sam Fuld, back with the A’s after a long time away during which he had cortisone and PRP injections in his ailing left shoulder and went home to Florida to be at the birth of his fourth child, says he’s a couple of days at least away from full baseball activity, although he may mix in some swings before then. The shoulder pain is much diminished, he said.
–Left fielder Khris Davis had his biggest day at the plate this spring, going 3-for-3 with a single, double and triple. He started slowly, but he’s been closing fast and he’s pushed his average to .304. He started 4-for-22, but in his last eight games he’s 10-for-24, .417.
–Yonder Alonso is another fast finisher. The first baseman had a solo homer and two singles, drove in two runs and pushed his average in four at-bats to .364. He has five hits in his last eight at-bats after going 0-for-11.