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Parker on the mend, but he won’t be pitching again in 2015

Jarrod Parker is back with the A's about three weeks after having surgery on his right elbow that will keep him out the rest of the season.

Jarrod Parker is back with the A’s about three weeks after having surgery on his right elbow that will keep him out the rest of the season.

Disabled starter Jarrod Parker won’t be pitching for the A’s again this year, and he’s come to terms with that.

Parker, whose journey back from Tommy John surgery 15 months ago was derailed when he fractured the medial epicondyle in his right elbow, was back with the team Wednesday for the first time since his surgery to have the bone mended May 19.

His right arm spends most of its time in a removable cast that looks like something a droid would wear in Star Wars, positioning his elbow at a 90-degree angle. When he suffered the injury he was about 10 days away from rejoining the A’s rotation. That plan was scrapped the minute Parker felt his arm blow up while pitching for the Nashville Sounds.

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A’s go for a pair of SEC shortstops in Day 1 of MLB draft; Martin has the pedigree, White has the legit power swing

Richie Martin’s maternal grandfather, Cornelius Thomas, played in the Negro Leagues.

Chet Lemon, Martin’s coach since he was 11, played in the big leagues for 16 seasons, split between the Chicago White Sox and Detroit Tigers.

  1. Timothy Gallwey, the San Francisco-born author of “The Inner Game of Tennis,’’ never played much baseball at all.

But the three of them, together with Richard Martin Sr., have been instrumental in the development of University of Florida product Martin, the A’s first-round pick in the June draft.

Oakland made one other pick on the first day of the three-day draft, picking another shortstop, Mikey White from the University of Alabama with the 63 pick.

Thomas died before Martin was able to meet him, but the genetics are clearly there. Lemon was an All-Star center fielder with the White Sox twice and the Tigers once who has been a major impact on Martin’s Thomas. And Gallwey’s book which deals more with the mental approach to tennis, and Martin has found it valuable.

“It sounds crazy,’’ Martin said of the Gallwey book. “It’s not too much about tennis. It’s about the mental part. It’s overlooked.’’

The A’s are hoping Martin won’t be overlooked. The 6-foot, 185-pound shortstop hit .292 this year with five homers and 33 RBIs in 65 games with Florida and, with the help of being hit by pitches 16 times, he owns an on-base percentage of .404. A right-handed hitter, he leads the Gators in runs scored, walked, steals and hit by pitches.

A’s director of scouting Eric Kubota described Martin as “a baseball rat.’’

“He can maximize his ability, he’s a team leader, he plays the position well,’’ Kubota said. “First and foremost, he has the tools and the athleticism. He and really runs and really throw, and his defense ability has a chance to be special.’’

Martin is just 20, so Kubota said he’s the equivalent of the age of most college sophomores, so the A’s believe he has the chance to grow some.

“He’s an outstanding athleticism and that translates into big range,’’ Kubota said. ` He has the ability to make the routine play, and the arm strength to make all the throws.’’

Unlike some of the six shortstops taken in the first 20 picks of the draft, Martin is projected by scouts to remain at shortstop. He has above-average credentials in both range and arm strength.

And he has that baseball pedigree that most players don’t have.

“Coach Chet came around when I was 11 years,’’ Martin said. “We have a very nice relationship. I’ve played for his travel team (Chet Lemon’s Juice). Other than my dad, he’s had the biggest impact on me in baseball.

“We have a pretty close relationship. I got to speak with him today. He told me to take it all in, then when the time comes, get to work and play some baseball.’’

Martin, who was drafted out of high school by the Mariners, broke into the upper reaches of draft prospects with a slash line of .364/.432/.469 with Bourne, where he was the league’s second-leading hitter.

The A’s other SEC addition, White, hit .339 with 19 doubles, six triples, four homers and 35 RBIs with Alabama. He had 31 walks and was hit by pitches 16 times for an on-base percentage of .444 that the A’s found attractive.

Scouts see White, a 6-foot-1, 195 pound right-hander, as a possibility to be moved to second base or third base even though he started all 184 games with a .308 career average.

The A’s aren’t willing to go that way, not yet.

“We think he has ability to play shortstop,’’ Kubota said. “We have guys who are very positive about that. That stuff will shake itself out as time goes on.’’

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A’s first-round pick Richie Martin has a baseball pedigree

The A’s chose a shortstop with a good baseball pedigree in the first round of the Major League Baseball draft Monday when they selected Richie Martin, a shortstop from the University of Florida.

Martin, who was a highly-regarded hitter in the Cape Cod League with a slash line of .364/.432/.469, has roots back to the Negro Leagues, his maternal grandfather having played with the Kansas City Monarchs in the 1950s.

Scouts rate his speed above average, say he’s a natural athlete and has above-average range at shortstop, which likely means the A’s would keep him at shortstop down the line. He’s one of six shortstops taken in the first 20 picks of the draft, but at least some of those are expected to be moved to other positions by the teams that drafted them.

Martin is a major reason the Gators who will start play in the College World Series on Saturday against Miami. He’s hitting .292 this year with five homers and 33 RBIs in 65 games and, with the help of being hit by pitches 16 times, he owns an on-base percentage of .4040.

A right-handed hitter, he leads the Gators in runs scored, walked, steals and hit by pitches.

This is the 16th time in the last 19 years the A’s have picked a college player with their first pick in the draft. Oakland has one more pick later in the evening, the 63rd pick overall. The draft picks up Tuesday at 10 a.m. with rounds 3-through-10, and rounds 11-through-40, will be selected Wednesday.

 

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Blame loss on the pen, but A’s could have won this one early

Billy Butler and the A's couldn't add on to their lead early, and it cost them late in 7-4 loss to Red Sox.

Billy Butler and the A’s couldn’t add on to their lead early, and it cost them late in 7-4 loss to Red Sox.

Most of the focus around the A’s 7-4 loss to the Red Sox Sunday had to do with another bullpen implosion, Boston scoring seven times in the eighth inning to erase a 4-0 Oakland lead.

Six of the runs came against the bullpen, three each off Evan Scribner and Tyler Clippard, the two steadiest hands in the pen this season.

Just as significant, however, was the A’s inability to get runs home with runners in scoring position. The Red Sox proved you only have to do it one inning a game to break through, but seven of the nine men Oakland left on base were stranded either at second or third.

Those would be runs the A’s would miss as they were flying back the Bay Area, saddled with yet another loss.

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It turns out to be a dog’s life in Boston this weekend

Jesse Hahn had a special companion with him this weekend in Boston, his dog Hank.

Jesse Hahn had a special companion with him this weekend in Boston, his dog Hank.

This weekend has seen the streets of Boston treated to the completely ordinary sight of a man walking a dog.

What made it more than a little unusual was that the man was A’s starting pitcher Jesse Hahn. While many baseball players have dogs, they generally don’t travel with them.

But there was Hahn and Hank, the dog he shares with his girlfriend, Jessica Pauley.

The A’s hotel, the Taj Boston, is pet friendly, so when Jessica joined Hahn for the weekend series with the Red Sox, Hank came along.

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Don’t ask Brett Lawrie to watch video of broken bat incident; A’s hitter is just grateful woman is out of immediate danger

Fan Tonya Carpenter is tended to by medics at Fenway Park after being hit by part of Brett Lawrie's broken bat. She is expected to survive after much blood loss.

Fan Tonya Carpenter is tended to by medics at Fenway Park after being hit by part of Brett Lawrie’s broken bat. She is expected to survive after much blood loss.

A’s third baseman Brett Lawrie said he hasn’t seen the gruesome footage of his broken bat hitting the face of Red Sox fan Tonya Carpenter.

But hearing that the woman, whose life was in danger after the incident Friday in Fenway Park, is now expected to survive was just what Lawrie was hoping for.

“It’s fantastic to hear no doubt,’’ he said. “Any time you see someone carried off on a stretcher like that, you keep them in your prayers. It’s good to hear, and hopefully she’ll be out sooner rather than later.’’

Carpenter was taken to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center bleeding heavily from her head and in obvious pain.

The woman’s family identified her to the Goble in a statement that asked for privacy as she recovers in the hospital.

“Tonya’s family and loved ones are grateful to all who have reached out with thoughts and prayers,’’ the statement read.

Friday night the woman’s condition was called life-threatening, but by Saturday, Boston police spokeswoman Officer Rachel McGuire said “she is expected to survive.’’

And if the video of it was something of an internet sensation, Lawrie will pass, all the same.

“I haven’t seen the play still to right now,’’ he said after the A’s 4-2 loss to the Red Sox Saturday. “I don’t really want to watch it, to be honest.’’

 

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Fenway’s history adds to Major League debut for Venditte

A's Pat Venditte accommodates one of many interview requests Saturday after debuting as a switch-pitcher Friday.

A’s Pat Venditte accommodates one of many interview requests Saturday after debuting as a switch-pitcher Friday.

Pat Venditte labored for parts of eight seasons in the minor leagues to become an overnight sensation.

He did it by pitching with both his left and right hand in his Major League debut. The A’s pitcher was the first pitcher in two decades to do it, and unlike Greg Harris, who did it in the final game of his career in 1995, being a switch-pitcher is what Venditte does.

Before he could do it, he had to walk down the wooden steps from the visitor’s clubhouse in Fenway Park steps and through the concrete tunnel that leads to the field. This is the exact same tunnel where Babe Ruth and Ty Cobb and Hank Aaron all walked.

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Woman hit by a fragment of Lawrie’s bat expected to survive

Fan Tonya Carpenter is tended to by medics at Fenway Park after being hit by part of Brett Lawrie's broken bat. She is expected to survive after much blood loss.

Fan Tonya Carpenter is tended to by medics at Fenway Park after being hit by part of Brett Lawrie’s broken bat. She is expected to survive after much blood loss.

The woman struck by part of the shattered bat of A’s third baseman Brett Lawrie in the second inning of Friday’s game against the Red Sox in Fenway Park was listed in serious but stable condition midday Saturday.

Identified by The Boston Globe as Tonya Carpenter, the woman bled heavily after being struck by the fragment of the bat and the game was stopped for several minutes while paramedics tended to her and got her to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

She had been sitting in the second row between home plate and the visitor’s dugout on the third base side of the diamond, and she was just beyond the netting that shields fans from the field.

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Kazmir happy to be healthy after having skipped a start

Scott Kazmir returned to the mound for the first time since May 27, but took the loss against the Red Sox.

Scott Kazmir returned to the mound for the first time since May 27, but took the loss against the Red Sox.

Lost in the buzz surrounding the arrival of the first fully ambidextrous pitcher in the Major Leagues in Pat Venditte was the fact that the A’s got another pitcher back Friday.

Scott Kazmir, who was skipped one start because of shoulder discomfort, was back on the mound. He lasted only 4.2 innings, gave up nine hits and was roughed up by the defense behind him.

Kazmir, at least, seemed to think the result didn’t reflect his level of success he felt in returning to the mound for the first time since May 27. And it didn’t reflect the fact that he felt no problems in his shoulder.

“I felt great,’’ Kazmir said. “I really did. My fastball had a lot of life. I was throwing a lot of strikes, my changeup was good. I just caught too much of the plate on some pitches. But overall I felt great.’’

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Zobrist flattered teams want him, but he likes it with A’s

Ben Zobrist, here hitting a game-deciding grand slam, likes the 's chances, doesn't want to go anywhere else.

Ben Zobrist, here hitting a game-deciding grand slam, likes the ‘s chances, doesn’t want to go anywhere else.

Even with the A’s recent surge in winning nine of their last 12, the A’s still have the American League’s worst winning percentage, and the vultures are starting to circle.

The A’s general manager, Billy Beane, has been approached by multiple clubs about second baseman/outfielder Ben Zobrist, Fox’s Ken Rosenthal tweeted Friday. The tweet mentioned that the Washington Nationals had called inquiring about Zobrist, and they weren’t alone.

Zobrist has been down this road before with the Tampa Bay Rays. And while he gets it that teams with losing records frequently are plucked for their talent by team in contention, he said it’s too soon.

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