0

Canha could be intriguing option for A’s at third base

Mark Canha, who went from Bellarmine High to Cal, will get every chance to stick with A's in 2015.

Mark Canha, who went from Bellarmine High to Cal, is mostly a left fielder and first baseman, but he can play some third, and A’s may well give him that chance in 2015.

The smart money says the A’s aren’t done with their tri-annual roster remake, but as we await those, there are some intriguing possibilities put forward by the moves the club already has made since the end of the season.

For me, one of the more compelling is the addition of Rule 5 slugger Mark Canha, the Cal product who is mostly a first baseman and left fielder.

He also plays third base, and has a Triple-A slash line good enough – .303/.384/.505 – that the A’s traded a young pitcher they liked, Austin House, Thursday morning to make sure they could emerge from the Rule 5 draft with Canha, the owner of 68 career minor league homers, in the fold.

Continue Reading

0

A’s Doolittle honored as a finalist for Hutch Award

There is some nice news out of the Pacific Northwest in that A’s reliever Sean Doolittle is one of the 10 finalists for the Hutch Award.

For those of you who haven’t heard of this particular award, it’s a big deal, if for no other reason that the names who have won it already – the first three winners were Mickey Mantle, Sandy Koufax and Carl Yastrzemski. In all, 11 members of the Hall of Fame have been given the award, given to a Major League player who “best exemplified the fighting spirit and competitive desire of Fred Hutchinson by persevering through adversity.’’

Continue Reading

1

Game 33 wrapup: Resop mired in nasty stretch; Reddick irritated by bases loaded called third strike

Chris Resop knew he wasn’t going to pitch as well all season as he did in the season’s first two weeks.

The right-handed reliever pitched in seven games, didn’t give up a run and barely allowed a loud foul ball.

When the tables turned on him they were vicious.

Continue Reading

0

Giambi, Swisher see Indians built in mold of A’s

Jason Giambi looks at Nick Swisher and he sees himself at a younger age.

Cleveland cleanup hitter Swisher looks at Giambi and sees the player he idolized while coming up in the Oakland organization.

The two ex-A’s look at the current A’s and they see the team they’d like their team to become.

Ah, the wheels do go round and round in baseball.

Continue Reading

0

Giambi back for one more run with Indians

The sun is mostly still shining on Jason Giambi

PHOENIX – The call didn’t come until February, but when it did come with an invitation to the Cleveland Indians’ spring training camp, it was right on time.

Longtime A’s first baseman Jason Giambi, who just turned 42, said yes when Cleveland called and is likely to be the part-time designated hitter and full-time mentor to the young corps of Indians hitters. He’s just fine with that.

“I’ll be out here until they tear the uniform off me,’’ Giambi said in the visitors’ dugout before Cleveland paid a Cactus League call on the Oakland A’s Monday.

“It’s a good opportunity to get some playing time, and they want me to mentor the young kids, which is something I’d been doing in Colorado anyway. And I love to play ball.’’

Giambi has known Cleveland manager Terry Francona since Francona was managing the Chicago White Sox Double-A Birmingham team on which one Michael Jordan was the star attraction in the mid-1990s. Giambi played for Huntsville at the same time.

“It started then and we really became friends when he was managing Boston and I was with the Yankees,’’ Giambi said. “Nothing’s guaranteed, but it would be great to play for him.’’

Giambi, who has 1,405 career RBIs and 429 homers, needs to have a decent spring to make the team, but Francona has said the opening is there if Giambi grabs it.

Down the line, Giambi is open to coaching or managing when he’s done playing.

 

0

What’s the future hold for A’s offense?

The weather here at the Coliseum was unusually warm last night. Different story tonight, as the wind is already kicking up. It’ll definitely be more chilly. And speaking of chilly, the A’s have certainly cooled off at the plate. What happened to that offensive revival? They’ve scored just 13 runs over the past six games, and haven’t topped three runs in any one of them. Adam Kennedy, who’s been such a catalyst for this team since he was acquired, is hitting just .176 (6-for-34) over his last eight games. And remember, five of those hits came in one game last week against the White Sox.

As encouraging as it’s been recently to see the A’s run wild on the bases, and see players like Rajai Davis, Mark Ellis and Kurt Suzuki take turns getting key hits, let’s not forget that this is still a pretty flawed team offensively when you look ahead to next season. As things stand, I don’t see the A’s being good enough offensively in 2010 to support the young pitchers that are obviously going to be the team’s strength. And as team owner Lew Wolff told Bay Area News Group in this story, he’s not crazy about the A’s bringing in more power hitters from the outside as they tried this year with Jason Giambi and Matt Holliday. Problem is, I don’t know if their best hitting prospects (Chris Carter, Adrian Cardenas, Brett Wallace and Co.) will be ready by next season.

My question for you, A’s fans: When it comes to improving this offense, would you rather see the A’s go out and try to obtain another slugger or two as they tried to do this season, or should they abandon the search for power and build a more speed and run-oriented offense, as they’ve shown signs of doing since the All-Star break?

–Not much pregame news today: Dallas Braden’s left ankle is showing no signs of improvement, according to manager Bob Geren, and you have to wonder if we’ll see him on the mound again this season. At this point, it might be better to shut him down and make sure he’s healthy to start spring training.

Tonight’s lineups, featuring Daric Barton playing first for the A’s for the second straight night:

A’s
Kennedy 3B
Davis CF
Suzuki C
Hairston LF
Sweeney RF
Ellis 2B
Cust DH
Barton 1B
Pennington SS

Cahill RHP

Tigers
Granderson CF
Polanco 2B
Guillen LF
Cabrera 1B
Huff DH
Thomas RF
Inge 3B
AVila C
Santiago SS

Galarraga RHP

0

Reineke optioned; reliever Gray recalled

Slow news morning at the Coliseum …

Chad Reineke, last night’s starting pitcher, was optioned to Triple-A Sacramento, not so surprising considering that Dallas Braden should jump right back into the rotation the next time through. But I was surprised the A’s didn’t add a position player to fill Reienke’s spot. Reliever Jeff Gray was recalled from Triple-A Sacramento, bolstering the bullpen but leaving manager Bob Geren with just three position players on the bench. Are you surprised the A’s didn’t use the opportunity to activate Jason Giambi? Neither am I, judging by the way this scenario has played out so far.

Speaking of first base, Daric Barton was put through running drills to test his strained left hamstring. If all goes well, Barton could begin a rehab stint with Sacramento as soon as tomorrow. Things will get really interesting once Barton is healthy. Does he get the majority of time at first? Does Tommy Everidge keep playing? Does one get sent down to make it easier to squeeze Giambi back on the roster?

I see the A’s continuing to play the young guys. Any thoughts out there on how you’d like to see first base handled???

–One thing to watch today: Geren said Trevor Cahill’s last side session was the best he’s seen from the young right-hander in a while. We’ll see if that shows through today, as Cahill tries to bounce back after two poor outings …

today’s lineups

A’s
Kennedy 3B
Davis CF
Cust RF
Nomar DH
Everidge 1B
Sweeney LF
Powell C
Ellis 2B
Pennington SS

Cahill RHP

Rangers
German 2B
Young 3B
Murphy LF
Jones DH
Hamilton RF
Byrd CF
Blalock 1B
Saltalamacchia C
Vizquel SS

Hunter RHP

0

Eric Patterson optioned to make room for Reineke

Well, that extended audition Eric Patterson was supposed to get in center field is over — for now at least. Patterson was optioned to Triple-A Sacramento to make room on the A’s roster for right-hander Chad Reineke, who starts tonight against Texas.

If you’ve seen what Patterson has done at Triple-A, you’re probably frustrated that he has yet to carry that success over to the bigs. He hit just .182 (4-for-22) in 10 games since being called up July 24. I think the A’s still want to give him a longer look (Bob Geren said as much), but in the short time Patterson was here, he didn’t look comfortable at the plate or in center, to be honest.

Dallas Braden’s ankle injury is thought to be short term, and since he didn’t go on the DL, Patterson was the unlucky guy to go to make room for Reineke. And with the way Rajai Davis is playing, you know he’s going to get the majority of time in center for now, and rightly so.

Braden isn’t limping nearly as bad as yesterday, and he expects to be able to make his next scheduled start Monday in Baltimore. Tonight’s start looks like a one-time gig for Reineke, who was trying on hats and getting acclimated to the Oakland clubhouse this afternoon. The scouting report is that he’s a sinker/slider guy, and that defenders like playing behind him because he usually throws strikes.

–Status quo on the Jason Giambi front, meaning no indication when (or if) the A’s will activate him. Geren was asked if we could expect to see Giambi activated at all the rest of the season. “We have a lot of different roster moves and decisions to make in a short time,” Geren said. “Promising anything in this game is very difficult to do. I don’t make blanket statements about anybody.” Those decisions he mentioned surely revolve around Daric Barton — and when he might be healthy enough to return from the DL — and fellow first baseman Tommy Everidge, who has looked good at the plate since getting called up last week.

–You might have seen the story on our Web site that the A’s signed right-hander Brett Tomko to a minor league deal and assigned him to Sacramento. Once upon a time he was a key member of the Giants’ rotation …

Tonight’s lineups
A’s
Kennedy 3B
Davis CF
Hairston LF
Cust DH
Suzuki C
Everidge 1B
Sweeney RF
Ellis 2B
Pennington SS

Reineke RHP

Rangers
Vizquel 2B
Young 3B
Murphy LF
Byrd CF
Blalock 1B
Jones DH
Hamilton RF
Teagarden C
Andrus SS

Padilla RHP

0

Braden questionable for tomorrow, Giambi not activated

Your pregame update from the Coliseum, where we have pretty ideal weather for a ballgame right now. We’ll see if that’s still the case at first pitch …

Dallas Braden was limping around the clubhouse pretty good today, the result of a rash on his left ankle that’s become inflamed. According to Bob Geren, Braden has been wearing a neoprene toe guard while pitching because he’s been dragging his left foot. The rash stemmed from him wearing that.

At any rate, Braden is questionable for his start tomorrow, so the A’s will have a Plan B ready. Geren said Edgar Gonzalez is one possibility, or they could pull somebody up from Triple-A Sacramento. Jerome Williams would be on turn to pitch for the River Cats, and the A’s have room on the 40-man roster for him. But Williams is just 1-4 with a 6.60 ERA in 20 appearances (9 starts). Dana Eveland is an option, but he’d have to go on three days’ rest and he threw 101 pitches on Saturday. Shawn Chacon is out — he started today.

If Gonzalez isn’t needed in relief tonight, my money’s on him.

–Can’t say I was surprised that Jason Giambi wasn’t activated from the DL today. He wasn’t around the clubhouse before batting practice to offer his take on things, and Geren was tight-lipped as ever regarding Giambi’s situation. Geren flat-out avoids addressing Giambi’s physical condition. “There’s no change in his status. It’s the same as yesterday. We’ll go day-to-day with it,” Geren said.

What is it that’s holding Giambi back? “We’re just not ready to activate him,” Geren said. Remember, Giambi has been saying the past few days that his right quad feels OK.

It seems pretty obvious to me that the A’s want to go with Tommy Everidge and (when he’s healthy) Daric Barton at first base. But who knows? Maybe they truly aren’t convinced that Giambi is ready to go.

Anyway, here’s tonight’s lineups, featuring Rajai Davis in the leadoff spot w/Adam Kennedy getting a day off. I know some of you out there have wondered about plugging Davis into the top spot regularly. Enjoy!! At least for one day … Geren said he still likes Kennedy leading off …

A’s
Davis CF
Suzuki C
Hairston LF
Garciaparra DH
Cust RF
Everidge 1B
Crosby 3B
Ellis 2B
Pennington SS

Gonzalez LHP

Rangers
Arias 2B
Young 3B
Byrd CF
Jones DH
Blalock 1B
Hamilton RF
Murphy LF
Saltalamacchia C
Andrus SS

Holland LHP

0

A’s-Rangers pregame update — Monday

There was a bigger audience than normal for batting practice tonight at the Coliseum, as the A’s high Single-A squad, the Stockton Ports, are on hand to watch tonight’s game. I was looking at these guys and wondering how soon some of them might be wearing green and gold. The next year or two? It’s realistic considering how quickly the A’s promote some of their guys through the system, wouldn’t you say?

The team isn’t tipping its hand on whether Jason Giambi will be activated from the DL tomorrow, and how much playing time he’ll get if/when he does return. But, when asked about Tommy Everidge, manager Bob Geren responded, “I’m going to give him a chance to play.” That might tell us a lot. Everidge obviously won’t be heading back to the minors regardless of whether Giambi gets activated. Everidge is at first base tonight, w/Jack Cust at DH.

The starting outfield tonight — left to right — goes Scott Hairston, Eric Patterson, Ryan Sweeney. Not a surprise that Geren has two left-handed bats in there (Patterson, Sweeney) against Texas right-hander Dustin Nippert. Look for Rajai Davis to get back in there tomorrow against lefty Derek Holland.

The lineups
A’s
Kennedy 3B
Suzuki C
Hairston LF
Cust DH
Sweeney RF
Everidge 1B
Ellis 2B
Patterson CF
Pennington SS

Anderson LHP

Rangers
Arias 2B
Young 3B
Byrd LF
Cruz RF
Blalock 1B
Jones DH
Hamilton CF
Saltalamacchia C
Andrus SS

Nippert RHP