Some A's links:
Chris Carter didn't hurt the A's. Yet:
"You have more confidence playing every day," Carter said while signing autographs near the Astros' dugout before Wednesday's game. "It's tougher to stay in a groove if you don't play every day."
When relayed Melvin's comment about preferring he'd play in another division, Carter cracked a smile and said, "We play each other a lot. I'll have a chance to hurt him."
Eno Sarris wrote about Jarrod Parker. Parker is not worried:
Parker talked about fastball control, and throwing quality strikes with both of his fastballs. He said that despite this current blip, he throws the same bullpen every time out - "about the same exact ratio of pitches I throw in my warmups" - and that he likes to keep things on a routine. I asked him about first strike percentage, something I've found to be well-correlated with walk rate, but he said "baseball is a game of adjustments" and that just the other day, the Tigers were doing a lot of first-pitch swinging. He didn't necessarily feel like the first pitch strike was what was missing right now.
Jason Parks wrote about Addison Russell:
They way it looks right now, Russell is a shortstop and is going to stay a shortstop, with enough arm and glove-work to handle the position. It's not always silky smooth and easy, but its not awkward and clumsy either, as there is feel involved and a strong work ethic to improve. If the bat does what the bat is projected to do, Russell could develop into one of the top prospects in the game.
In Tampa, the A's catch another team struggling, except the Rays are supposed to be good. They are kind of the opposite of the A's right now: their stars are hitting and it's the other guys who aren't.
Kelly Johnson and Desmond Jennings have both been a bit better than average, but after that, the entire lineup has been a mess. Matthew Joyce has been even more ineffective than Longoria and Zobrist have been effective. Unsurprisingly, James Loney has not been hitting at all. Then there is Yunel Escobar, who has four hits in his first 45 at-bats, and just four walks propping that up. Sam Fuld, who has somehow hit even worse than that, has played in 13 of the Rays' 14 games.
Finally, looks like Brett Wallace has been optioned to AAA. Perhaps he can come back as an SS -- again.