The Oakland Athletics played the first of two pre-pre-season intrasquad games at Fitch Park. Max Muncy drove in Billy Burns to score the game's only run, the A's winning 1-0.
First lineup picture of the year, for today's intrasquad game: pic.twitter.com/BWg54JfmYn— Jane Lee (@JaneMLB) February 28, 2015
Bullpen catcher Casey Chavez was the umpire for the four-inning game:
The beat reporters seemed delighted to be watching game action:
Marcus Semien made a nice diving stop in the hole in #Athletics intersquad. Not a ball Jed Lowrie probably gets.— Carl Steward (@stewardsfolly) February 28, 2015
Craig Gentry already has his first stolen base of the (intrasquad) season.— Jane Lee (@JaneMLB) February 28, 2015
R.J. Alvarez walks his first two batters, strikes out the next two.— Jane Lee (@JaneMLB) February 28, 2015
Intrasquad update: A's win.— Oakland Athletics (@Athletics) February 28, 2015
Everyone was particularly tickled to see Pat Venditte throw against RHB Carson Blair, LHB Sam Fuld, and SHB Andy Parrino. Per Official Baseball Rule 8.01(f), Venditte first elected to throw right-handed to Parrino, with Parrino then electing to bat left-handed. The San Francisco Chronicle's Susan Slusser wrote:
I can't do Venditte in words - you have to see him in action in person to really experience how odd it is. Even on TV or video you don't get that immediate sense of, ‘Wait, that guy was throwing left-handed and now he's throwing right-handed.' I heard several fans expressing surprise at Fitch Park when Venditte warmed up left-handed and then turned around to throw right-handed to leadoff man Carson Blair.
The A's also timed out the new pace-of-play rules in today's game, reports CSN's Joe Stiglich. Manager Bob Melvin said, "We were a little long with some of our pitchers. ... The batters were cognizant of staying in the box."
Slusser also says Bob Melvin was extremely pleased with the defense, "including nice running catches in deep center by Sam Fuld and Craig Gentry and a slick play by Brett Lawrie, who showed some terrific range going to his left in the first inning." In Slusser's story, be sure not to miss Scott Strazzante's photo of 6-foot-8 Nate Freiman manning first base against 5-foot-9 speedster Billy Burns.
One more intrasquad game is on tap for Sunday, weather permitting. There is a chance of rain Sunday, Stiglich writes.
Susan Slusser: A's reliever Tyler Clippard has to grow up fast
Susan Slusser interviewed likely closer-for-now Tyler Clippard, his brother Colin, and his coach Roy Silver about Clippard's path to professional baseball in an extensive profile:
He went from not making his high school varsity baseball team as a freshman and sophomore to winning the Senior Little League World Series; then from scouts' darling to getting booted off the varsity team his senior year after a DUI arrest.
"It made me grow up fast," Clippard said.
The DUI arrest made him ineligible to play high school sports, but gave him an opportunity to meet "Roy Silver, who Clippard credits with improving his game tremendously." Silver also helped Josh Hamilton get back into baseball in 2006, Slusser writes.
While Tyler Clippard's draft stock was hampered by losing his senior season, he has shown he won't let a personal setback keep him down. His brother Colin said, "The thing he's always done, and maybe it's a family trait, is that regardless of what's happened, he's always resilient, he's always persevered. Tyler has that tattooed on his left arm, 'Persevere.' "
News and notes
Other stories from Mesa and around the Internet:
- Blue Jays sign Dayan Viciedo: Dayan Viciedo agreed to a minor league deal with the Toronto Blue Jays, tweets Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal. Rosenthal had previously reported that the A's had talked with Viciedo.
- Beane "wants no part of 'the thud' ": The Bay Area News Group's Tim Kawakami adds his thoughts stemming from his conversation with Billy Beane on Friday, "Beane wants no part of a total rebuild, which is why the A's moves get so frantic and complicated."
- Bob Melvin knows team chemistry: The San Francisco Chornicle's Ann Killion writes about team chemistry, and the light touch he applies to let the player's gel together themselves, for the most part.
- Coco Crisp has pinkeye, again: The Bay Area News Group's John Hickey writes that Coco Crisp has pinkeye and could miss a few days. Crisp previously had conjunctivitis at the end of the 2012 regular season, missing just over a week then.
- Brad Mills on Tuesday, Jesse Chavez on Wednesday, and Barry Zito on Thursday: Tuesday's game is against the Giants, Wednesday's against the Giants at Scottsdale Stadium, and Thursday against the Cubs at Sloan Park in Mesa.
- Darren Bush, hitting coach: Joe Stiglich writes about Darren Bush moving from the bullpen into the hitting coach role vacated by Chili Davis.
- Meet Josh Phegley: Alex Espinosa continues his "Who the hell are these guys?" series at The Rickey Henderson with his profile and interview of catcher Josh Phegley. Espinosa writes, "If there's one upgrade that Phegley definitely brings to this team, it's on defense. He was a 2012 MiLB Gold Glvoe winner and has thrown out a stellar 46 percent (179 of 392) would-be base stealers throughout his six-year career in the minors."
Chad Smith arrives: MLB.com's Jane Lee snagged an interview with the newest pitcher on the 40-man roster, Chad Smith. Smith grew up in Southern California, playing at USC with Ryan Cook. He has family in the Bay Area, which resulted in this picture of him when he was five:
New A's reliever Chad Smith was kind enough to share the photo he was talking about this morning. Here he is at age 5 pic.twitter.com/FH6QBaQdIA— Jane Lee (@JaneMLB) February 28, 2015