(Editor's Note: Welcome to the next round of Spring Training Auditions, in which community members try their hands at previewing and recapping A's games. Check back later for jontayl's recap of the action!)
If there ever was a true oxymoron, it'd be "Happy Monday!," but that's exactly what the Athletics are hoping for against Texas. If you ask me, the Oakland/Texas rivalry is one of the more underrated ones in the MLB, and it'll be interesting to see what comes of this preliminary game. It won't be televised, so you'll have to listen online via an MLB webcast.
Jesse Hahn, traded for in the offseason in exchange for all-star C Derek Norris, starts today against the ever-worthy foes (except last year, when they barely came out below the 100-loss mark) that dwell in Arlington: The Texas Rangers, who are plodding along to the tune of a 3-3 record.
They've had a more or less mediocre spring this far along. Yesterday, the Rangers tried everything in their power to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory (yes, you read that right), yet they still came out on top of the Indians , 8-7.
Few players on the Rangers are on absolute tears, and if they were, it'd be hard to judge given how few at-bats they've had. The recently healthy 1B/DH Prince Fielder homered for the Rangers on Sunday, though it should be noted that he is only 1 for 7 overall.
INF Jurickson Profar, LHP Martin Perez, LHP Matt Harrison, and, most notably, RHP Yu Darvish will be riding Texas' bench due to injury concerns. Because the Rangers have a long, sacred tradition of dropping like flies, I expect this list to lengthen as the season goes on, but, fortunately, that's all for now.
Note: I only say "fortunately" because I don't like seeing guys hurt. I am not in any way rooting for Texas.
It's not even halfway through Spring Training, so I'm not too keen on using words like "disastrous," but that's pretty much the only word for yesterday. As guest-writer Frakking-anustart did a superb job of reporting on, the A's were dealt their first loss (their record is now 4-1-1) in the form of a blowout, thanks in part to a complete meltdown by offseason acquisition Tyler Clippard. Going forward, this game will undoubtedly push switch-pitcher Pat Vinditte (who wasn't given a lot of wiggle room by home plate umpire Marcus Pattillo, whose ability to call the pitches of sidearmers should be called into question) and Brad Mills a bit further down on the depth chart, though they were both low enough to begin with. Though Billy Butler went the distance with a deep fly ball that wound up in the bullpen, he was unable to singlehandedly save the A's.
As if that's not enough, yesterday, we all saw Coco Crisp leave the game as a part of a continuation of what seems to be a perpetual cycle of optimism and injury. As Jane Lee reports:
Coco had some elbow soreness. Nothing serious, but A's of course want to be cautious with him. He wasn't scheduled to play tomorrow, anyway.— Jane Lee (@JaneMLB) March 8, 2015
Josh Reddick is also out and will continue to sit with a hurt oblique for the foreseeable future:
Other injury updates, courtesy of the Athletics' official site, are as follows:
- 1B Nate Freiman (Back) will possibly be ready for opening day, though his position with the major league club is seriously in question.
- LHP Sean Nolin (Groin) is scheduled to throw from flat ground today. He too is listed as a possibility for opening day, though he will likely spend the first few months of the season (at least) in the minors.
- RHP Jarrod Parker (Tommy John) is progressing well and will soon pitch live batting practice. His ETA is scheduled for June.
- C Stephen Vogt (Foot) returns today. He will start behind the plate for Oakland.
To thank you for reading this sophomoric attempt at sportswriting, here is a tweet from former Athletic Brandon McCarthy:
good work on the seedless watermelon science. Now give us the not a complete pain in the ass to eat artichoke— Brandon McCarthy (@BMcCarthy32) March 9, 2015
Here's your Starting Nine! (Or ten– depending on how you look at things)
Today's A's in Surprise vs. Rangers pic.twitter.com/cIjyTCWPZr— Jane Lee (@JaneMLB) March 9, 2015
Sorry for the delay in posting. Let's have a great game today!