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Weekdays at Bernie's, 3/28/16: Oakland A's rotation still unclear as spring draws to a close

A highly-touted righty could end up the odd man out of Oakland's rotation, while the A's thrashed the Kansas City Royals on Easter Sunday, among other news.

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Welcome back to Weekdays at Bernie's! It's the best dance in the game, so let's get rolling once more!

  • Poor performances by all involved have left the back end of the A's rotation up for grabs, writes Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle. Sonny Gray and Rich Hill are set in stone at the top, but the three spots behind them are there for the taking. Potential candidates include young righties Jesse Hahn, Kendall Graveman, and Chris Bassitt, veteran lefty Felix Doubront, and top prospect Sean Manaea. Slusser adds that, somewhat surprisingly, Hahn is "potentially out of the mix". For more, be sure to check out her article.
  • Graveman did nothing but help his case on Sunday afternoon, spinning seven strong innings against the reigning champion Kansas City Royals. Graveman allowed only one run on a solo home run in his last inning of work. He struck out six while walking only one and allowing four hits. His double-play combo of Jed Lowrie and Chris Coghlan supported him on offense, each swatting a home run in the A's 10-1 victory. For more on this game, be sure to check out CryoBioBoy's recap.
  • Outfielder Jake Smolinski and catcher Carson Blair have been reassigned to minor league camp, as the A's announced on Twitter. Blair is just a solid back-up catcher, but Smolinski, in my opinion, is very underrated. There simply isn't room for him in the outfield, but the 27 year-old notched a .236 ISO in his short stint with the A's last year - higher than his unfortunate .226 BABIP. I'm a believer in Smolinski, and I hope he gets the opportunity to break out at some point this season.
  • Manaea will remain in Arizona for a few days due to left leg tightness, as Slusser tweets. However, the injury is minor, and should not affect the lefty's chances at cracking the rotation.

The Best Shape of My Life

  • The Cubs-Mariners game was halted by ... huh? Oh, no ... NOT THE BEES! (link)
  • The Astros and Padres played an exhibition football baseball game in Mexico on Sunday. The Padres won 21-6. San Diego has never scored more than 20 runs in a regular season game before. Oddly enough, former A's prospect Brendan McCurry took the bulk of the damage, giving up eight earned runs in two thirds of an inning. (link)
  • For those of you baseball video game fans - Out of the Park Baseball 17, a baseball simulation game, has been released and now utilizes the ZiPS projection system created by Dan Szymborski (link). In addition, MLB The Show is set to release on Tuesday, March 29.
That's all for today. The A's, behind right-hander Jesse Hahn, will take on Danny Salazar and the Cleveland Indians at 1:05 P.M. PST. Feel free to dump any links in the comments below. Until next time - lean on, A's fans!