A few pieces of random Oakland A’s news that we didn’t get to this morning. Not included in this roundup, but worth mentioning: the A’s just took 2-of-3 from the first-place Indians and allowed only three runs along the way! Yowza.
There is also stadium news, which you can read about here.
Billy Butler apologizes
Let’s get this one out of the way first. A quick timeline to catch you up:
- Danny Valencia and Billy Butler get into a fight in the clubhouse, with Valencia injuring Butler via a punch to the head. (Incident occurred Friday, reported publicly Sunday.)
- Players side with Valencia.
- Details emerge, everyone looks dumb. Both players are fined by the team.
- What the fight probably (didn’t) look like.
- Butler to 7-day concussion DL
After waiting a couple extra days for his brain to recover a bit from its injury, Butler has now made his public statements. They are good, well-worded statements, that say exactly what they need to and what you’d expect them to. For the full quotes, here is Susan Slusser’s report at the S.F. Chronicle, here is Mark Chiarelli’s version for MLB.com, and here is Joe Stiglich’s writeup for CSN. Pick your favorite!
As for analysis, I’ve already said my piece on this matter. I already didn’t want these players on the A’s anymore because they aren’t good enough. Even if I fully accept that this is a non-issue moving forward, which might really be true, the whole incident just makes me want them around that much less. I probably wouldn’t care at all if these were good MLB players, but they’re not, so I don’t have a lot of benefit of the doubt to offer.
Anyway, this is probably the end of this story. Yay!
Slusser ran down some injury updates on Twitter this morning.
And Melvin says Sonny Gray is feeling much better and might do some throwing in the coming week while team is away.— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) August 24, 2016
That’s good news! Regarding what to do with Sonny for the rest of the year, I could go either way — just shut him down and let him rest, or, if he’s really ready to go, let him give it one more shot in September and see if he can end this nightmare season on a positive note. There is something good in each option.
Hahn will throw rehab outing with @nashvillesounds likely Tuesday.— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) August 24, 2016
Hahn pitched for Nashville last Tuesday (Aug. 16) and was decent (4 ip, 1 run, 6 Ks, 3 BB, 2 hits). The original plan was for him to start last Sunday against the White Sox, but he had a minor setback so he’s taking another turn in Triple-A. At this point, it’s worth the extra wait to make sure he comes back right.
Phegley will DH on a rehab assignment on Saturday.— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) August 24, 2016
The catcher is one step closer to a September return!
Henderson Alvarez will throw an inning with rookie ball Arizona on Sat.— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) August 24, 2016
Let’s shift any remaining excitement about Alvarez toward the possibility of him emerging as a quality set-up man.
Meanwhile, Sean Doolittle was originally supposed to have returned by now but his rehab was extended last weekend (via Jane Lee). He pitched for Triple-A Nashville on Tuesday, tossing a scoreless inning on 10 pitches. Over at Inside The A’s, John Hickey reports that Doo will pitch again for Nashville on Friday and could return to the A’s as early as this weekend against the Cardinals. (He also has a few extra details about the other A’s injuries listed above, including a new target return date for Hahn.)
And one more update, from Hickey:
Billy Butler happy his concussion issues seem to be receding. Still has to pass concussion test this weekend in St.Louis. #Athletics— John Hickey (@JHickey3) August 24, 2016
Well thank goodness, the DH could be back just in time for a series in an NL stadium. How helpful!
Marcus Semien was finally put on the paternity list before Wednesday’s game -- congratulations to the Semien family! Wife Tarah and new son Isaiah are doing well (via Hickey).
(Less important note: There is a three-day max for paternity leave, so he’ll be back on the roster by Saturday at the latest.)
His middle infield backup Arismendy Alcantara was already on the roster (taking Butler’s spot), so Semien’s spot will briefly be filled by reliever J.B. Wendelken. The right-hander has pitched in three games for the A’s this year, with a line of 5⅓ innings, 5 runs, 5 Ks, 3 BB, 6 hits. In his most recent outing, on July 31 against the Indians, he tossed three scoreless frames while mopping up in an 8-0 loss.
Wendelken, AAA: 39 games, 4.11 ERA, 46 ip, 65 Ks, 26 BB, 5 HR, 4.28 FIP