There are 11 days left until Opening Day for the Oakland A’s. Let’s check out the latest news in the meantime!
- Team USA won the 2017 World Baseball Classic! The United States had never even medaled before, topping out at fourth place in 2009, but now they’ve won gold in the fourth installment of the international tournament (previous winners: Japan twice, and Dominican Republic). Team USA defeated Puerto Rico 8-0 in the championship game on Wednesday. Blue Jays pitcher Marcus Stroman was named the MVP of the tourney. Here’s the full recap from MLB’s site.
- Backup catcher Ryan Lavarnway is in camp after a great experience in the WBC (Carl Steward, Mercury News).
- Sonny Gray visited a lat expert on Monday, and he could be back earlier than expected (Susan Slusser, S.F. Chronicle). However, he learned last year not to rush things (John Hickey, Mercury News). In the meantime, the A’s aren’t planning to look outside the organization to help cover for Sonny’s absence (Joe Stiglich, CSN).
- In Slusser’s story about Sonny linked above, she also updated Chris Bassitt’s positive progress as he rehabs from Tommy John surgery.
- Melissa Lockard of Oakland Clubhouse suggests the following while Sonny is out: 3-man rotation, piggyback tandems for the last two spots (i.e., two long men teaming up for one long “start”).
- Joey Wendle has been out the last week due to a shoulder issue. Not sure precisely when he’ll be back. (Slusser, Stiglich)
- Jaff Decker, competing for a final outfield spot, is dealing with an oblique strain (Susan Slusser, S.F. Chronicle). He was “easing back into action” on Wednesday (Stiglich).
Other player news
- Frankie Montas is legitimately in the mix for the A’s Opening Day bullpen (John Hickey, Mercury News). Here’s Slusser’s take.
- Among the in-house rotation depth in the minors, hot prospect Daniel Gossett could be here sooner than later (Joe Stiglich, CSN). We could also see the team’s No. 1 prospect, infielder Franklin Barreto, sometime this season (Slusser).
- Get to know the A’s new 3B, Trevor Plouffe! (Susan Slusser, S.F. Chronicle)
- Khris Davis and Matt Chapman both went to CSU Fullerton, and they’re fans of each other (Jane Lee, MLB.com)
- Yonder Alonso doesn’t always hit, but he’s always fun (John Hickey, Mercury News)
- The A’s released their new TV ads (click here to watch), with the theme of “Rooted in Oakland.”
- As part of A’s Spirit Week next week, fans can trade in their Giants hat for an A’s hat. One of the events where you can do so will be the unveiling of this mural on Monday:
- The A’s haven’t won a ring in a while, but their upcoming rookies are getting in the habit early.
Not a bad 2016 season. Texas League and Arizona Fall League championship rings. Excited about 2017! pic.twitter.com/0RkW6XlZdQ— Trey Cochran-Gill (@TCG_14) March 21, 2017
Have a great Thursday, Athletics Nation!