Today began rather inauspiciously for the Chicago White Sox, and it’s safe to say the day didn’t improve once they took the field in Mesa. After scratching Carlos Rodon from his scheduled start and finding out he will likely need to be placed on the disabled list, the A's proceeded to collect 15 hits en route to beating the South Siders 8-2.
- Kendall Graveman was dominant. Gravemen went 7 innings, allowing 5 hits, and struck out 7. He didn't walk anyone, didn't give up much hard contact, and looked totally in command from the very beginning. The A's pitching was quite good across the board - Liam Hendriks worked around an error and Ryan Dull, while perhaps not quite as sharp, still peppered the zone with strikes and worked a scoreless frame.
- The A's continue to hit. The A's batted around in the first inning scoring five runs, added two more in the second, and another run in the fourth. In addition to Ryon Healy absolutely smashing a home run, Oakland got 15 hits from 12 players and managed to work 8 walks. The bases were loaded so many times in the early innings it's actually surprising the A's didn't score more. The quality of at-bats was largely very good too.
- There were plenty of positives on defense. The A's turned a spectacular double play in the second when Jed Lowrie made a diving stop and Marcus Semian fired a bullet to first to get Avisail Garcia by half a step. Mark Canha looked very comfortable in center field and made a nice running catch on the warning track. Canha also added two hits and seems to be finally finding his legs again. And Matt Chapman made two nice plays at third base.
- While there was plenty to like in the field, there were also a lot of sloppy plays. Blame it on the high Arizona sky if you want but the A's dropped two pop-ups and Alonso booted a routine grounder.
- Chapman still doesn't look comfortable at the plate. He wasn't close to any of the pitches he swung at, and while he worked a four pitch walk in his second plate appearance, he didn't seem at all settled and looked like he was having trouble tracking the ball.
- There's still ten days until April 3rd. I don't know if it's coming down from the World Baseball Classic or what, but spring training this year seems like it's lasted forever.
- The A's are back at it tomorrow in split squad action with half the group in Mesa to face the Reds and the other half at Camelback Ranch to meet up with Rich Hill and the Dodgers. Any guesses on which game Jed Lowrie plays in?
- Khris Davis is not expected back until at least Sunday after suffering a minor quad injury.
- If you're a prospect junkie, look for young Cuban outfielder Lazarito Armenteros to potentially get a plate appearance or two tomorrow against the Dodgers.
A's win. Happy days. Have a great weekend everyone!