Spring Game #10: A's lose to Angels 4-1

Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

Editor's recap (JJ209 ended up needing to step aside, so here's a quick summary of the game):

Marco Estrada started for the A's and got knocked around in his spring debut. The six hits he allowed included homers by Mike Trout and Albert Pujols, plus a few more double on top of that. He eventually allowed three runs in the 3rd thanks to the dingers, which was all the Angels ended up needing for the day. Three more pitchers combined to hold things down from there, including three scoreless from Tanner Anderson as well as the spring debut of prospect Grant Holmes, but the damage had been done.

Meanwhile, Oakland's lineup only managed three baserunners through the first six innings, and one of those reached on an error. They finally scored in the 7th, on an RBI double by Luis Barrera, but that was all they mustered. Parker Bridwell gave the run back to his old teammates in the 8th, and the A's lost 4-1.

Original pregame preview by JJ209

Game number 10 of the A's spring training schedule, which means I am now out of fingers to count as I try to keep track of how many games we have played. I of course am joking, I don't keep track of the number of spring training games. Today's lineup against those lovable Angels (it's opposite day right?) is not the most star studded lineup at first glance. When you glance the second time, it still remains the case unfortunately. I did however make an effort and on that third time through the lineup (unlike some pitchers I can go three times through a lineup) there are some noteworthy aspects to this game. In particular, a guy who will be counted on to be a key figure in the rotation will be making his spring training debut in Marco Estrada.

Estrada signed a 1 year $4 million dollar deal over a month ago after spending the past few seasons with the Blue Jays and is now looked upon as an established veteran who can take the ball every 5 days. There is plenty for him to set out and prove this season, and first and foremost it may be to show that he's healthy. Estrada dealt with lower body and back issues as he wrapped up his time in Toronto, and the hope is that he can put that past him and return to some of his previous success on the mound. Estrada at his best has been able to generate a healthy amount of strike outs and helped keep the ball in the park within reason. The last two seasons however, Estrada had struggled to a tune of 1.50 HR/9 in 33 starts in 2017 and 1.82 HR/9 in 28 starts in 2018. That will have to come down in 2019 for him to sustain any success that mirrored his previous best work.

Playing behind Estrada today will be a mix of guys who are all facing different circumstances as the season approaches. Dustin Fowler and Franklin Barreto lead off at the top of the lineup for this game as they try to make their best case for management to look their way during the season. Both Fowler and Barreto could have had better 2018 seasons as neither found a way to establish themselves as every day players last year but still are in a position where they can make an impact when an opportunity becomes present. The talent is not lacking for either guy but they may have to force their way through their production to get a chance to show it in the majors this year. Chad Pinder and Mark Canha follow in the lineup as two of the A's more flexible guys between the infield and outfield. Their roles as of now may be a little more unclear than it was in the past, but both are scheduled to get some at bats in this game. Finally, we have some fun prospects to keep tabs on in the lineup with Jorge Mateo and Luis Barrera playing at SS and RF respectively. There will be some loud tools to watch out for when they hit the field today, which all starts up at 12:10 PM/PT 1:10 PM/MT.