As residents of Athleticsville, we resigned to sitting back and watching as our rising stars rise like little phoenixes out of their rookie contracts and fly off to bigger and better paychecks. It’s the nature of the beast when it comes to being a fan of a small-market team. We know anyone who performs above the mean isn’t going to be with us — any why should they, when they can be getting paid more to perform for a more famous franchise?
Khris Davis is our latest gem, a real stand-up Athletics kind of guy. He’s humble and hard working, his dad is a volunteer coach for the UCLA Bruins softball team, he’s a Lakewood, California native, and he flipped his life around, going from an unwanted Brewer to being our star slugger. And on Thursday, instead of letting him walk away to more money elsewhere, we locked him in for two more years.
If you missed this news, maybe you were pre-gaming for 4/20 too hard or got distracted by the Sharks and Warriors. Understandable, but this is baseball saying Helloooooo! Remember me?! Listen to baseball.
The terms are reported at $16.75 million each year in 2020 and 2021 for a total of $33.5 million, which keeps Davis Khrushin’ in an A’s uniform until he’s 33. This makes him the highest-paid A’s player ever, which absolutely no one is complaining about ever.
Chris Bassitt is set to return on Monday night in the series opener against the Rangers. Bassitt injured his shin in March while the A’s took on the Nippon-Ham Fighters in Japan. Which, to those who don’t pay attention to pre-season games, might sound like an Alice In Wonderland-themed fever dream, however, I can promise it was real baseball that actually happened.
On the other side of the coin, Marco Estrada landed on the 10-day DL last Wednesday with a lumbar strain. Estrada reported the back tightness had been a persistent issue since Spring Training, though he hoped in vain that it would go away with time. Estrada started off looking hot, but fell into painful-to-watch territory with his last couple starts, so maybe some proper R&R is exactly what he needs right now. This is not the first time Estrada has started baseball season with back pain.
Fingers crossed Estrada will take proper care this time before assuring a healthy start and will be back on track with what we saw in the first couple games.
If you turned off yesterday’s 10-1 painful mess early, you missed out on peak baseball antics.
We expected to see Kendrys Morales popping up where needed on the infield, but the pitcher’s mound was not on anyone’s radar ... or was it? Down 9-1 in the 9th on Matt Chapman bobblehead night, the A’s decided to save their bullpen from tossing pointless pitches by plugging in veteran infielder, Morales, to record their last outs. His heater hovered between 81-85 mph and he did give up a run, two walks and hit a guy, but Morales got out of the jam and recorded his three outs he set out for.
This was not the first time Morales tossed the rosin bag and scuffed his cleats on the pitching rubber. Last year, Morales took the mound for the Blue Jays ... against the Oakland A’s!
Morales’ career ERA stands now at a solid 4.50.
"Three outs is nothing."— A's on NBCS (@NBCSAthletics) April 21, 2019
Kendrys Morales had to pitch an inning with the A's losing big on Saturday https://t.co/BzMqXMXWXX pic.twitter.com/Fez2JCkbfr
In another odd twist of events, Brett Anderson still holds the team’s lowest ERA and is tied with Frankie Montas at three wins apiece. Looking to keep his win streak stay alive and well, Anderson is taking the mound against Aaron Sanchez in the series finale against Toronto today at 1:07 p.m. We may have lost the series, but we can avoid the sweep and get the pleasure of watching a lossless Brett Anderson be very happy. Oh, and maybe a Khrush dinger or two!