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Fatrolf’s Tuesday Sketches: The Return of the Baby Giraffe Edition

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And, Mark Canha is the bride you’ve always wanted

Seeing guys like Mark Canha stand out is always satisfying. He’s a great guy, he’s the kind of person you want to be friends with — and probably go out to dinner with. He’s an every-man’s kind of guy. He’s there, anywhere you need him, always performing well, but never in the spotlight, despite the hard work he puts in.

This season, Canha has been better than ever. He has already crushed 23 dingers, when his previous season best was 17. He has taken last year’s .248/.329/.449 to a whopping .273/.389/.539 ... and the season isn’t even over yet!

This past week, Canha has finally gotten the recognition he deserves in being named AL Player of the Week. Woohoo! In typical Canha fashion, he stated that there were a few weeks this season where he felt like the bridesmaid, and now finally gets to feel like the bride.

A bride that can crush four homers off the Yankees and Giants back to back? That’s my kinda bride!

The A’s have been on the right side of luck this season when it comes to major injuries — please knock on wood after you read this sentence. Earlier in the week, Matt Chapman suffered a fastball to the side of his batting helmet in Wednesday’s game against the Royals. He was immediately taken out of the game and tested for concussion symptoms, which thankfully turned up negative, and he returned to action Friday against the Yankees.

Khris Davis has been out since Wednesday on paternity leave for the birth of his second child. In his stead, the A’s called up infielder Sheldon Neuse, who couldn’t have asked for better fanfare to debut in than the A’s 8-2 win over New York on Friday. Neuse has been pruning a .317 batting average and 27 dingers for AAA Vegas this season, a big jump after hitting .263 last season. While he went 0-for-3 on Friday, Neuse got experience playing second and picked up his first touch of a Big League bag with a walk. He finally got his first hit on Sunday, in his third game in the majors.

Speaking of baby hullabaloo, Chris Bassit’s wife, Jessica, was also expecting a baby last weekend!

Another guy ready to make an impact is new rookie Seth Brown, who hit the game-tying double on Saturday in the sixth inning as a pinch hitter. He got the call up after Stephen Piscotty was placed on the IL and Nick Martini was DFA’d to make room on the 40-man. Brown has been a’brewin since the A’s drafted him back in 2015, but this is the first time he’s bobbed to the surface. The 27-year-old Oregon native has made sure the A’s like what they see. He’s hot to start his young career so far, as he’s got 7 RBI and 11 hits already in 27 plate appearances.

Jurickson Profar finally had a great week, picking up his 17th dinger, three hits and three RBI in Thursday’s game against the Royals. He backed that statement up on Friday, contributing almost exactly the same numbers to the 8-2 victory over the Yankees.

Mike Fiers picked up his 13th win of the season, which ties him for fifth in the league. The W is his 11th in a row. Thank goodness “Fiers is hot” and “Fiers is on fire” puns will never, ever get old.

The A’s picked up RHP Matt Harvey on August 15th. In an attempt to bolster the ‘pen, Harvey will be pitching relief for AAA Vegas before he gets the ball in Oakland — if that time comes.

Liam Hendriks has stayed hungry this season, gobbling up his 17th save of the season, now eclipsing Blake Treinen’s 16. He’s been dishing out mad relief work, but his closing skills are not to be trifled with — except last Sunday against the Yankees, but, we don’t need to talk about that.

Sean Manaea is BACK!! Yes, the return of our Baby Giraffe finally happened (pinky promise, no take-backs!), and on Sunday he made his first start in the majors since August 24, 2018. And boy did he look good, firing five shutout innings against the Yankees and throwing as hard as 94 mph on his fastball.

It is possible the A’s will rock a six-man rotation, considering how well everyone is performing. However, Manaea’s return gives the team options in case someone gets hurt, or if they decide to shift an arm to the ‘pen.

Also, this appeared as I was finishing up my article last week, so I didn’t catch it. Thanks, Brett, glad to know we’re on the same wavelength!