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Elephant Rumblings: Sean Manaea, Mike Fiers, Chris Bassitt to pitch in Oakland A’s exhibition games

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MLB news roundup

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim v Oakland Athletics
Fiers and Bassitt will team up on Tuesday in San Francisco
Photo by Michael Zagaris/Oakland Athletics/Getty Images

Good morning, Athletics Nation!

Live baseball is just around the corner, after an extra-long wait due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Oakland A’s will open their 2020 season next week, on Friday, July 24, at home against the Angels to begin their 60-game schedule. But first, they’ve got a couple exhibition games with the Giants, on Monday and Tuesday — that’s just four days away!

As we eagerly anticipate our first A’s games in nearly 10 months, Wednesday brought an update on the upcoming scrimmages. Sean Manaea will start the Monday game at the Coliseum, while Mike Fiers and Chris Bassitt will each pitch on Tuesday in San Francisco, reports insider Martin Gallegos and the other beat writers. The games will be televised on NBCS California and NBCS Bay Area, respectively, around 6:40 p.m. PT.

It’s fun to know who we’ll see on TV for these long-awaited contests, even though they’re just practice and don’t count for anything, but there are even bigger implications to this news. With Opening Day just a few days after the exhibitions, everyone pitching against the Giants is likely ruled out of starting the regular season opener. That leaves Frankie Montas as a leading candidate, suggests Susan Slusser of the S.F. Chronicle.

Of course, Montas wouldn’t exactly be a surprising choice for Opening Day. He was easily the team’s best starter last year before his season was abruptly cut short in June by a PED suspension. He’s received rave reviews during the shutdown and Summer Camp, and is as good a pick as any to lead this Oakland rotation. It’s not official yet, but bet on seeing him next Friday against the Halos. Check out John Hickey of Sports Illustrated for more details on Montas.

A’s Coverage:

MLB News, & Interest:

Summer Camp video

Enjoy some batting practice from Wednesday’s workout at the Coliseum! No commentary from Townie this time, though.

Bonus hype video!

Best of Twitter:

See my link in the A’s Coverage section for more info on the piggybacking strategy

Interesting note on a name we don’t talk about much

Turns out Joe Smith didn’t officially opt out yet, but he’s on the restricted list while he decides

And a new detail on the topic of opt-outs

Good news on the MLB injury front (dealing with a back issue)

Some cool A’s history from Wednesday

Sneak peek of the cardboard fans