Good morning, Athletics Nation!
The Oakland A’s have completed their Summer Camp preseason exhibition schedule, which lasted all of two days. For the second night in a row they dropped their game to the Giants, but it was just practice; the real games begin for the A’s on Friday.
In the meantime, there are some new updates from the team insiders as everyone makes their final preparations for the new 60-game campaign.
First up is rookie lefty A.J. Puk, who was placed on the injured list Monday with a shoulder strain. He received a cortisone shot and will rest for a couple days, and then will miss a few weeks at the minimum, with no specific timetable for his return.
On the bright side, fellow rookie lefty Jesus Luzardo, still warming up after missing time to a positive coronavirus test, should be ready to go (out of the bullpen) sometime during the first couple games of the season if needed, reports inside Martin Gallegos.
As for the position players, two roster questions finally came into focus Tuesday. Regarding the catching position, the A’s will go with two catchers on their Opening Day roster: Sean Murphy and Austin Allen. The third candidate, top prospect Jonah Heim, will not make the roster but will be on the three-man taxi squad as a backup, reports Bill Moriarity of Athletics Farm.
In the infield, Chad Pinder got the start Tuesday at the crowded second base position, and he’s “likely” to start again on Opening Day this-coming Friday, says Gallegos. The report doesn’t specify where he would play, but presumably the implication was 2B, given the extremely crowded outfield that pushed him back to the infield this week in the first place. The A’s are facing a lefty starter that night in Andrew Heaney of the Angels, giving them the chance to use a right-handed batter against him at 2B, and Pinder is getting the first crack over Franklin Barreto in that regard.
Finally, the A’s added a new player to their 60-man pool, when the Reds returned Rule 5 draft pick Mark Payton. The outfielder was nabbed by Cincinnati last winter but was apparently not going to make their roster, so now he gives the A’s some extra lefty non-roster depth as an MLB-ready lotto ticket.
- Gallegos: Fiers ‘a little erratic’ in final tune-up
- Gallegos: Notes: Puk, Luzardo updates; Payton returns
- Hickey: Puk Gets Cortisone Shot, Unlikely to be back with Athletics Anytime Soon
- Hickey: Rule 5 Outfielder Mark Payton Returned to Athletics by Reds
- Hickey: Pinder Gets Bad Call on Would-Be Homer, but he and Allen Enjoy Their Oracle Night
- Kawahara: A’s fall 4-2 to Giants in final tune-up; Pinder provides a jolt but hitters are quiet ($)
- Kawahara: A’s Burch Smith, acquired from Giants, builds case for bullpen role ($)
- Slusser: A’s catching corps is young, talented and ‘down to the nitty gritty every day’ ($)
- Slusser podcast: View from the top: GM David Forst
- Brazil (video): Matt Chapman details why the A’s should find success in shortened MLB season
- Brazil: Liam Hendriks describes ‘surreal’ camp preparing for 2020 MLB season
- Lockard: A’s scouting director Eric Kubota weighs in on the team’s UDFA signings ($$$)
- Hall: Exhibition Game Recap #2: Oakland A’s saving their wins for regular season
- Hall: First impressions of an MLB game with no fans
- Hall: Reds return Rule 5 draft pick Mark Payton to A’s
- Hall: NL West 2020 preview: San Francisco Giants are rebuilding
- A’s trivia: A’s and Giants in the 21 century
MLB News, & Interest:
- Sheldon: Reds players kneel during national anthem
- Stephen: Dodgers sign Jake McGee to one-year deal
- Cole: Braves sign RHP Jhoulys Chacin to a one year deal
- Adams: Rays Trade Dylan Covey To Red Sox
- Adams: Rays’ Colin Poche Diagnosed With Torn UCL
- Knight: What happens if an MLB player tests positive on the road? ($$$)
- Drellich: New MLB sign-stealing, video rules not yet finalized with season near ($$$)
- Stark: Eight numbers that will define baseball in 2020 ($$$)
- Longenhagen: 2020 Positional Power Rankings: Bullpen (No. 1-15)
- Harding: Rookie Sam Hilliard’s dad, fighting ALS, to attend opener
- Today in Baseball History
A’s Game Highlights:
Clearly a homer
Four man outfield? No problem for Oly pic.twitter.com/CGzOF78xRn— A's on NBCS (@NBCSAthletics) July 22, 2020
They ran on Ramon.
Apparently during the pandemic the basic baseball rule of Don’t Run on Ramon was forgotten.— Melissa Lockard (@melissalockard) July 22, 2020
A familiar arm, and one who’s incredibly fun to watch.
Andrew Triggs sighting. He comes on to pitch for the Giants in the seventh.— Martín Gallegos (@MartinJGallegos) July 22, 2020
Best of Twitter:
La Potencia is back in action in New York!
Yoenis Cespedes said he will be the Mets' DH on Opening Day.— Tim Healey (@timbhealey) July 21, 2020
The Pittsburgh Blue Jays ...
Can confirm the Blue Jays have been told they will be calling PNC Park “home” this season per MLB source. @longleysunsport was first to suggest Pittsburgh as option.— Hazel Mae (@thehazelmae) July 22, 2020
Giants players kneel for second night in a row:
Giants continue to kneel during the national anthem, this time at Oracle Park. pic.twitter.com/qWgZItNfga— John Shea (@JohnSheaHey) July 22, 2020
One of those Giants players continues to speak publicly about his decision:
A’s catcher Bruce Maxwell is happy to see others following his lead:
Bruce Maxwell was happy to see Gabe Kapler and Giants players kneeling during the national anthem last night pic.twitter.com/hwMG6x5s1T— A's on NBCS (@NBCSAthletics) July 21, 2020
Good to hear
Bob Melvin said today the A's are supportive of any action their players take to protest racial injustice. That's what you'd expect, since the team fully backed Bruce Maxwell's decision to kneel three years ago.— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) July 21, 2020
Some friends showed up in the late innings of last night’s game to help the Giants seal the deal