Good morning, Athletics Nation!
Now that the Oakland A’s full squad is cleared to work out at the Coliseum, after completing initial screening tests for coronavirus, the next question is where to locate the alternate training site for their minor leaguers.
In 2020, with no minor league season for their reserves and prospects to play in, each team gets an alternate site where those backups can stay warm. The A’s were initially going to hold theirs in Stockton at the home of their High-A affiliate, Banner Island Ballpark, but that idea lost favor when San Joaquin County saw an increase in virus cases. Now they’re looking at San Jose, reports Susan Slusser of the S.F. Chronicle.
The site in question is San Jose’s Municipal Stadium, officially called Excite Ballpark, home of the Giants’ High-A club. The Giants won’t need it because their camp will be in Sacramento at their Triple-A park.
It’s not a done deal yet, but the A’s are “close” to resolving this issue, says Slusser.
Wherever they end up, there will be 18 players initially reporting to alternate camp, out of the overall 60-man pool. They include starter prospects Grant Holmes, Daulton Jefferies, James Kaprielian, Tyler Baum, Parker Dunshee, and Brian Howard; relievers Wandisson Charles, and Miguel Romero; catchers Kyle McCann and Tyler Soderstrom; infielders Nick Allen, Logan Davidson, and Robert Puason; and outfielders Luis Barrera, Dustin Fowler, Brayan Buelvas, Greg Deichmann, and Buddy Reed.
That group will be joined by whoever else doesn’t make the Opening Day 30-man roster, out of the 42 players currently at the Coliseum.
The alternate site will be coached by the following list, per Melissa Lockard of The Athletic: Ed Sprague, Fran Riordan, Rick Rodriguez, Brian McArn, Tommy Everidge, Bobby Crosby, Javier Godard, Justin Whitehouse, Shane Zdebiak, Omar Aguilar, Henry Torres, Chad Yaconetti, and Thomas Miller.
Sprague is the A’s Director of Player Development, Riordan is their Triple-A manager, Rodriguez is their Triple-A pitching coach, and Everidge is their Double-A hitting coach. Crosby is the High-A Stockton Ports’ manager, and McArn is his hitting coach. Godard was set to be hitting coach at Single-A Beloit.
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- Hickey: Athletics’ Diekman Says MLB Needs to get Testing Issues Sorted Out, but is Otherwise Ready to Play
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- Bair: A’s home-field advantage will be different in 2020, Bob Melvin says
- Hall: Jesus Luzardo tests positive for coronavirus
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- Today in Baseball History
Summer Camp video
Enjoy some batting practice from Tuesday’s full-squad workout at the Coliseum!
Skip to the 58-minute mark to see Chapman and Olson dropping bombs.
Best of Twitter:
Best news possible after Luzardo’s positive test for coronavirus
Jesús Luzardo tells me, “I’m feeling good, just ready to get going once I get 2 negatives; praying for it to be soon.”— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) July 7, 2020
And even better news, from a Venezuelan sports journalist
Hi Susan, nice to meet you. I just spoke with Jesus and he told me that he feels good right now and he never showed any symptoms before.— Victor Boccone G. (@Vboccone) July 7, 2020
Have a great evening!
Reliever Jake Diekman, who is medically at-risk, is justifiably nervous
Jake Diekman was very candid during a zoom call with reporters: "If you can’t live in this bubble -- you can get every essential item delivered to your house -- if you can’t do it for 90 days, I honestly don’t know if I really want to talk to you.”— Martín Gallegos (@MartinJGallegos) July 7, 2020
Diekman says he might get s-for how outspoken he is about testing but he says as an at-risk player he wants to ensure it’s done in a timely fashion so the virus doesn’t sweep through anyone’s clubhouse.— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) July 7, 2020
And a baseball note on Diekman
Jake Diekman has been working on throwing his changeup a lot more he says.— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) July 7, 2020
Platinum doesn’t rust
A.J. Puk isn’t the only player with a new look this spring