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Oakland A’s Series Preview #12: Padres welcome A’s back to action

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San Diego leads MLB in scoring per game

San Diego Padres v Colorado Rockies
Fernando Tatis Jr comes to town
Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

The Oakland A’s haven’t played a game since last Saturday, and they haven’t won since the Wednesday before that. But that’s only because most of their scheduled dates have been postponed, due first to league-wide protests and then a coronavirus hiatus — they’re 2-2 in their last four actual appearances. In the meantime, the green and gold has been passed by the Tampa Bay Rays for the best record in the AL, but still lead the West division by two games.

San Diego Padres

  • 2020 record: 23-16

It’s a breakout! For the first time in over a decade, the Padres are making noise in the NL West. They’re still comfortably behind the MLB-best Dodgers in the standings, but they’re firmly the No. 4 seed in the NL as by far the best second-place team in the senior circuit. And they’re on fire right now, winning 12 of their last 16 games.

San Diego is doing it by being good at everything. Their lineup is scoring the most runs per game in the majors, led by four infielders who each have OPS marks of .950 or higher. Those big contracts to Eric Hosmer and Manny Machado are paying off, 21-year-old Fernando Tatis is backing up his incredible 2019 rookie performance, and 26-year-old rookie Jake Cronenworth somehow turned out to be the prize of the Hunter Renfroe for Tommy Pham trade.

In the outfield, Wil Myers is having a career year and just got back from the injured list, Trent Grisham patrols CF while offering power at the plate, and Jurickson Profar is hitting about like he did last year for Oakland but without having to make throws to first base. And at the deadline, they just added a pair of A’s killers in 1B/DH Mitch Moreland and catcher Jason Castro.

On the pitching side, their rotation was good and then they added Mike Clevinger at the deadline. Their bullpen lost Kirby Yates, who is Liam Hendriks’ only real challenger for the title of best reliever in MLB, but replaced him with Drew Pomeranz — the former A’s lefty has let only seven of his 39 batters reach base and is yet to allow a run, all while improving his rapport with the clubhouse furniture.

The Padres are good. This is the best opponent the A’s have faced this year and a serious early test of Oakland’s true mettle, made much tougher by their long layoff leading up to it. Welcome back fellas, now go sprint up that mountain!

Projected lineup

  • CF Trent Grisham (L)
  • SS Fernando Tatis Jr (R)
  • 3B Manny Machado (R)
  • 1B Eric Hosmer (L)
  • RF Wil Myers (R)
  • 2B Jake Cronenworth (L)
  • LF Jurickson Profar (S)
  • DH Mitch Moreland (L)
  • C Austin Nola (R)

Oh here let’s just throw in Moreland, the object of your A’s nightmares, as an afterthought at the end of the lineup. No biggie. The A’s are starting two lefties, so it’s possible we may only see Jason Castro behind the plate once, though it’s a day game Saturday (after a Friday night opener) so he may still go against the platoon. Also look out for former A’s prospect Jorge Mateo, who is on the active roster but hasn’t done much yet.

Starting pitchers

These are the three expected starters:

  • Fri: Zack Davies (R) vs. Jesús Luzardo (6:40 p.m.)
  • Sat: Chris Paddack (R) vs. Sean Manaea (1:10 p.m.)
  • Sun: Garrett Richards (R) vs. Mike Fiers (1:10 p.m.)

Yikes. Davies is a stud so far, Paddack was a stud last year but is giving up some dingers this summer, and Richards is a former ace having a solid bounce-back. And we’re not even seeing their two best starters (Clevinger and Dinelson Lamet).

Bench/Bullpen

Here’s the Padres’ full 28-man roster:

San Diego Padres 28-man roster
Pitchers Hitters
Starters

Mike Clevinger (R)
Dinelson Lamet (R)
Zach Davies (L)
Chris Paddack (R)
Garrett Richards (R)

Relievers

Drew Pomeranz (L)
Matt Strahm (L)
Dan Altavilla (R)
Javy Guerra (R)
Tim Hill (L)
Pierce Johnson (R)
Adrian Morejon (L)
Luis Patino (R)
Luis Perdomo (R)
Trevor Rosenthal (R)
Craig Stammen (R)
Catchers

Jason Castro (L)
Austin Nola (R)

Infielders

Eric Hosmer (L)
Jake Cronenworth (L)
Fernando Tatis Jr (R)
Manny Machado (R)
Greg Garcia (L)
Jorge Mateo (R)
Mitch Moreland (L)

Outfielders

Trent Grisham (L)
Wil Myers (R)
Jurickson Profar (S)

10-day IL: LHP Jose Castillo (lat), RHP Emilio Pagan (bicep), RHP Kirby Yates (elbow), C Francisco Mejia (thumb), OF Tommy Pham (hand)

45-day IL: RHP Austin Adams (knee), RHP Trey Wingenter (elbow)