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Spring Game Thread #17: A’s vs. Royals

A.J. Puk is back!!!

2021 Oakland Athletics Photo Day Photo by Robert Beck/MLB Photos via Getty Images

It’s A.J. Puk Day!

The Oakland A’s top prospect hasn’t pitched in a game since last spring. He hurt his shoulder almost exactly a year ago and missed the entire 2020 campaign, but now he’s ready to go. The lefty is on the mound to start the team’s Cactus League game Wednesday against the Kansas City Royals, facing a lineup of all righties (one switch-hitter).

We’re also hoping to see new closer Trevor Rosenthal today, after his spring debut was delayed by a slight groin strain.

Meanwhile, the A’s hitters will go up against a recent former teammate in Mike Minor. The left-hander was acquired by Oakland from Texas last summer at the trade deadline, then became a free agent after the season and signed a two-year contract with Kansas City over the winter.

Did you know the Royals still have outfielder Bubba Starling? He was drafted in 2011 and was once a national Top 20 prospect, and he finally played in the majors the last two seasons, though he had negative WAR both years. He’s still just 28 years old.

First pitch is (was) 1:05 p.m. PT. You can listen to the radio broadcast for free online at A’s Cast.

A’s lineup (home)

  1. CF Mark Canha (R)
  2. SS Elvis Andrus (R)
  3. 1B Matt Olson (L)
  4. 3B Matt Chapman (R)
  5. DH Jed Lowrie (S)
  6. RF Stephen Piscotty (R)
  7. 2B Chad Pinder (R)
  8. C Aramis Garcia (R)
  9. LF Ka’ai Tom (L)
  • LHP A.J. Puk

Another MLB lineup! Including Garcia and Tom as they compete for spots.

Royals lineup (away)

  1. RF Whit Merrifield (R)
  2. CF Michael A. Taylor (R)
  3. 3B Hunter Dozier (R)
  4. 1B Ryan McBroom (R)
  5. DH Emmanuel Rivera (R)
  6. LF Bubba Starling (R)
  7. C Cam Gallagher (R)
  8. SS Jeison Guzman (S)
  9. 2B Gabriel Cancel (R)
  • LHP Mike Minor

Let’s go Oakland!