morning afternoon, Athletics Nation!
The Oakland A’s initially hoped to use Stockton for their alternate site camp last summer during the coronavirus pandemic, but they settled on San Jose instead due to factors including spikes in case rates. This year they’ll get their chance in Stockton after all.
The A’s will use Banner Island Ballpark as their alternate training site in 2021, the team announced Saturday. The park is home to the Low-A Ports, who have been an A’s minor league affiliate since 2005.
Stockton’s park is only 66 miles from the Coliseum, which is slightly farther away than Excite Ballpark in San Jose but still close enough to make it a convenient location geographically. And of course, precise mileage can mean different things in terms of travel time depending on which Bay Area highways you’re driving on.
It remains to be seen exactly how the alternate sites will be used this season. In April they might look much like they did last year, with 40-man roster backups staying warm for callups and top prospects getting reps, since the minor league season doesn’t begin until May. Lindsey Adler of The Athletic reported one crucial new change earlier this month, that “clubs will be allowed to set up what amount to Triple-A exhibition games against other alternate sites at their discretion” in April with league approval. In May and beyond, with the minors back in season, we’ll see.
For now, we can say for sure that the A’s alt site will be at the Stockton Ports’ ballpark, and players will begin reporting there on March 29 after MLB camp breaks, adds Matt Kawahara of the S.F. Chronicle. The regular season taxi squad that travels with the team on road trips will be up to five players including a catcher.
In related news, here’s the latest on the A’s 40-man roster, which said goodbye to one player over the weekend.
- Gallegos: A’s backup catcher battle up in the air
- Kawahara: A’s spring training observations: Matt Olson continues his spring tear ($)
- Kawahara: A’s shortstop Elvis Andrus driven to show there’s ‘a lot left in the tank’ ($)
- A’s Plus podcast: Host Matt Kawahara and guest Ed Sprague
- Rubin: For A’s new PA announcer Amelia Schimmel, trailblazing runs in the family ($$$)
- Coffey: The legend of A’s pitcher Jesús Luzardo’s 60 mph ‘turkey sub’: ‘I thought he was trying to punk me’ ($$$)
- Athletics Farm: Meet Your 2021 Oakland A’s! (Opening Day Roster projection)
MLB News & Interest
- Sarris: 6 spring training stats (and players) that might actually matter this season ($$$)
- Stark: ‘I’m gonna miss that stuff’: MLB pitchers are preparing for their last season at the plate ($$$)
- Rosenthal and Groke: Communication failures, poor decisions and messy breakups: How it all went wrong for the Colorado Rockies ($$$)
- Zencka: Jonathan India And The Reds’ Grand Experiment
- MLB and MLBPA announce weekly COVID testing results: 1 new positive last week, 14,845 tests, 0.007% rate
- Today in Baseball History
- Biggest contract in Royals history, at 4yr/$84m for catcher Salvador Perez, surpassing the previous mark of $72 million by Alex Gordon. (Of course, both deals beat the A’s own all-time record of $66 million to Eric Chavez over a decade ago.)
The terms of Salvador Perez's four-year extension, per source:— Alec Lewis (@alec_lewis) March 21, 2021
The $20.5 AAV deal starts in 2022.
2022: $18 million
2023: $20 million
2024: $20 million
2025: $22 million
2026: $13.5 million club option or $2 million buyout
- Spring Game #18: Ka’ai Tom stays hot, Sean Murphy debuts, Sean Manaea finds groove
- Spring Game #19: Cole Irvin piles up zeroes after teammates knocked around
- Spring Game #20: A’s crush Angels on both sides of ball
- A’s spring injuries: Ramon Laureano good news, Buddy Reed less so
- A’s spring injuries: Stephen Piscotty wrist; Ramon Laureano timetable
- A’s send down 9 players in second round of spring cuts
- White Sox claim Nik Turley off waivers from A’s
- Nico: Blogfather Takes Another Shot — At Opening Day Roster
Melvin says there’s time to stretch out Puk to start, though listening to him speak the actual words doesn’t make it sound like any kind of done deal yet that the lefty will get the spot
Sounds like A.J. Puk will have every chance to earn 5th starter spot.— The Rickey Henderson of Blogs (@RickeyBlog) March 18, 2021
BoMel says plan is to stretch him out to 3 IP next start with goal to get him to 5 IP by regular season. pic.twitter.com/ypzNeUyf8o
... However, it’s easy to predict that Ka’ai Tom has a spot locked up
Beast Mode: pic.twitter.com/CzKo96j9a3— Oakland A's (@Athletics) March 18, 2021
Another potential fifth starter to keep an eye on
Melvin on Cole Irvin who threw 4 shutout innings in relief today: "To be able to go out there and give us 4 innings - his sinker's terrific, his changeup, used his breaking ball just enough...so whether it's length, whether it's starting, he's certainly had a good showing for us"— Athletics Farm (@AthleticsFarm) March 19, 2021
*wipes eyes* pic.twitter.com/34lA4X9oAQ— Oakland A's (@Athletics) March 18, 2021
... And that wasn’t even the only ball hit at Manaea on Thursday! Another one hit him.
Manaea on the comebacker that got him in the funny bone: "There's some seam marks on there." pic.twitter.com/m4I51oHPcB— The Rickey Henderson of Blogs (@RickeyBlog) March 18, 2021
Sounds like something Matt Chapman would say
Sean Murphy: "I see nothing standing in the way of me getting ready for opening day."— Matt Kawahara (@matthewkawahara) March 18, 2021
This video goes out to AN community member 4-6-3, who has been waiting a long time for it!
OLY TOLEDO— Oakland A's (@Athletics) March 20, 2021
Have yourself a day, @mattolson21! pic.twitter.com/lHghidN4Br
May as well check in with the other Matt while we’re at it
.@mattchap6 really just did THAT pic.twitter.com/Ey99FVWe2V— Oakland A's (@Athletics) March 20, 2021
And the third Matt who was mistakenly named Sean
It's so good to have you back, Murph pic.twitter.com/xC1v1XkaqE— Oakland A's (@Athletics) March 20, 2021
Best of Twitter
Well that’s my new favorite thing in the world
Also Scott Emerson said he refers to Chris Bassitt's big, slow curveball as: "Mr. Bloopy." So there's that.— Matt Kawahara (@matthewkawahara) March 20, 2021
... No wait never mind, THIS is my new favorite thing
What a time to be alive. A member of the ballpark security team at Roger Dean Stadium — wearing an official polo with SECURITY in big letters on the back — just spent Alex Bregman's entire plate appearance banging a trash can before every pitch. Bregman struck out looking.— Chandler Rome (@Chandler_Rome) March 21, 2021
Meanwhile, in college ball (Jack’s father, Al Leiter, threw a no-no in the majors in 1996)
Jack Leiter. 16K No Hitter.— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) March 20, 2021
Beautiful box score
Jack Leiter -- wow.— Andrew Simon (@AndrewSimonMLB) March 20, 2021
Only one MLB pitcher has thrown a no-hitter with 16+ K's and no more than 1 BB: Max Scherzer in 2015 (17 K, 0 BB). pic.twitter.com/kC2KenoX3v
Reminder about an A’s prospect we haven’t talked about in a while
So excited @Skylarszynski heads for Spring Training in Mesa w/@OaklandAs on 31st‼️— Coach Robin Szynski (@CoachSzynski247) March 19, 2021
After a long 2 yrs of rehab & then navigating COVID-19 pandemic We ALL are eager to see him in action‼️@CAA_Baseball @AthleticsFarm https://t.co/RUrE22Za2F
... And another prospect we maybe haven’t talked enough about in the past
BoMel also had some nice things to say about 25-year-old 1B prospect Edwin Diaz: "I think at some point in time he plays in the big leagues for us." pic.twitter.com/WJHgHlVOMx— The Rickey Henderson of Blogs (@RickeyBlog) March 20, 2021
Melvin speaks highly of Andrus
BoMel is a big hoops fan, said Elvis Andrus plays baseball like a point guard since he's so knowledgable— The Rickey Henderson of Blogs (@RickeyBlog) March 20, 2021
Also said Elvis has provided valuable insight/perspective after being an A's opponent for past 12 years pic.twitter.com/OeQ08VAb2m
In case anyone needed a reminder of why we appreciate the A’s front office
"In more than 6 years running the team, the Rockies GM has committed more than $300M in salary to 19 free agents on major-league deals. Those 19 free agents have collectively accounted for -3.4 wins above replacement while with the Rockies."— Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) March 22, 2021
Incredible piece from Ken & Nick https://t.co/rNP8oTHHR5
Not his best look. Maybe not his worst.
Kurt Suzuki in Year 15 pic.twitter.com/hK9YNa24dt— The Rickey Henderson of Blogs (@RickeyBlog) March 20, 2021
A new all-time sports blooper (note that the tweet is by the reporter who shot the ball)
That's March Madness for you folks... don't ever celebrate too soon #livetv #MarchMadness pic.twitter.com/hYHqoBiFXI— Anna Hoffman (@AnnaHoffmanTV) March 20, 2021
May you find a Klay Thompson level of peace in your Monday
Klay Thompson kayaking to practice pic.twitter.com/66bJ7tQBuV— Whitley Sandretto (@WSandretto) March 20, 2021