Happy Friday, Athletics Nation!
The A’s last losing season was 2017; they went 75 - 87 that year. It was also Matt Chapman’s rookie year, and the moment he arrived, his absolutely next-level defense at the hot corner made the A’s a joy to watch again. Chapman is off to Toronto now and the A’s are rebuilding again, projected by Fangraphs to win just 72 games this season. Let’s hope that our newly acquired prospect and defensive phenom Cristian Pache will lessen the pain of his new team’s anticipated doldrums in the standings with some spectacular play in center field.
Per Matt Kawahara of the San Francisco Chronicle, Pache was seen by some as the best defender in the Atlanta Braves organization as early as the tender age of 19. He saw limited MLB action the past two seasons, including in the 2020 NLCS. He was the Braves’ center fielder on Opening Day last year, but lost time to a hamstring injury that the young outfielder now says he’s fully recovered from.
With Ramon Laureano serving the remainder of his PED suspension through the first 27 games of 2022, Pache is an obvious candidate to take the field on Opening Day, but Athletics GM David Forst was noncommittal about that possibility on Monday, saying, “We obviously have a lot of things in flux between now and Opening Day, so that’s hard to say. But what we know is that (he’s) probably one of the best defensive outfielders anyone has seen in the minor leagues in a long time.”
Pache has demonstrated indefatigable ebullience in statements about his new team and fans:
“I feel very happy and excited for the love and affection I’ve gained so far from A’s fans. I’m an enjoyable person, I’m a happy person. I like to bring the best I can every day and I’m just full of energy at all times.”
“Laser” Laureano, who has made his share of phenomenal plays in center field, took a break from trading defensive drills with Pache on Wednesday to express his admiration of and support for the 23-year-old, saying, “I really haven’t watched him fully, but I’ve seen some videos and he’s tremendous out there ... I’m excited to watch him play. … He’s a great guy. He loves the game. He’s very happy to be here and learn.”
Athletics Nation welcomes Cristian to Oakland! We’re ready to savor all the web gems he can serve up.
- A’s trade rumors: Latest on Sean Manaea and Frankie Montas
- Ashford: A.J. Puk will get ‘opportunity’ to start this spring, says A’s manager Mark Kotsay
- Hall: I Don’t Know: A’s 3B options after Matt Chapman trade
- Franco: Tigers Notes: Manaea, Montas, Greinke, Torkelson, Greene
- Adams: Royals Interested In Frankie Montas
- Kawahara: Outfield prospect Cristian Pache brings touted defense to A’s ($)
- Gallegos: Neuse gets another shot; Honeywell set for A’s debut
- Gallegos: Here’s what to know about new A’s prospect J.T. Ginn
MLB News & Interest:
- Fegan: How a Negro League All-Star shut out of MLB stayed in the game and built a baseball dynasty ($)
- Pollshuk: Trevor Bauer’s Administrative Leave Extended Through April 16
- Dierkes: MLB, MLBPA Discussing Reinstating Extra Innings Ghost Runner Rule
- The Athletic: Freddie Freeman, Dodgers agree to 6-year, $162 million contract ($)
- McCullough: Freddie Freeman, a Dodger? Maybe the ‘Steve Cohen Tax’ should be the ‘Mark Walter Tax’ ($)
- Today in Baseball History
Best of Twitter:
But not even an ALCS appearance.
Can’t get much more St. Paddy’s approved than the green and gold!
We are catcher-rich these days.
Spring training broadcast info from Kawahara.
A's say all spring training games will be radio-broadcast on 960 AM and A's Cast. Games March 27 and April 3 will be televised on NBC Sports California and home games 3/20, 3/24, 3/25, 3/30/ 3/31, 4/2 and 4/4 will be streamed on the team's website and NBC Sports app.— Matt Kawahara (@matthewkawahara) March 17, 2022
Hone that bat, Pache! There are two sides to the game.
Cristian Pache taking BP. He’s got some pop. pic.twitter.com/Np0CyLKWHY— Martín Gallegos (@MartinJGallegos) March 17, 2022
Sorry Matt, but the cap just don’t fit.
Triple your heartbreak in a single tweet.
I don’t necessarily love 15 inning games, but there’s gotta be a better way than ghost runners to curtail extras.
The extra inning 2B ghost runner is trending back toward reality for the 2022 season, sources say. Not quite decided but MLB is listening to managers who want to avoid testing arms after short spring. I consider this great news, as I do believe in ghosts. @jaysonst 1st mentioned— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) March 18, 2022