Happy Monday, Athletics Nation!
The A’s lost their opening series but beat the sweep. I hope everyone feels a bit better starting the week off in the wake of an impressive road win in Philly to get the A’s their first mark in the victory column. We’re keeping pace with the Dodgers at 1-2, folks! Since I brought up an NL West team, I’d also like to tip my hat to Bob Melvin for getting the Padres off to a commanding 3-1 start to take an early lead in his new division.
Last week I mentioned that PitchCom, a new “signless” pitch calling technology, would be officially sanctioned for use in regular season games this year. Sean Murphy and several A’s pitchers used PitchCom over the weekend and spoke with Matt Kawahara of the San Francisco Chronicle about their impressions so far, which seem to portend that momentum towards widespread adoption is already gathering.
As the A’s starting catcher, Murphy will essentially be quarterbacking the PitchCom setup in most games, being the bearer of the wristband used to transmit audio signals to the pitcher (and up to three other players) indicating the suggested pitch and location. So one would surmise that Sean’s buy-in would be essential to making PitchCom work for the A’s. His comments indicate that he’s already willing to commit:
“I like it, ... It has a lot of pluses. There’s still some things that we’re working through as far as getting comfortable with it. But I think it’s good. I think if you take away an element of sequences and sign sets and having to constantly change them, you’re giving the pitcher and myself one less thing to worry about. It helps.”
The A’s are leaving it up to pitchers to decide whether or not to use PitchCom, but it’s good that Murph seems to be an enthusiastic facilitator. Starting pitcher Frankie Montas did not use it in the A’s Opening Day game, but rotation cohorts Cole Irvin, Daulton Jefferies and Paul Blackburn all stated that they are getting comfortable with the system and used (or planned to use) it in their first starts. Blackburn went further to say, “I feel like it just helps the pace of game,” which others have suggested may be a benefit of PitchCom beyond preventing sign-stealing.
Be sure to check out the full story at The Chronicle — Kawahara is doing a great job on the A’s beat over there. And tune in to today’s game in Tampa today at 3:40 PT to see Blackburn — and PitchCom — in action as the A’s bid to serve the Rays their first loss of the season.
- Nico: AN Exclusive: Blogfather Sits Down With Rookie Kevin Smith
- Hall: Game #3: A’s earn first win of 2022 season!
- Hall: A’s place Skye Bolt on IL, recall Adam Kolarek
- Ashford: Game #2: Home runs doom A’s in 4-2 loss
- Gallegos: Kotsay pushes proper buttons to earn 1st win
- Polishuk: Athletics Interested In Andrew Vaughn
- Kawahara: A’s reliever Zach Jackson soaks in major-league debut, 6 years in the making ($)
- Rodriguez: A’s Irvin optimistic despite loss to former team Phillies
- Kawahara: Paul Blackburn works to expand repertoire for A’s ($)
- Kawahara: A’s Mark Kotsay gets first managerial win and a baseball to remember it by ($)
- Kawahara: A’s impressions of PitchCom range from ‘a little weird’ to ‘a lot of pluses’ ($)
MLB News & Interest:
- Zencka: Blake Snell Scratched From Start
- McDonald: Guardians, Myles Straw Agree To Five-Year Extension
- Polishuk: Dodgers Didn’t Make Extension Offer To Trea Turner
- McDonald: Lucas Giolito To Be Placed On IL, Miss At Least Two Starts
- Polishuk: Injury Notes: Pollock, La Stella, Sanchez, Borucki, Pearson
- McDonald: Looking At The Early Results Of The Prospect Promotion Incentive
- Today in Baseball History
Best of Twitter:
Projected starters for the A’s/Rays series this week.
Probable for A’s-Rays series:— Matt Kawahara (@matthewkawahara) April 10, 2022
Mon: RHP Blackburn vs. RHP Patiño
Tue: RHP Oller vs. LHP Yarbrough
Wed: RHP Montas vs. LHP McClanahan
Thu: LHP Irvin vs. TBD
Kaval was tweetier than usual over the weekend. I must say I concur with this sentiment.
I have a better idea. How about you drop your ridiculous lawsuit challenging the approval of our beautiful waterfront ballpark? #DropTheLawsuit @Athletics https://t.co/0pe4GXMkZP pic.twitter.com/JSgxNhP043— Dave Kaval (@DaveKaval) April 9, 2022
Now that’s efficiency! I wonder if PitchCom helped..
The 48 pitches by Daulton Jefferies are the fewest by an #Athletics starting pitcher who was credited with a win since pitch counts became reliable in 1988.— David Feldman (@dfeldy) April 10, 2022
Previous low: 56 by Steve Ontiveros in 1994 vs DET.
Allen on Jefferies after their first start of 2022.
Austin Allen believes the A's will lean on Daulton Jefferies this season pic.twitter.com/JGalMwkK2T— A's on NBCS (@NBCSAthletics) April 10, 2022
Gallegos on first series:
Thoughts from first series as I board Tampa flight:— Martín Gallegos (@MartinJGallegos) April 10, 2022
- Even with stars gone, A’s are still that gritty team that fights to the end.
- This bullpen is going to record a lot more strikeouts than last year’s, which bodes well.
- Cristian Pache looks like a star in the making.
Lockard on the same:
First series impressions: Christian Pache is a lot of fun, bullpen looked much better after bad opener, Seth Brown looks solid in a run producer role but he needs help in the middle of the lineup. IF defense needs improvement too.— Melissa Lockard (@melissalockard) April 10, 2022
Apropos today’s headline,
After yesterday's start, Cole Irvin discussed his experience with the new PitchCom technology pic.twitter.com/z5DyLcudhr— A's on NBCS (@NBCSAthletics) April 10, 2022
Big if true.
Adam Kolarek said he's better than what his 2021 numbers showed with the A's: “I had two or three rough outings to start and then I rattled off a lot of zeroes, and that’s what I can do. If I can get into my rhythm, I can put together a strong season and help this team.”— Martín Gallegos (@MartinJGallegos) April 10, 2022
Puk off the prospect list.
A.J. Puk officially graduated off the A's prospect list with his outing yesterday. Daulton Jefferies soon to follow. https://t.co/SuAFsrNGqW— Martín Gallegos (@MartinJGallegos) April 10, 2022
How the A’s departed stars are faring so far:
Matt Olson is hitting .444 for the Braves. Matt Chapman is 0-for-6 on the season.— Steve Berman (@BASportsGuy) April 10, 2022