Greetings, Athletics Nation!
I hope you are having a fine Memorial Day. Let’s see if the A’s can get a little streak started today with ace Paul Blackburn on the mound to open the series against the Houston Astros today.
It’s been a good weekend for A’s veteran Jed Lowrie. Yesterday, he hit the game-winning shot in the A’s 6-5 walk-off win against Texas, saving his club from being swept at home for the third time this season. On Saturday, Lowrie spoke with John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle about his feelings on the art of switch-hitting in a post-shift game.
Lowrie and Skye Bolt are the only switch-hitters currently on the A’s 40-man roster. Batting both ways has become increasingly less common as the infield shift on left-handed batters is now essentially routine, offsetting the advantage of switching sides in matchups against certain pitchers.
But with an MLB ban on shifts expected next year, a switch-hitting renaissance may be at hand, and Lowrie welcomes the prospect.
“Not just because as a hitter, it would benefit me,” Lowrie told Shea, “but for the entertainment value of the game. That’s a significant issue.”
Shea mentions that a number of recent international signees are switch-hitters, including 19-year-old Robert Puason, who signed with the A’s in 2019. Puason more recently switched to only batting right-handed due to struggles at the plate. But with a post-shift future seemingly imminent and plenty of time left to develop his game, Puason may want to get back to batting both ways as he progresses in professional baseball.
Lowrie would likely tell Puason “it’s probably worth it, but ... you’re going to have to put in twice as much work.”
So, AN, where do you come down on the shift? We can say we want the game to be more entertaining, but that doesn’t necessarily mean MLB should bring the outfield walls in 100 feet—though of course that’s an extreme example. Should the league ban the shift and help lefties get more hits, or should teams be free to field players as they see fit? Tell us in the comments below!
- Hall: Game #50: A’s come back, blow save, win anyway in wild 6-5 walk-off
- Hall: A’s roster moves: Three new arms join bullpen
- Nico: So How Is The Rebuild Actually Going?
- Hall: Game #49: A’s pounded by Rangers 11-4
- Hall: A’s call up Austin Pruitt, DFA Justin Grimm
- Shea: Will MLB’s upcoming ban on shifts revive the lost art of switch-hitting? ($)
- Kroner: Returning to the bigs: Brad Ausmus for 1 day as A’s manager, Austin Pruitt to bullpen ($)
- Kawahara: A’s add fresh bullpen arms before series finale against Rangers ($)
- Gallegos: ‘Electric’ Laureano slowly finding his rhythm
MLB News & Interest:
- Shea: MLB suspends Reds’ Tommy Pham 3 games for slapping Giants’ Joc Pederson ($)
- Polishuk: White Sox Designate Dallas Keuchel For Assignment
- McDonald: The Strange Case Of Jurickson Profar
- Aldridge: Nationals, Stephen Strasburg propelled back to the future with strong rehab start ($)
- Polishuk: Russell Martin Announces Retirement
- Polishuk: Brewers To Promote Ethan Small
- Polishuk: Dodgers Place Max Muncy On 10-Day IL, Select Kevin Pillar
- Today in Baseball History
Best of Twitter:
The rotation lines up well for this week’s series vs. the Astros.
Probables for upcoming A’s-Astros series:— Matt Kawahara (@matthewkawahara) May 29, 2022
Mon: RHP Blackburn vs. LHP Valdez
Tue: RHP Montas vs. RHP Javier
Wed: LHP Irvin vs. RHP Verlander
Townie interviews Kevin Smith.
"The more at bats you get, the more games that you play, the more comfortable you feel, the more you can kinda be more consistent."— A's Cast (@athleticscast24) May 29, 2022
Watch Kevin Smith's full interview with Chris Townsend here: https://t.co/m4UZ726fyi
Listen here: https://t.co/F15WmxWIRB pic.twitter.com/08pKFNI2CH
A’s top MiLB sluggers:
A's Minor League OPS Leaders (min. 50 ABs):— Athletics Farm (@AthleticsFarm) May 28, 2022
C-IF Jonah Bride (LV): 1.079
3B Brett Harris (MID): 1.016
OF Denzel Clarke (STK): .970
OF Kevin Richards (STK): .964
1B Dermis Garcia (LV): .921
*Bride recently joined LV from MID & Harris recently joined MID from LAN
Sierra Club lobbying to delay the BCDC vote on Howard Terminal.
Unsurprisingly, Sierra Club is still lobbying against Howard Terminal.— Vitamin Dee (@2Legit2QuitDee) May 28, 2022
They wrote to BCDC on May 24 with a request to postpone the June 30 vote on removing Port Priority Designation.
Sierra Club doesn’t understand the project or the law; AB1141 requires BCDC to vote by July 7. pic.twitter.com/9vMDAY9cj5
Yes, that is Jed Lowrie giving a piggyback ride to Tony Kemp, with Elvis Andrus looking on from a distance with a bucket on his head.
A victory the whole family can celebrate. Thanks for the clutch hit, Jed!