Happy Monday, Athletics Nation!
Tony Kemp had one heckuva game on Saturday, making several key contributions in the A’s 9-7 win over the Royals. It was a veritable smorgasbord of hits that enabled the A’s to break a four game losing streak and position themselves for their first series win of the month.
Perhaps it was Kemp’s kind words about former minor-league teammate Mark Appel before Saturday’s game that put a spring in his stride. The right-handed pitcher was called up by the Phillies on the same day, clearing the way for the 2013 No. 1 overall draft pick to finally make his MLB debut after years of injury struggles and a three year long hiatus from the game.
As Matt Kawahara at the San Francisco Chronicle detailed, Appel and Kemp were drafted by the Houston Astros the same year and spent much of their early careers playing together for the organization’s minor league affiliates.
Traded to the Phillies in 2015 and subsequently plagued by injuries, Appel left baseball in 2018. He rejoined the Phillies’ system in 2021 and has gone 5-0 with a 1.61 ERA in AAA this year to earn his callup to Philadelphia.
Appel was born in Houston but has Bay Area ties. He attended Monte Vista High School in Danville (fun fact: so did AN Editor-in-Chief Alex Hall) and went on to play for Stanford from there, choosing college over early entry to the pros after being drafted by the Detroit Tigers in 2009.
Appel told of his long, fraught road to the bigs and expressed gratitude for the opportunities ahead in a series of tweets.
When I decided to leave baseball at the end of 2017, I never imagined I would be able to play again.— Mark Appel (@markappel26) June 23, 2022
I was injured with no clear path to good health.
I was emotionally and spiritually drained… pic.twitter.com/vjgUMfHYbY
Be sure to check out Kawahara’s piece for Kemp’s comments and more details. And if you want to delve deeper into Appel’s journey from phenom to bust to finally a big leaguer, head over to The Athletic and check out the feature Matt Gelb did for the site.
- Hall: Game #74: A’s earn 5-3 comeback win over Royals
- Hall: A’s roster moves: Sam Selman called up, Jared Koenig optioned down
- Nico: Free Max Schuemann!
- Hall: Game #73: Bats wake up, gloves shine, A’s win 9-7 thriller over Royals
- Gallegos: Brown’s turnaround fuels big weekend, series win
- Gallegos: Kemp hits jackpot after casino banter with KC fans
- He: Youngsters propel A’s to first series win in a month
- Kawahara: A’s Tony Kemp happy for Mark Appel, former Stanford star called up by Phillies ($)
MLB News & Interest:
- Garro: Daniel Mengden played a pivotal role in rescuing frightened puppies from a storm drain in Houston
- Gelb: Mark Appel’s long journey takes him to Phillies’ major-league roster, at last ($)
- Gleeman and Hayes: Twins pitching coach Wes Johnson leaves abruptly for same job, big raise at LSU ($)
- Polishuk: Yankees Interested In Luis Castillo
- Gelb: Bryce Harper is out with a fractured thumb and the Phillies’ season is ‘devastatingly’ altered ($)
- McDonald: Diamondbacks To Select Dallas Keuchel
- Polishuk: Rays Reinstate Wander Franco
- Polishuk: Royals Exploring Andrew Benintendi Trades
- Today in Baseball History
Best of Twitter:
"Jonah Bride drives in Nick Allen" as a keyboard macro.— Melissa Lockard (@melissalockard) June 25, 2022
Sunday injury update.
Kotsay said Jonah Bride has a "banged up shoulder" and a laceration on his nose from the collision with Pinder. No stitches were required and no concussion for either.— Martín Gallegos (@MartinJGallegos) June 26, 2022
Nice...but I caught that bird!
Kemp looked for high-fives from Royals fans after his two-run homer pic.twitter.com/TLVh2RFbQj— A's on NBCS (@NBCSAthletics) June 25, 2022
Koenig back to AAA for some resharpening.
Jared Koenig assessed his outing today against the Royals pic.twitter.com/fEpXS0eHjZ— A's on NBCS (@NBCSAthletics) June 26, 2022
Langeliers, Muncy top bombers in A’s system.
A's Minor League HR Leaders— Athletics Farm (@AthleticsFarm) June 25, 2022
C Shea Langeliers (LV): 13
SS Max Muncy (STK): 13
1B Jordan Diaz (MID): 12
IF Jeremy Eierman (MID): 11
C-1B Tyler Soderstrom (LAN): 11
A'S MOVES: LHP Sam Selman to A’s, LHP Jared Koenig to LV, RHPs Jake Walkinshaw & Calvin Coker, C Carlos Franco & IF Jalen Greer to MID, SS Logan Davidson & C Kyle McCann to MID IL, OF Lazaro Armenteros to LAN IL, OF Kevin Richards & LHP Jack Owen to LAN… https://t.co/joKXkzbDRy— Athletics Farm (@AthleticsFarm) June 26, 2022
Lots of injuries among top tier players right now.
Bryce Harper has a broken left thumb and will be out for a while. Joins a list of stars currently on the IL, including Mookie Betts, Jacob deGrom, Fernando Tatis Jr., Manny Machado, Max Scherzer, Salvador Perez, Ozzie Albies, Walker Buehler, Chris Sale and Stephen Strasburg.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) June 26, 2022