Happy Friday, Athletics Nation!
The AL West-leading Houston Astros are in Oakland today to start a three-game series against the division-trailing A’s. We’re barely halfway through the season, but the A’s are already 26½ games behind the Astros, who have emerged as perennial contenders in recent years.
Melissa Lockard at The Athletic spoke with A’s general manager David Forst about this season’s struggles, what lies ahead, and the organization’s approach to player development, among other things.
The conversation wasn’t entirely free of PR-speak, as Forst suggested that the pandemic-shortened 2020 season and subsequent MLB lockout left the team without enough time to “get the current team to the level that we’ve sort of become accustomed to.” There is likely some truth to this, but there was very little tangible indication last offseason that the A’s were out to retool and extend the team’s streak of four winning seasons as a top priority.
Forst was open about the difficulty of coming up with a general plan for the team amidst the looming uncertainties surrounding a new stadium in Oakland or the team’s relocation. These issues aren’t new, but in contrast with the meandering dynamics of the past couple decades, there is now a sense that something is about to give: the A’s will either get a deal for a new ballpark in Oakland or relocate. Forst acknowledged that this matter has to be settled before a clear direction for the organization’s future can be determined.
Forst also spoke to the rationale behind fielding veterans like Jed Lowrie, Stephen Vogt, and Elvis Andrus instead of going all-in on giving developing players maximum playing time at the big league level. He said that even in a losing season, “winning whatever games you can” is still important for morale, so the team’s management is making an effort to balance competitiveness with prospect development.
Forst had a lot more to say about goals for the rest of this season, draft picks, the A’s injury-plagued farm system, prospect promotion, and trading Frankie Montas. Lockard is one of my favorite writers on the A’s beat and this piece is another fine example of why The Athletic is worth the price of admission. Check it out!
- Hall: A’s injuries: Frankie Montas will miss next start; updates on Bride, Jimenez, Honeywell
- Hall: Shea Langeliers and Denzel Clarke will represent A’s at All-Star Futures Game
- Nico: Making Sense Of “Jordan Diaz, Prospect”
- Kroner: Q&A with A’s broadcaster Ken Korach on motivation, Bill King, retirement thoughts ($)
- Kawahara: A’s prospects Shea Langeliers, Denzel Clarke selected to Futures Game ($)
- Lockard: General manager David Forst on the A’s disappointing season, the trade deadline, the draft and more ($)
MLB News & Interest:
- The Athletic: Druw Jones leads The Athletic’s latest MLB mock draft as beat writers make the first 30 picks ($)
- Rosenthal: Selecting my MLB All-Star Game rosters — and it starts with Kershaw vs. Ohtani ($)
- Passan: Advocates for Minor Leaguers sends letter to Congress asking for same protections extended to MLB players
- Heyman: Nelson Cruz on Mets’ radar ahead of MLB trade deadline
- Law: MLB Futures Game breakdown — Who’s in, who’s out, who doesn’t belong: Keith Law ($)
- McDonald: Red Sox Select Michael Feliz; Likely To Activate Chris Sale On Tuesday
- AP: Padres’ Profar collapses after collision, taken off on cart
- Today in Baseball History
Best of Twitter:
Wishing the best for Jurickson Profar.
Scary scene in San Diego as LF Jurickson Profar is down on the field after colliding with SS C.J. Abrams. Profar got kneed in the head, tried walking back to the dugout and collapsed. Three trainers and doctor are with him, talking with him. After long wait, a cart now on scene.— John Shea (@JohnSheaHey) July 8, 2022
Congrats to the A’s affiliate Futures Game selections!
Time to shine— Oakland A's (@Athletics) July 7, 2022
Shea Langeliers and Denzel Clarke are headed to the 2022 All-Star Futures Game! pic.twitter.com/sePapWUuhQ
Pache off to a good start in Vegas.
OF Cristian Pache is batting .375 (6 for 16) with 3 doubles through his first 4 games with Triple-A @AviatorsLV.— Athletics Farm (@AthleticsFarm) July 7, 2022
MOVES: C Kyle McCann off MID IL, OF Lawrence Butler on LAN IL, IF Marcos Brito to LAN, LHP Eduardo Rivera to ACL A’s on rehab, OF Mickey McDonald to LV, C JJ Schwarz on MID IL, C CJ Rodriguez & pitchers Ed Baram, Yehizon Sanchez & James Gonzalez on STK IL…https://t.co/joKXkzbDRy— Athletics Farm (@AthleticsFarm) July 7, 2022
Check out this week’s A’s Beat:
New A’s Beat Newsletter is out!— Martín Gallegos (@MartinJGallegos) July 7, 2022
Featured in this week’s edition:
- Matt Chapman on his return to the Coliseum
- A.J. Puk on his walkout song by The Jacka and Bay Area raphttps://t.co/R9YYFG9QDH pic.twitter.com/rLsRHo0umL
Sonny Gray tops A’s drafted and signed players since 2010 in total WAR.
A's drafted and signed players by accumulated WAR since 2010 - @stoltzs_words @melissalockard— Down on the Farm (@downonthefarm12) July 7, 2022
1) Sonny Gray - 2011
2) Matt Chapman - 2014
3) Matt Olson - 2012
4) Max Muncy - 2012
5) Addison Russell - 2012 pic.twitter.com/HyXpw2IM36
How great? The GOAT!
How great was Rickey Henderson? Only three players born after 1890 have even HALF as many stolen bases as he does. I said three guys. I said half. Think about that. pic.twitter.com/bqizUH8P92— Super 70s Sports (@Super70sSports) July 7, 2022
Dodgers still World Series favorites per Fangraphs.
The assessment of Fangraphs on best chances for winning the World Series:— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) July 7, 2022
Blue Jays 5.1%
Red Sox 2.6%https://t.co/aW7oAjgFzc
CBass leaning into a bit of controversy.