Happy Wednesday, Athletics Nation!
Kevin Smith has been rehabilitating his hitting approach in AAA, and his hard work seems to be coming to fruition. Matt Kawahara at the San Francisco Chronicle caught up with the 26-year-old infielder who came over from Toronto in the Matt Chapman trade.
Smith was the A’s third baseman on Opening Day 2022. Chapman’s shoes are nearly impossible to fill at the hot corner, but Smith showed promise at the position. Unfortunately, his bat couldn’t keep pace with his defense, and he was demoted to AAA in June after 151 plate appearances that ended in a 1-for-37 slump.
- Smith, 2022 MLB: .180/.216/.302, 47 wRC+, 2 HR, 4 SB, 4.6% BB, 27.8% Ks
Smith’s struggles at the plate continued in Las Vegas through the summer. He said that his slump led him astray of his customarily more aggressive approach and had him “searching for contact.” But Smith seems to have found his stroke again: entering Tuesday, he was hitting .361 with 10 home runs in 97 at-bats with the Aviators through September.
Smith told Kawahara that “keeping my intent to do damage has helped me the last month or so and is something I had all last year and kind of got away from.”
Vimael Machin has been playing third base regularly and making positive contributions in the A’s lineup of late, but Smith may offer a better defensive replacement for Chapman. Though he’s mostly played shortstop with the Aviators, Smith said he is working out at third with the goal of vying for that spot with the A’s again next spring.
- Brener: Series preview: A’s face Angels on road for three games
- Beacham: Angels score in 8th to hand A’s their 98th loss ($)
- MLB: Injuries & Moves: Oller could join A’s in Seattle
- Kawahara: Hitting with ‘intent’ again, A’s Kevin Smith could earn MLB return ($)
MLB News & Interest:
- McDonald: AL East Notes: Story, Bogaerts, LeMahieu, Quinn, Schneider
- Adams: Carlos Correa Is Making His Opt-Out Decision Even Easier
- Slusser: Why Alyssa Nakken is the Giants autograph so many fans must have ($)
- Franco: White Sox Shut Down Tim Anderson For Season
- Today in Baseball History
Best of Twitter:
Kap shares up this month.
18 innings/5 ER for James Kaprielian in 3 September starts.— Melissa Lockard (@melissalockard) September 28, 2022
Awww. We miss you, Mark.
Thanks to everyone who came out this last weekend to show me love! It was great to be back at the Coliseum and see all of you!! Your support means the world to me!— Mark Canha (@outtadapakmark) September 27, 2022
Gelof and Smith tearing it up and making pitchers tear up in Vegas.
Zack Gelof has now hit 5 HRs in his first 7 games since being promoted to Las Vegas. And Kevin Smith is slashing .361/.392/.773 with 10 HRs in 23 games for the Aviators in September.— Athletics Farm (@AthleticsFarm) September 27, 2022
Looks like the petitioners are getting off the ol’ lawsuit train. #BindingVoteSZN #LawsuitSZN https://t.co/HWNgRSwDHc— Casey Pratt (@CaseyPrattABC7) September 28, 2022
Two out of three ain’t bad!
Nick Allen knocks in a pair pic.twitter.com/Y96mdGYGm9— A's on NBCS (@NBCSAthletics) September 28, 2022
Nick nabs Trout.
Nick Allen uses the bare hand to get Mike Trout at first pic.twitter.com/LktTGaePZl— A's on NBCS (@NBCSAthletics) September 28, 2022
Tony Kemp does it again.
TK makes an UNBELIEVABLE catch pic.twitter.com/0OcfZcR9d9— A's on NBCS (@NBCSAthletics) September 28, 2022
Sodie-meter keeps rising.
Soderstrom drives in Gelof. 105 RBIs on the season now— Melissa Lockard (@melissalockard) September 28, 2022