Happy Thursday, Athletics Nation!
Spring Training is in full swing and yesterday’s 14-14 affair was a doozy. The team’s hitting has been a fantastic surprise so far, but the pitching leaves something to be desired. Still, it’s been exciting to watch the young position players get comfortable and it shows with how well they’ve been playing.
On the health front, the A’s got a mixed bag of news yesterday regarding a few players. Firstly, starting rotation candidate James Kaprielian is scheduled to throw a couple innings today in a sim game, and manager Mark Kotsay believes that Kap can be ramped up enough to be an option for the season-opening rotation. If he’s healthy it’s hard to imagine him not among those top 5. Big if, though, considering he had shoulder surgery this offseason. It wouldn’t be the end of the world if they stored him on the IL for a couple weeks to start the season but it seems he’s trending in the right direction.
Sticking on the mound, left-handed reliever Kirby Snead has been shut down completely from throwing after only one spring appearance with a left shoulder strain. He would have likely been one of the top two lefties down in the ‘pen along with Sam Moll, but it seems incredibly unlikely at this point that he’ll be ready for the start of the season. Of all the injuries the A’s have had so far, this is the only one that seems certain of a stay on the IL.
After being pulled from the lineup prior to first pitch on Monday, outfielder Ramon Laureano missed yesterday’s slugfest with a groin issue, his second straight. It doesn’t sound as if the team is overly concerned at the moment, and it’s better to get the groin right rather than try and push it this early in spring; groin problems are notorious for nagging a player all year if they don’t get fully healthy.
Behind the plate, presumed backup catcher Manny Piña is dealing with a sore calf muscle right now. Piña, who was acquired in the Sean Murphy deal to be a veteran mentor for Shea Langeliers, has only appeared in a single game so far this spring but Kotsay says he and the club believe he can still be ready for Opening Day. His timeline is a little uncertain right now, with a possible return to game action coming this weekend “at the earliest”.
All in all, not the worst injury report we’ve ever seen, and nothing seems too serious that would cause a critical part of the team to miss games. Fingers crossed it remains that way through camp.
- Macgruder: Jesus Aguilar embraces leadership role with A’s
- Gallegos: A’s top prospects impress early in camp
- Dierberger: A’s prospects barnstorm new nickname for up-and-coming talent
- Kawahara: A’s have big hopes for J.T. Ginn ($)
- Madhavan: Canseco once lauded McGuire for “putting baseball back on the map”
MLB News & Interest:
- Zolecki: Phillies prospect wows with near-triple-digit stuff
- Monagan: The seaside Italian town obsessed with baseball
- Heyman: Rougned Odor signs minor league deal with Padres
- McDonald: Jackie Bradley Jr. signs minors deal with Royals
- Guardado: Giants’ Slater shut down with sore elbow
- Zuckerman: Sean Doolittle Opening Day status uncertain for Nats
- McCalvy: Brewers’ Tyrone Taylor out first month of season
- DiComo: Mets’ Alonso learning Spanish for teammates
- Kleinschmidt: What Carlos Correa learned during wild free agency
- Today in Baseball History
Best of Twitter:
Not a bad thing to start a tally of:
We might have to start counting how many times Lawrence Butler loses his helmet this spring https://t.co/e85nlmIeI2— Martín Gallegos (@MartinJGallegos) March 2, 2023
Future member of the starting staff?
In case you didn’t realize how crazy yesterday’s game was:
Today’s A’s-Reds game featured 28 runs, 29 hits, 16 walks, 17 strikeouts, 2 errors, 18 different pitchers…— High Heat Stats (@HighHeatStats) March 2, 2023
…and the game still took only 3 hours and 10 minutes.
Circle the date, for all you Star Wars nerds out there (me included)
Even in spring training, Mark Kotsay wants to win:
With the A's down 14-13 in the ninth inning of a Cactus League game, Mark Kotsay pinch-ran Esteury Ruiz at third base. Ruiz scored on a wild pitch to force the tie.— Matt Kawahara (@matthewkawahara) March 1, 2023
Kotsay: "I mean, we are here to play the game. There’s a point to trying to win baseball games."