Happy Opening Day, Athletics Nation!
The A’s begin the regular season tonight, kicking off the year against superstar Shohei Ohtani and the Los Angeles Angels, right here at home at the Coliseum. There are going to be some fresh new faces that A’s fans are going to be getting their first look at tonight.
For instance, the starting pitcher. Lefty Kyle Muller is getting the ball for his first career start with the A’s, and the hope and expectations for him are high. Considered the main piece of the Sean Murphy trade, Muller made an impression on the team in camp, so much so that he’s the only rookie starting pitcher slated for an Opening Day gig this year. He’s been compared to Bay Area rival Giants’ started Madison Bumgarner and the A’s would gladly take that from a Muller career. On another note, he’s been reunited with his battery mate/friend Langeliers, who made his way to Oakland just one year before Muller arrived. BFFs back together again.
On the position player side of things, center fielder Estuery Ruiz will be making his own A’s debut. Like Muller, he’s had a quick cup of coffee in the big leagues but nothing like the chance he’s about to get with the A’s here in 2023. With Cristian Pache out of the picture, Ruiz could theoretically be the primary starter in center for the entire season, and the A’s would love it if he could seize hold of that role after the disaster that was Pache. We just saw with Pache that defense will only buy you so much grace with the club, but Ruiz is so much more dynamic than Pache. He should be a really fun ball player to watch.
And then there’s Ryan Noda. The Rule 5 draft pick out of the Dodgers’ organization, the left-handed Noda could start tonight against Ohtani and make his MLB debut on his birthday! Wouldn’t that be a treat for the youngin’?
And it’s not just rookies making their introductions to A’s fans. Off-season signees Jace Peterson and Aledmys Diaz are expected to be in tonight’s starting lineup, giving A’s fans their first look at their new third baseman and (for now) part-time shortstop. And let’s not forget Jesus Aguilar, the expected primary DH for the A’s this year. Oakland had issues at that position last year and it would go a long way if Aguilar got back to his former slugging ways.
And though he’s not technically a rookie anymore, it’s Shea Langeliers’ time to shine behind the plate for the A’s now that Murphy is gone. This will be the first of at least several for the young gun and hopefully the first in a long line of Opening Day starts for the Oakland A’s. And he just so happens to get to catch his buddy Muller, who he became close with in the Atlanta organization. Fingers crossed that these two are a mainstay battery for the A’s for a long time.
- Ashford: A’s trade Cristian Pache to Phillies
- Ashford: 3 things to watch in April for the A’s
- Mishler-Elmore: How to watch A’s baseball in 2023
- Gallegos: How A’s Opening Day starter reactors to the news
- Burke: Chad Smith, Kevin Smith optioned to Triple-Las Vegas
- Gelb & Lockard: Thoughts on the Pache trade ($)
MLB News & Interest:
- Palattella: Yankees sign Franchy Cordero to major-league deal
- Merkin: Former Athletic Liam Hendricks making progress in candler fight
- Guardado: Giants’ Crawford taking in ‘special’ 12th Opening Day
- DeRosa & Jacobson: 15 games, 1 huge day: everything to know for Opening Day
- MLB: Soto a go for Opening Day
- Passan: Minor leaguers, MLB reach deal on 1st CBA
- Gonzalez: Current Padres and former A’s coach Williams has colon cancer
- Reuters: Angels top prospect to catch Ohtani on Opening Day against A’s
- Paine: Dodgers favorite for ‘23, but weakest the weakest favorite in years
- Today in Baseball History
Best of Twitter:
Just in case you missed some of these moves:
A'S RECENT MOVES: OF Cristian Pache to PHIL for RHP Billy Sullivan/Sullivan to LV, IF Kevin Smith & RHP Chad Smith to LV, RHPs Jack Cushing & Bryce Conley to LV, RHP Michael Danielak retires, RHP Jeurys Familia to A’s, LHP Kirby Snead to IL… https://t.co/joKXkyUAPy— Athletics Farm (@AthleticsFarm) March 30, 2023
I’m ready, are you?
Get ready for Thursday! https://t.co/kix7sqIPZv— Hal the Hot Dog Guy, PhD (@AsHotDog) March 28, 2023
Corbin Burnes just said Stephen Vogt saved Wade Miley's life back in 2018.— Todd Rosiak (@Todd_Rosiak) March 29, 2023
Miley was choking in the kitchen here at the ballpark and Vogt gave him the Heimlich maneuver, dislodging the stuck food.
Stay classy, A’s: