The Oakland A’s have suddenly gotten really interesting all at once. Since the end of the MLB draft, the news has been flying nonstop. Here are some of the bits you may have missed from the last couple days.
- Susan Slusser of the S.F. Chronicle reports that there are three sites being considered for the A’s new ballpark, and “the team appears to have strong interest in a 13-acre site near downtown that is now the headquarters of the Peralta Community College District. The site is just west of Laney College and abuts Interstate 880.” Click the link for her full story, including pros/cons of each site.
- To clarify, the three potential sites: the current Coliseum site, the Howard Terminal site near Jack London Square, and the aforementioned Peralta/Laney site. This isn’t exactly news, but sometimes the absence of new things is itself news.
- On Tuesday, the A’s released an economic Impact Study in regard to a new stadium. Without specifying a site, the study concludes the following: “Oakland residents and businesses would reap $3.05 billion in economic benefits over the first 10 years from the construction and operation of a new privately financed Oakland A’s stadium and the increased attendance and game day spending that would come with it, according to an analysis released today by the Bay Area Council Economic Institute. Building the stadium would also create 2,000 construction jobs, many of which would go to local workers and businesses under hiring agreements expected to accompany the project.” We will have more on this topic in the coming days.
- 3B Matt Chapman was scratched from the A’s lineup on Monday due to a knee infection, says insider Jane Lee. He doesn’t know how it happened but hopes to miss only a few days (via Slusser), and his best guess is that it may be related to diving for catches (Slusser).
- SS Marcus Semien will begin a minor league rehab assignment on Friday, per Slusser. Semien has been out due to wrist surgery and last played on April 14.
- RHP Kendall Graveman’s progress, via Lee: “Graveman on track to throw from flat ground by end of week. Could be off mound next week, so good progress.”
- RHP Andrew Triggs and RHP Bobby Wahl, also via Lee: “Triggs received his cortisone shot in hip this morning. Also, Wahl got an injection in shoulder recently and is responding well.”
- Finally, Slusser reports that RHP Ryan Dull “could be throwing off the mound later in the week.” Click that Slusser link for more details on most of the injuries mentioned here.
- Garvin Alston was named the A’s new bullpen coach, the team announced Monday. Their previous bullpen coach, Scott Emerson, was promoted to the role of pitching coach last week after the firing of Curt Young. From the official press release: “Alston was a coach in the A’s organization for 11 seasons from 2005-15 before serving as the Arizona Diamondbacks’ bullpen coach for the 2016 season.”
- Meanwhile, bench coach Mark Kotsay is stepping away from the team indefinitely. The reason is that his daughter sustained an eye injury, according to Carl Steward of Bay Area News Group. In his absence, Chip Hale will move from 3B coach to bench coach, a job he performed for the A’s from 2012-14. Steve Scarsone will join the staff as the interim 3B coach.
- More on Steve Scarsone, from the press release: He has managed A’s affiliates at every minor league level from Single-A to Triple-A, and last year he won Manager of the Year in the Pacific Coast League as the skipper of the Nashville Sounds.
The A’s full coaching staff while Kotsay is out (asterisk denotes interim duty):
|Chip Hale||Bench Coach*|
|Darren Bush||Hitting Coach|
|Scott Emerson||Pitching Coach|
|Steve Scarsone||3B Coach*|
|Mike Aldrete||1B Coach*|
|Marcus Jensen||Asst. Hitting Coach|
|Garvin Alston||Bullpen Coach|
Note: Jensen is also listed as the Catching Coach.
- 1st-round draft pick OF Austin Beck has signed with the A’s, per Joe Stiglich of NBCS. He received $5,303,000, says Hudson Belinsky of Baseball America, which is exactly slot value for the No. 6 overall pick.
- 2nd-round pick SS Kevin Merrell also signed, for $1.8 million, reports Jim Callis of MLB Pipeline. That’s about $200K under slot for the No. 33 overall pick.
- More signings from the MLB Pipeline roundup, all under slot: 6th-round LHP Logan Salow; 7th-round RHP Parker Dunshee; and 10th-round OF Jack Meggs. (This only includes the first 10 rounds, and more draftees have signed from later rounds.)
- With those five picks signed, the A’s are currently around $737,000 under slot. They will need to go quite a bit over slot to sign 3rd-round SS Nick Allen, as well as 14th-round OF Garrett Mitchell, so this is a good start on racking up those necessary savings.
- The Low-A Vermont Lake Monsters began their short season on Monday, though their opener was suspended by rain after two innings. Click here to see their initial roster, though it will change in the coming weeks as the 2017 draft class gradually comes on board. A few roster highlights: RHP Oscar Tovar, C Lana Akau, OF James Terrell (born in Walnut Creek, high school in Vallejo).
- LHP A.J. Puk was promoted from High-A Stockton to Double-A Midland. He debuted for the RockHounds on Monday, with the following line: 7 ip, 3 runs, 7 Ks, 2 BB, 4 hits, 0 HR, 91 pitches. There’s a lot to like there, but the key is the reasonable pitch count that allowed him to go deep into the game. Puk was the A’s 1st-round pick last summer and is one of their top prospects.
- Bernie Pleskoff of FanRag Sports offers a scouting report on 3B Matt Chapman, concluding with a grade of 55 (above-average MLB starter).
- Yonder Alonso is no longer leading the All-Star voting for AL first basemen! He’s been passed by Eric Hosmer of the Royals, and I don’t have time here to go through the 100 reasons why that is awful. Dear Royals fans, your brief 15 minutes are up and you’re not cool anymore, time to go back to being the silent doormat now.
- Golden State Warriors center JaVale McGee is a national treasure. Among other things, he is thought to be the only player with a rat tail hairstyle to win an NBA title. Here he is delivering a totally decent ceremonial first pitch, complete with the spin move like he just got strike three to end the inning. (Or click here for an unedited stadium feed.)
I’ll leave you with one more fun fact.
Mark Melancon: 5.09 ERA, 3.86 FIP, 10 saves, 0 holds, 4 blown (71%)
Santiago Casilla: 4.07 ERA, 3.78 FIP, 11 saves, 2 holds, 3 blown (81%)
If you see any more links that you like, then drop them in the comments!