Athletics

A's Anderson throws pain-free after surgery

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A's Anderson throws pain-free after surgery

A's pitcher Brett Anderson threw Monday for the first time since undergoing Tommy John surgery on his business elbow back in July.

He made 20 pain-free throws from 45 feet before telling MLB.com, "It felt kinda weird, like how it would be if you were walking again or riding your bike again for the first time in forever. But after about 10 throws, I felt pretty good, and I realize it's just one other thing I have to do in this process."

Another thing the 24-year old has to do, admittedly so, is get in better physical shape. Anderson, listed officially at 235 pounds, has run into durability problems in his second two seasons as an MLB pitcher. After arriving with a 11-11 record in 30 starts his rookie season, Anderson hit the disabled list three times over the past two years. He started just 19 games in his sophomore campaign, and was limited to 13 starts last year.

So, what is Anderson doing about it? The formerly-avid soda drinker has given up pop, and along with increased conditioning efforts, he is already 20 pounds slimmer since the surgery. While he won't admit he enjoys the extra running, he knows "you have to make the best of the time off to make sure something like this injury doesn't happen again."

In fact, Anderson made his feelings on running known via Twitter Monday.

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Brett AndersonI know it's good for you and i have to do it...but let's be honest, is there anything worse than running to run?
Nov 14 via EchofonFavoriteRetweetReply
Anderson is targeting a July 2012 return to the big league mound. He is set to earn 3.25 million next season as part of the four-year deal that makes him an Athletic through the 2014 season.

"I still have a long way to go, but I'm excited about what I can do once I'm back," Anderson said. "Hopefully things will continue to go smoothly."
Nate Stuhlbarg is a web producer at CSNBayArea.com. Follow him on Twitter @StuhlbargCSN.

Ryan Christenson named bench coach as A's solidify 2018 staff

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Ryan Christenson named bench coach as A's solidify 2018 staff

Ryan Christenson has worked his way up the coaching ladder in the A’s farm system, and on Thursday he was named the team’s new major league bench coach.

The announcement makes Christenson, 43, the right-hand man for manager Bob Melvin and essentially the No. 2 man in the dugout. It also settles a position that was in flux over the course of the 2017 season. Mark Kotsay began this past season as bench coach but stepped away from the team in June to be with his family after his daughter, Sienna, suffered a serious eye injury.

Kotsay is expected to remain with the big league club in some form of non-everyday role. Chip Hale finished the season as bench coach but will now switch back to third base coach, a position he originally was hired for leading into the 2017 season. Hale also coaches Oakland’s infielders.

“At some point in time we knew Ryan was going to be here,” Melvin said. “He went through all the classifications (managing in the minors). He did well with a young group. It’s a good fit bringing him in, and he’s ready for the bench coach role. He’s done a lot of managing.”

Though the bench coach works in closest tandem with a manager throughout the game, Melvin also noted the importance of having a third-base coach that thinks right along with him and is on the same page. From that standpoint, he said having Hale in that role is important.

“Chip’s so good at third, that even though I’m used to having him on the bench, it’s tough not to use him (at third),” Melvin said. “Certainly this isn’t a demotion for Chip.”

It’s the first appointment on a major league staff for Christenson, who has spent the past five seasons managing in Oakland’s farm system, starting with low Single-A and working his way up to Triple-A Nashville this season. He led Double-A Midland to back-to-back Texas League titles in 2015-16, and his teams went 391-307 (.561) over those five seasons.

The rest of Melvin’s coaching staff will return intact in 2018. That includes pitching coach Scott Emerson, who took over that role midseason after the firing of Curt Young, and hitting coach Darren Bush. Like Christenson, Emerson and Bush both were promoted from within the farm system to their eventual spots on the big league staff.

All three men have extensive history coaching the large group of young players that are establishing themselves as the A’s core, and that’s a factor worth keeping in mind when evaluating the makeup of this staff.

Emerson, who assumed Young’s duties in June, will return as pitching coach despite the A’s staff posting a 4.67 ERA, highest by an Oakland staff since 1999. A’s pitchers also surrendered an Oakland-record 210 home runs.

“Similar to Ryan, he knows everybody, what we have here and in the minor leagues,” Melvin said of Emerson. “He’s been a good fit here and continues to be a good fit.”

Bush oversaw a group of hitters that showed improvement as the season wore on, scoring the fifth-most runs in the American League after the All-Star break. The A’s set a franchise record for strikeouts – in line with the rise in whiffs throughout the majors -- but also hit the fourth-most homers in franchise history.

Melvin’s staff is rounded out by first base coach Mike Aldrete, bullpen coach Garvin Alston and assistant hitting coach/catching coach Marcus Jensen. Steve Scarsone, who filled in as interim third base coach from June through the rest of the season, will resume his duties as a traveling instructor throughout the farm system.

Young A’s fan writes letter to team after fires take home, beloved memorabilia

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Twitter @KatieUtehs

Young A’s fan writes letter to team after fires take home, beloved memorabilia

Young Athletics fan Loren Jade Smith is among the thousands of people affected by the Northern California wildfires. Along with his family's home, the fire storm took his most valued possession -- his A's memorabilia collection. 

In his disappointment, Smith wrote a letter to the A's that has since gone viral. 

After the letter was shared throughout the Twitterverse, A's President Dave Kaval said the team would reach out to Jade and his family to replace his memorabilia. 

And since Kaval's announcement, the A's community of fans has responded with offers to send the young fan some memorabilia. The A's have even set up an address where fans can send Smith their gifts.