Pratt's Instant Replay: A's 4, Dodgers 1


Pratt's Instant Replay: A's 4, Dodgers 1


Yoenis Cespedes returned to the lineup after missing a total of nine games with a left hamstring strain. His return went about as well as could be. Especially when considering that the last time he was in the lineup, he had to leave the game when he aggravated the injury after his first at-bat.The Cuban slugger drove in a run and scored one, as the A's beat the Dodgers 4-1. He also played his first-ever game as a designated hitter.At the PlateCespedes went 2-for-4 with a run. That run came in the fourth inning, after he hit a screaming line drive down the left field line that ricocheted off the wall hard on one hop for a leadoff double. He followed that up with an RBI single in the fifth inning.His outs were almost as impressive. He launched a ball to left field in the eighth inning that he thought was gone. Bobby Abreu made the catch with his back against the wall. In the first inning, he was robbed of a single on a line drive to center field.Seth Smith stayed hot at the plate. He hit the RBI double to left-center field that scored Cespedes, making it a 1-1 game.In the eighth, Brandon Moss hit a very loud homer to right-center, making it 4-1. The blast came on a 1-1 offering from Dodgers reliever Scott Elbert. He now has seven homers since joining the A's 13 games ago.Josh Reddick's struggles at the plate continued on Wednesday. He went 0-for-4 with one strikeout and grounded into a bases-loaded double play in the fifth inning. The A's did score on the play. He is hitless in his last 19 at-bats.Starting Pitching ReportTommy Milone's impressive effort took a back seat to Cespedes' return. Let's just call them stories 1-A, and 1-B. Milone stifled the Dodgers bats over nine innings of one-run ball for his seventh win. It was his first career complete game.The only run the lefty allowed came on a double to right field that Reddick actually made a diving catch on -- but the ball got loose.After allowing the run, he retired 14 consecutive batters. He ended up with two strikeouts, one walk, and three hits allowed.In the FieldIn the fifth inning, Smith made a full speed sliding catch in left field to rob Tony Gwynn Jr.Josh Reddick almost made a diving catch in the second inning. He made a head first dive, catching the ball, but when he rolled out of the dive, he accidentally flung the ball from his glove. The play was ruled an RBI double for Juan Uribe.Weeks made a leaping snowcone snare on a line drive hit by Gwynn Jr. in the eighth inning. Weeks, who is small in stature, makes up for it with his hops. On the next play he committed an error.AttendanceThe A's announced an attendance of 25,383 on Wednesday. Many of those that came got to enjoy Mug Root Beer float night. The A's raised over 24,000 to help fight juvenile diabetes with the event.Dot RaceWhite wins the dot race for a second straight night. It was a close call, but again a late surge lead to the victory.Up NextThe A's take on reigning National League Cy Young Clayton Kershaw (5-3, 2.86 ERA). Oakland might be catching Kershaw at the right time, he has gone 1-2 in his last five starts. He will be opposed by Travis Blackley (1-2, 3.76 ERA). The Australian left-hander allowed two runs over six innings against the Padres. His first MLB win since 2004. Blackley taught me how to play Australian Rules Football before the game. You can see the video here.

Ryon Healy trade has domino effect


Ryon Healy trade has domino effect

The A’s wasted no time making their first major move of the offseason, and it has a domino effect on how their 2018 lineup will take shape.

The trade of young slugger Ryon Healy to the Seattle Mariners on Wednesday paves the way for left fielder Khris Davis to start getting heavy at-bats as the designated hitter, the spot left vacant by Healy.

It also points to another move the A’s want to pull off — acquiring a right-handed hitting corner outfielder who presumably can eat up those defensive innings that Davis spends as the DH.

It’s a series of moves that isn’t all that surprising given the A’s roster makeup right now. Healy, who hit .282 with 38 homers in 221 games over his first two big league seasons, is capable of playing either first or third base. But Matt Olson and Matt Chapman secured those spots, respectively, with their solid showings as rookies last season.

“We’ve obviously talked a lot since the end of the season about adding to the bullpen,” A’s general manager David Forst said on a conference call Wednesday night. “At the same time, with the emergence of Matt and Matt, on the corners, maybe Ryon needed to be somebody we might have to move ...”

It makes sense for Oakland to find a way to shift Davis from being the everyday left fielder while still keeping his 40-homer bat in the lineup. Opponents have routinely taken extra bases the past two seasons on Davis’ throwing arm, and whether they add a newcomer to play left or shift Joyce or someone else there, chances are they can benefit from better defense in left.

The A’s also feel they got an important chip back from Seattle to help bolster a bullpen that ranked 13th in the American League last season with a 4.57 ERA. They received right-hander Emilio Pagan (along with minor league shortstop Alexander Campos), and figure that the 26-year-old Pagan is someone the A’s have pegged to be an immediate contributor in their ‘pen.

A 10th round draft pick in 2013, Pagan made his big league debut in 2017 and posted a 3.22 ERA over 34 games spread over four stints with Seattle. He endured a rocky first couple of outings but, after being called up for good in the second half, eventually worked his way into a late-inning setup role. Pagan struck out 56 and walked just eight in 50 1/3 innings, numbers that surely popped out to Oakland’s front office.

He’ll likely be called upon in middle relief to help set the table for Chris Hatcher and closer Blake Treinen, as the bullpen currently looks.

Campos, just 17, spent this past season in the Dominican Summer League, and Forst said the A’s were eyeing Campos last summer when they eventually traded Yonder Alonso to the Mariners. Oakland wound up getting center fielder Boog Powell back in that deal.

Did the A’s rake in enough for Healy? As with all trades, it will take time to judge. But it’s fair to say that Healy’s departure will be felt in a clubhouse that is characterized by the emergence of many young position players, and he was a part of that group. In fact, when Healy was called up in July 2016 — knocking Danny Valencia out as the regular third baseman — he became the first of several promising position-player prospects to establish himself in Oakland’s lineup.

He rented a house in the East Bay and eventually took in Chapman, Olson and Chad Pinder as roommates. There’s a fiery side to Healy’s on-field personality that was a positive for the A’s, and watching him play Oakland as a member of an AL West rival will make for entertaining theatre.

Another storyline is how Davis takes to being a regular DH. Forst praised Davis’ approach to his game and doesn’t anticipate any problems, adding that the A’s still want to get Davis some time in the outfield.

A's trade Ryon Healy to Mariners for two players


A's trade Ryon Healy to Mariners for two players

The rumors were indeed true. Ryon Healy was on the trade block.

And now Healy has been the Mariners.

The two teams announced the trade Wednesday evening.

Oakland will receive right-handed pitcher Emilio Pagan and shortstop Alexander Campos.

Healy burst on to the scene in 2016 with 13 home runs and 37 RBI in 72 games. This past season, he finished second on the A's with 25 home runs and 78 RBI. But he had become the odd man out in the A's lineup with Matt Olson and Matt Chapman solidifying the corner infield spots.

The 25-year-old is familiar with the Pacific Northwest as he attended the University of Oregon.

Pagan, 26, made his major league debut during the 2017 season. In 34 relief appearances with the Mariners, he posted a 3.22 ERA and struck out 56 batters in 50.1 innings. Against the A's, Pagan allowed one run in 5.1 innings over three outings. A native of South Carolina, Pagan was drafted by the Mariners in the 10th round of the 2013 MLB Draft.

Campos appears to be the prize of the trade, though he's a bit further away from reaching the major leagues. Just 17 years old, Campos signed out of Venezuela in 2016 and made his professional debut this past season. In 59 games for the Mariners' Domincan Summer League team, Campos hit .290/.413/.367 with 10 doubles, two home runs and 26 RBI.

MLB Pipeline ranked Campos as Seattle's No. 15 prospect.