Athletics

Pratt's Instant Replay: A's 6, Orioles 1

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Pratt's Instant Replay: A's 6, Orioles 1

BOX SCORE

The A's hit the century mark of the season, winning their 100th game 6-1. As the team hit triple digits, these are the numbers that really matter -- the A's are 10 games over .500, are 18-3 in July, have won nine of their last 10 games, and are just 3.5 games behind the American League West-leading Texas Rangers.At the PlateYoenis Cespedes continues to amaze. This time he put a monster hack on a hanging slider that landed with a thud 10-plus rows deep in left field. The ball was on the outside part of the plate but that didn't stop the powerful slugger from arching out with his bat and somehow pulling it out of the park.Cespedes now has 14 home runs and nine of them have come with a runner on base. He tried to admire his blast at home but he didn't have much time to do -- the ball left the yard very quickly. He added an RBI-triple in the eighth inning driving in Jemile Weeks. He went the other way on an outside pitch perfectly and then turned on the jets, flying around the bases before gliding into third.Kurt Suzuki doubled with one out in the fifth inning. That wasn't the impressive part of what he did in this game. Next, Eric Sogard softly singled to right field, as Suzuki hustled around third he beat the throw home with an awkward rolling hook slide to score the A's third run. The cather started the slide on his back reaching out toward the plate with his left hand, then the momentum of his body took him into a full barrel roll across the plate. Not to be outdone by Cespedes, Chris Carter launched a mammoth two-run blast of his own to left field in the sixth inning. Carter now has eight homers this season -- five of them have come against righties. That is impressive considering the fact that Carter had been used primarily in a platoon against left-handed pitchers.Starting Pitching ReportBartolo Colon had his two-seam fastball working but home plate umpire Marvin Hudson wasn't calling it for a strike early in the game. Colon's two-seamer has late movement that breaks in over the plate left to right. He threw the pitch several times with two strikes only to have it called a ball. It was on that pitch that Chris Davis was caught looking to end the fifth.Colon lasted 5.2 innings and scattered seven hits. He struck out five batters and walked just one. He got his seventh win of the season.
He left with runners on the corners and two outs. A's manager Bob Melvin was right not to let Colon finish the inning. Omar Quintanilla, who was 2 for 2 against Colon, was due up when Melvin pulled the veteran starting pitcher.Bullpen ReportJordan Norberto entered the game in relief of Colon. He struck out Quintanilla to end the inning. Norberto stayed in the game for the seventh inning. He escaped unscathed despite allowing a single and seeing the leadoff hitter reach on an error. Norberto collected an out in the eighth before being lifted after allowing a single.Evan Scribner took it the rest of the way. He pitched 1.2 innings and allowed a run on a solo homer to Nick Markakis.In the FieldNorberto didn't get much help defensively in the seventh inning. The first batter in the frame, Taylor Teagarden, reached first on an error by Brandon Inge. The second batter reached first on what could have been a double play when Sogard dropped the ball on the exchange. Davis reached on a bloop single to left that Cespedes decided to play on a hop -- it looked like it could have been easily caught. Fortunately for the A's they escaped the inning unscathed.Cespedes was moved to center field prior to the eighth inning to replace Coco Crisp who left the game with hamstring tightness. Cespedes flashed his defensive skill in center on a deep ball into the gap. He was playing shallow but made a great read on the ball, taking a perfect angle and using his speed to make a backhanded catch just in front of the wall.
Up NextThe A's will go for the sweep in Baltimore with Travis Blackley (3-2, 2.69 ERA) on the mound. The Australian-born lefty is 3-0 in his last seven starts.They will be opposed by the sixth left-handed pitcher in their last seven games -- Wei-Yin Chen (8-6, 3.82 ERA). Chen has lost one game in his last three starts.

Ryon Healy trade has domino effect

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AP

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

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USATSI

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 traded...to 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.