Athletics

Pratt's Instant Replay: Angels 6, Athletics 0

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Pratt's Instant Replay: Angels 6, Athletics 0

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ANAHEIM -- The A's will certainly be happy to bid adieu to Jered Weaver for the rest of the regular season. The Angels' ace flat out dominated in his four starts against Oakland this season, going 3-0 with a one earned run over 30 13 innings. He pitched seven shutout innings of two hit ball earning the win on Thursday. The Angels beat the A's 6-0, snapping Oakland's six-game win streak and 12-game road win streak. The A's won the season series 10-9. At the PlateA's left fielder Yoenis Cespedes was forced to leave Thursday's game against the Angels early with a sprained right wrist.
RELATED: Cespedes leaves with sprained wrist
Cespedes reached base with a walk in the top of the fourth inning. He slid hard into second base and collided with Angels' shortstop Erick Aybar on an inning-ending double play. After the collision, Aybar and Cespedes appeared to briefly exchange civil words and check on each other. It looked like Cespedes may have gotten inadvertently elbowed in the head. He planted his right wrist on the slide but it didn't appear that he jammed it. He winced in pain when jogging off the field. In the bottom of the fifth inning the A's took Cespedes out of the game. They put Brandon Moss in his place in left field and Chris Carter took Moss' spot at first base. At this time there's no official word on what the issue is. The A's are 70-38 with him in the starting lineup and 12-22 when he doesn't play. He had hit a home run in each of his last two games. Four of the A's first five hitters struck out against Weaver, who got off to a hot start. Jemile Weeks returned to the lineup for the first time since August 20 with a double in his first at-bat. It wasn't quite as glorious as it looks on the stat sheet as the ball was popped to a difficult to reach area and center fielder Mike Trout just missed robbing Weeks with a diving catch. Weeks also added a single and a stolen base in the eighth inning. He ended up 2 for 3. Starting Pitching ReportAnderson had only allowed two earned runs and issued two walks in four starts since returning from Tommy John surgery. He eclipsed his stellar earned run total by allowing five runs in the seventh inning on Thursday. The first came on a Torii Hunter home run to right field. The second scored when Aybar doubled and Mark Trumbo followed with an RBI single to center field. Wells followed with another single to put runners on first and second. Anderson struck out Vernon Wells for the second out of the inning. Trout then stepped to the plate with two outs and MVP chants and drew a walk to load the bases. That finished Anderson's day. Anderson had effectively shut down the Angels attack in the first six innings. His first true adversity came in the fifth inning, when Howie Kendrick his a leadoff double. He responded by inducing an Aybar ground out, striking out Mark Trumbo, and getting Vernon Wells to hit a routine grounder to short to end the inning. In the sixth inning he gave up a one-out, ground-rule double to Trout but didn't allow him to score. Bullpen ReportJesse Chavez made his A's debut with the bases loaded and two outs in relief of Anderson. He gave up a two-run single to right field to make it 4-0. Then with Albert Pujols batting, a passed ball scored Trout to make it 5-0. Hunter, who started the inning and scoring with a homer, hit a two-out RBI single to make it 6-0 game. Chavez was able to get Kendrick to ground out to end the inning. Three of the runs were charged to Anderson. AttendanceThe Angels announced an attendance of 38,029. Rally Monkey CameosAfter a six-run seventh inning in which the Angels sent 11 batters to the plate the monkey never surfaced. Apparently the Angels can rally sans monkeys. Up NextThe A's return home for a quick three game series with the Baltimore Orioles. It will be a duel of lefties as Tommy Milone (12-10, 3.90 ERA) takes on Joe Saunders (2-1, 4.23 ERA). Brandon McCarthy Tweet of the Day With this sweet new haircut and homemade Bane mask I'm off for a big day of yelling at tourists in Union Square. Brandon McCarthy (@BMcCarthy32) September 13, 2012

New Cardinals OF Marcell Ozuna takes jab at A's during media event

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AP

New Cardinals OF Marcell Ozuna takes jab at A's during media event

While expressing his happiness to be with his new team, Cardinals outfielder Marcell Ozuna took a swipe at the A’s during a media function in St. Louis on Sunday.

Ozuna’s name, you’ll remember, swirled in trade rumors earlier this offseason that he might be dealt from the Miami Marlins to Oakland. Instead, the two-time All-Star was traded to St. Louis, making him one of several big-name players Miami has shipped off as it looks to slash payroll.

While attending the Cardinals’ Winter Warm-Up event to preview this season, Ozuna was asked what it was like being dealt to a team that’s more focused on winning right away as opposed to the rebuilding Marlins.

“I feel happy about that,” Ozuna responded. “First thing when I heard they were trying to trade me to the Oakland A’s, I say … (long pause) Well, I say ‘God, please leave me over here.’ Then I heard they trade me to the Cardinals, I say ‘OK, thanks.’”

Ouch.

Well, it’s not the first time such an insult has been hurled the A’s way, whether directly or indirectly. Last winter, it came out that Matt Holliday — who spent part of 2009 with Oakland — had a no-trade clause included in his contract with the Yankees that prohibited him from being traded only to the A’s.

Is it surprising to hear Ozuna volunteer his thoughts about the A’s in a public forum? Perhaps.

Is it a shock that he’d feel that way in the first place? Definitely not.

It’s no secret the A’s reputation is one of a team that’s always looking to trade its best veteran players rather than spend the money to sign them long term. It’s also common knowledge that they play in an outdated ballpark that’s considered the worst in the majors.

No question, those are the dominant thoughts of players on the other 29 teams when they think of the A’s. And there’s no quick fix to that. National perception is tough to alter.

“Why doesn’t ownership just start spending more money on payroll?” you might ask. “That’s the best way to change perception.”

No arguments there, but we know from the past that isn’t going to happen. Clearly, majority owner John Fisher isn’t going to spend more freely on payroll — especially with the A’s being cut off from MLB’s revenue sharing system — unless he sees the potential for other forms of revenue to stream in.

It all points back to the critical need for the A’s to identify a ballpark site and begin construction on a new home. That will send a message around the majors that a plan is in motion, that better days are ahead.

Until then, the A’s can expect to absorb the occasional jab like that delivered by Ozuna. On the bright side for Oakland fans, they might have just identified Public Enemy No. 2, a player who can slot in right behind Holliday as their favorite opponent to vilify.

A's, Khris Davis avoid arbitration, but is this a long-term union?

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USATSI

A's, Khris Davis avoid arbitration, but is this a long-term union?

The A’s took care of a big piece of business with their top run producer, signing slugger Khris Davis to a one-year contract Wednesday and avoiding arbitration.

FanRag’s Jon Heyman reported the sides settled on a $10.5 million salary. That’s more than double the $5 million Davis made last season in his first trip through the arbitration process, but a huge raise was expected after Davis put up more monster numbers in his second year with Oakland.

His 43 home runs in 2017 ranked second in the American League and he was third in RBI with 110. Consider that Davis is the only major leaguer to crack the 40-homer mark in each of the past two seasons, and only Giancarlo Stanton has more total homers during that span (86 to Davis’ 85).

That obviously makes the 30-year-old Davis a valuable commodity.

“Back to back 40-homer years in this ballpark. You guys don’t talk about it enough,” A’s executive VP of baseball operations Billy Beane said in October. “When we acquired him (in a trade from Milwaukee) we knew we got a guy with a lot of power. I think we were thinking a 30-homer guy. The fact he’s gone 40 back-to-back is pretty amazing. He fits in perfectly here. I think having that big bat that Khris brings helps guys like (Matt) Olson and (Matt) Chapman.”

So it’s clear the A’s value Davis, and that’s why he hasn’t been traded thus far, as many around the game speculated he might be this winter. But where do things go moving forward?

He’ll be eligible for arbitration one more time next winter before he’s able to test free agency heading into the 2020 season. If you’re an A’s fan, you know where this is going. If July hits and the A’s are floundering in the standings, Davis no doubt will be a trade candidate. He’d have appeal as a proven slugger who would remain under team control for 2019.

But Davis is a rare breed. He loves playing in Oakland and doesn’t hide that fact. The pitcher-friendly Coliseum has done nothing to suppress his power. In fact, he’s thrived. His 26 home runs at the Coliseum in 2017 fell one short of Jason Giambi’s Oakland record for homers by a home player.

It would seem he’d be open to a long-term extension, and the sides reportedly have held past discussions about one. The A’s have designs on signing some of their younger core players to extensions. But you’d have to rank it as a surprise were they to actually complete an extension with Davis, given the money he would command.

More than likely, Beane and his staff will evaluate the team through the first half of the upcoming season, weigh the pros and cons of dealing him, and if he stays, enter through this arbitration process again next winter, knowing that he’ll command even more bucks on another one-year deal.

An ‘X’ factor is how Davis adjusts to his shift from left field to designated hitter. He told NBC Sports California in November that he prefers the outfield but will fill whatever role is best for the team.

The feeling here is that he’ll put up the same numbers that fans have grown accustomed to, and the ball will be in the A’s court as to how long he remains in green and gold.