Athletics

Pratt's Instant Replay: Royals 2, A's 0

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Pratt's Instant Replay: Royals 2, A's 0

BOX SCORE

The A's haven't scored a run since Tuesday. The reintroduction of their clean-up hitter Yoenis Cespedes wasn't enough to save them. The Royals won the game 2-0, handing the A's their ninth straight loss. The A's offense has now been shutout 10 times this season, which is the most in Major League Baseball. How bad has the offense gotten? They have been shutout six times in their last sixteen games. The A's have the lowest team batting average (.208) in the majors by a wide margin. They also have the lowest slugging percentage (.332) and second lowest on-base percentage (.288) in all of baseball.Starting Pitching ReportBartolo Colon throws 88 percent fastballs. Every hitter in the league knows it. With the guess work out of the equation, hitters are gripping it and ripping it against him.Colon ran into trouble in the first inning, allowing two runs. After walking leadoff hitter Alex Gordon, Colon gave up an RBI double to Yuniesky Betancourt. Mike Moustakas followed with an RBI single.
In the third inning, Colon pitched out of a one-out bases-loaded jam. From there, Colon settled down and retired ten straight hitters. He ended up with seven innings pitched, scattering eight hits, walking two and striking out three.
At the PlateWith Cespedes the A's are 15-14. Without him they are 7-15. During his absence A's cleanup hitters batted .185. On Friday Cespedes was 0 for 4 with two strikeouts. Not the impact the team had hoped for.A's hitters were retired in order in the second, fifth, sixth and seventh innings on Friday.Things looked promising when Weeks started the game with a lead-off double, which extended his hitting streak to eight games. The A's weren't able to capitalize. Seth Smith struck out looking, Josh Reddick flew out the center field, and Yoenis Cespedes struck out swinging.In the third inning, Weeks started a two-out rally with an infield single. After Smith walked, Weeks made a curious decision to attempt to steal third. He was caught stealing with Reddick at the plate.Bullpen ReportAndrew Carignan entered the game in the eighth inning and pitched two-thirds of an inning, walking one and striking out one. He was relieved by Jerry Blevins who came in to retire the left-handed hitting Eric Hosmer.In the FieldIn the bottom of the first, Coco Crisp tracked a hard-hit ball by Jeff Francouer into the gap in left-center field, crashing into the electronic scoreboard and making the catch. He looked a little banged up after the play but he stayed in the game. Crisp looks motivated to keep his center field job now that the A's have moved Cespedes to left field.In the bottom of the third, the Royals had the bases loaded with no outs before Hosmer hit a week ball to Colon, who went home for the force out. Next Alcides Escobar hit a grounder up the middle, Cliff Pennington scooped it up, flipped it to Weeks, who caught the ball barehanded and fired to first -- just beating Escobar to the bag.Up NextBrandon McCarthy (3-3, 2.95 ERA) returns from the disabled list. McCarthy was shut down with irregular soreness in his right shoulder on May 19. At the time, he told me he was taking extra rest for precautionary measures, and that he doesn't have the same scapula pain in his shoulder that forced him to miss six weeks last season. This season he has averaged 90.8 MPH on his fastball, which is nearly identical to last season. McCarthy will be opposed by Luke Hochevar (3-5, 6.19 ERA), who hasn't won a game since May 12.

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.