Athletics

A's-Rays stat pack

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A's-Rays stat pack

The Oakland A's return home after a six-game road trip to take on the Tampa Bay Rays in a three-game series starting Monday, July 30. Back in May, the A's won the series against the Rays 2-1.

With two games left in July, the A's have a chance to finish the month with the 2nd best July winning Pct in the Modern Era. The previous 7 teams to have a winning pct of .800 or better in July all reached the World Series.

Highest Winning Pct in July
Since 1900
1941 Yankees .862 25-4 2012 Athletics .818 18-4 1945 Cubs .813 26-6 1913 Giants .806 25-6 1947 Yankees .800 24-6 1968 Cardinals .800 24-6 1938 Yankees .800 20-5 2004 Cardinals .800 20-5 Reached World Series

Since ending their 9-game losing streak in early June, the A's have the best record in Baseball:
Best Records in Majors since June 2nd
Athletics 33-16 .673 Yankees 32-18 .640 Reds 32-18 .640 Pirates 32-18 .640 Nationals 32-19 .627
The A's have won their last 5 home games and dating back to June 6th have been nearly unbeatable at home:
Oakland Athletics
Last 23 Home Games
Record 18-5 1-Run Games 8-3
Walk-Off Wins 8 RunsGame 4.0 ERA 2.38 Best Home Record in MLB since June 6th

Offense on Road Trip
Record 4-2
Average .281 AVG wRISP .392 RunsGame 8 HR 10 Doubles 16 Triples 3 Steals 5 for 5
If there was a Post-All-Star Game MVP, Yoenis Cespedes would be the run away leader:
Yoenis Cespedes
Since All-Star Break

A.L. Rank .443 Average 1st .485 OB 1st .787 Slug 1st 27 Hits 1st 18 RBI t-1st 15 Runs t-3rd 5 HR t-4th
A.J. Griffin has started his career with 6 straight quality starts (6 IP3 ER or less). He is the first pitcher in Oakland history to start with 6 straight and the first A's pitcher to do so since Jesse Flores had 8 straight in 1943. (Jesse Flores was the first Mexican born player to ever play for the A's and the 3rd ever to play in the Majors. In Flores 2nd start with the A's, he pitched 15.2 innings allowing only 1 run in the bottom of the 16th at Washington. The A's won 2-1 with Flores getting the win.)

Most Quality Starts to begin Career
Since 2000
Brandon Webb AZ 2003 13 Jered Weaver LAA 2006 9 Josh Beckett FLA 2001-02 6 Blake Beavan SEA 2011 6 A.J. Griffin OAK 2012 6
George Kottaras has taken the Little League saying "a walk's as good as a hit" to heart this season with 29 walks but only 18 hits. (.209 Avg but .409 OB - the last player with an OB 200 points higher than his batting average: Barry Bonds in 2007 - .480 OB, .276 Avg)

Fewest Plate Appearances per Walk
This Season (min 100 PAs)
George Kottaras OAK 4.0 Joey Votto CIN 5.6 Adam Dunn CHW 5.6 Jason Giambi COL 5.9 Carlos Santana CLE 6.1
When they A's first saw the Rays in May in Tampa Bay (say that 10-times fast), the Rays were the hottest team in baseball. But the Athletics took the final 2 games of the 3-game series and the Rays have struggled with the bats ever since:

Tampa Bay Season Breakdown
Thru May 4th Since May 5th
Record 19-8 34-41 AVG .249 .225 RGM 4.6 3.9 HRGM 1.2 0.8 ERA 3.69 3.52
The Rays won the last two games of their series in Anaheim by shutting out the Angels. Rays pitchers come into Oakland having not allowed a run in their last 23 innings. (Tampa Bay has never thrown 3 straight shutouts.)

Lowest ERA in the American League
Athletics 3.44 Rays 3.57 Rangers 3.70 Yankees 3.70 Angels 3.74
A big issue for the Rays is trying to replace the bat of injured Evan Longoria:
Rays 3rd Basemen This Season
Evan Longoria 7 Others
Games 23 79 AVG .329 .244 HR 4 5 RBI 19 34 ON .433 .294 Slug .561 .358 Rodriguez, Keppinger, Rhymes, Sutton, Roberts, Conrad, Johnson

The A's know all about newly acquired 3rd Baseman Ryan Roberts, earlier this year "Tatman" hit a 2-out, 3-run walk-off HR off Brian Fuentes on June 8th at Arizona.

David Price
by Season

Rec ERA KBB 2009 10-7 4.42 1.89 2010 19-6 2.72 2.38 2011 12-13 3.49 3.46 2012 14-4 2.57 3.02
David Price
Last 7 Starts
Record 6-0 ERA 1.82
Opp Avg .200
Walks 13 Strikeouts 52 7 IP in all 7 starts

David Price
Career vs Athletics
5 Starts
2-1 Record
3.62 ERA
.228 Opp Avg
1 Home Run
9.5 K 9 IP
May 4th (W): 8 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 12 K's

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.