Athletics

Arizona Fall League roundup: Montas' scoreless innings streak continues

Arizona Fall League roundup: Montas' scoreless innings streak continues

Only five pitchers in the Arizona Fall League have thrown at least 10 innings without allowing a single run to cross home plate. Among those is A's prospect Frankie Montas as his streak has now reached 14.1 innings pitched. 

Montas has only appeared in five games, but in that time, he is dominating his opposition. In the AFL, Montas is now 1-0 and has only allowed five hits while striking out nine batters. 

This past week, Montas only appeared in one game. Against the Surprise Saguaros, Montas tossed three innings out of the bullpen, giving up just one hit. After three more shut-down innings, opponents are now hitting .116 off of Montas. 

When the going gets tough, Montas has been at his best. Montas has seen runners on base in 5.2 of his innings pitched, and not one batter has even been able to get a hit off him. With 2.1 innings of runners in scoring position, again, not one hit. 

Last season, between Double-A and Triple-A for affiliates of the Dodgers, Montas went 0-0 with a 2.25 ERA in seven games. He started four and came out of the 'pen in three. 

In June, Montas was sidelined with a broken rib. After the A's acquired him at the trade deadline, he did not pitch once in a game for the A's minor league system. 

***

-- Franklin Barreto and Sam Bragg represented the A's in the Fall Stars Game.

-- Starting pitcher Dylan Covey improved to 3-0 in the fall, but his ERA rose from 2.65 to 4.35. He is one out away from leading the Solar Sox in innings pitched with 20.2. 

-- The Solar Sox are fighting for a chance to play in the league's championship game. The AFL regular season ends on Nov. 17 with a championship game on Nov. 19. 

Here are three questions facing A's as 2019 season opens Vs. Mariners

Here are three questions facing A's as 2019 season opens Vs. Mariners

The A's and Mariners are officially just hours away from opening the MLB season in Japan. For those die-hard fans (and insomniacs) who plan to stay up all night to watch the game, here are four questions to keep an eye on:

Who bats third?

Jed Lowrie's departure leaves a huge hole in the middle of the A's lineup. Oakland has a few candidates to fill that void, including newly-acquired second baseman Jurickson Profar. However, Stephen Piscotty and Matt Olson are probably the best options at this point.

With the A's facing left-hander Marco Gonzales in the season opener, expect to see the right-handed hitting Piscotty batting third. If he performs well, it could be his job to lose, though Olson figures to get some opportunities against right-handed pitchers, at least early in the year.

Who starts at catcher?

The A's also lost their starting catcher from last season as Jonathan Lucroy signed with the rival Angels. With Chris Herrmann injured, the starting job will go to either Nick Hundley or Josh Phegley, both of whom performed well in spring training.

Hundley figures to have the edge to start the season due to his better offensive numbers over the years. The 35-year-old has a career OPS of .706, compared to Phegley's .635.

Is Mike Fiers ready to be a number one starter?  

Fiers gets the honor of starting on Opening Day. The 33-year-old is coming off the best season of his career, going 12-8 with a 3.56 ERA between Detroit and Oakland in 2018. He was rewarded with a two-year, $14.1 million contract this offseason.

Throughout his career, Fiers has primarily been a fourth or fifth starter. This year he finally has his chance to be an ace. The right-hander certainly has the right mindset to handle any added pressure, but the A's would like to see him get off to a good start.

A's players talk crushing sushi, baseballs in Japan for Opening Series

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USATSI

A's players talk crushing sushi, baseballs in Japan for Opening Series

What does a professional baseball team do when traveling to Japan?

It’s pretty simple for the Oakland A's, who are currently there to open up the 2019 regular season against the Seattle Mariners on March 20 and 21.

-Eat sushi
-Play baseball
-Eat more sushi

The A’s have already played two exhibition games against teams from Japan, and the Japanese crowds are loving the Green and Gold.

A “Let’s go Oakland!” chant even broke out in the middle of a game.

If you feel so inclined to cheer on the A's during their two regular season games in Japan, there will be a watch party (not so) bright and early for first pitch at 2:35 a.m. PT