For the first time since 2011, Trevor Cahill will start a game for the Oakland A's.
The 30-year-old right-hander will be recalled from Triple-A Nashville to start against the Chicago White Sox Tuesday night at the Coliseum. It figures to be a packed house, as tickets to the game are free, in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Athletics' first game in Oakland.
Cahill has made two starts for Nashville this season, allowing four earned runs in 9 2/3 innings, while striking out 10 and walking seven. He signed a one-year deal with the A's in March, after previously pitching for Oakland from 2009-11.
Last season with the Padres and Royals, Cahill went 4-3 with a 4.93 ERA in 21 appearances, including 14 starts. For his career, he has a record of 73-79 with a 4.11 ERA and 1.37 WHIP.
Cahill's best season came with the A's in 2010, when he went 18-8 with a 2.97 ERA and was named an American League All-Star.
While A's top prospect Jesus Luzardo was impressing scouts with his arm at Sunday's MLB Futures Game, all eyes should have been on his feet.
A graduate of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, the 20-year-old Luzardo wore cleats honoring the 17 victims of the Feb. 14 mass shooting at the Parkland, Florida school.
“It’s for those who passed and the people affected,” Luzardo told USA Today's Ted Berg before his start on Sunday. “After what happened, I’m glad to be here representing them — we have [Stoneman Douglas alum and Cubs first baseman Anthony] Rizzo, we have other guys. But it’s always good to be known that I went to Stoneman Douglas. I’m happy that I grew up there.”
Born in Peru, Luzardo and his family moved to Parkland when he was a baby. Luzardo told USA Today's Ted Berg he was supposed to be at his alma mater on Feb. 14, in order to throw batting practice to his old team, but stayed away from campus after coach Todd Fitz-Gerald told him there was an active shooter.
Luzardo's honored the victims in his community elsewhere, too. He set up a YouCaring.com fundraiser to create a scholarship fund in honor of one of the victims, athletic director Chris Hixon. The fund has raised already just over $10,060, and is about $5000 shy of its $15,000 goal.
The A's acquired Luzardo in a midseason trade with the Washington Nationals last season. Luzardo, who MLB.com ranked as the No. 60 prospect in baseball entering the season, moved up to Double-A this season. In 13 starts with the Midland RockHounds, Luzardo has pitched 63.2 innings with a 2.54 ERA and 1.01 WHIP.
What a difference a month makes.
On June 15, the A's lost to the Angels to fall to 34-36 on the season, 11 games behind the Seattle Mariners for the second AL Wild Card spot.
Fast forward to July 15, and Oakland owns the sixth-best record in all of baseball at 55-42, just three games behind the Mariners.
The A's enter the All-Star break winners of 21 of their last 27 games, and as serious playoff contenders. The question of whether Oakland would be buyers or sellers at the trade deadline has been answered, emphatically. The A's are buyers.
"This group deserves a chance to stay together,” general manager David Forst told Jim Rome on his radio show. “They deserve a chance to play this thing out."
“I prefer to be a buyer and that’s what (we) are preparing to do,” Billy Beane said to The Athletic.
Don't expect the A's to make any huge additions - perhaps they'll add a starting pitcher or possibly another reliever - but simply holding on to veterans like Jed Lowrie, Khris Davis, and Blake Treinen is better than most fans expected at the start of the season. The current roster has already proven it doesn't need a ton of help.
“I think we're playing really confident baseball and making a charge here,” said outfielder Stephen Piscotty. “We're right there, so we're excited to keep going.”
“It's starting to get that feeling, that playoff vibe,” added Sunday's winning pitcher Sean Manaea.
So buckle up, A's fans. Your team is right in the middle of a playoff chase. It's time to start believing.