Athletics

Chad Pinder, Mark Canha deserve shot to be everyday players for A's

Chad Pinder, Mark Canha deserve shot to be everyday players for A's

Over the past two seasons, Chad Pinder and Mark Canha have emerged as productive hitters in their limited opportunities. Last year, the pair combined for 30 home runs, 34 doubles, and 79 RBI in 663 total at-bats. Both have continued to perform well at the plate this season, with Pinder posting a .734 OPS and Canha at .769.

With newcomers Jurickson Profar and Robbie Grossman struggling, this seems like the perfect time to give Pinder and Canha a chance to be everyday players.

The A's had high expectations for Profar when they acquired him from Texas this offseason. The 26-year-old was coming off a career year that saw him slash .254/.335/.458 with 20 home runs and 77 RBI. Profar's first season in Oakland has been a nightmare, however, both with the bat and glove. The A's second baseman is slashing a lowly .181/.247/.306 while battling the yips on defense. Profar has already committed eight errors, the most of any second baseman in the majors, and his -1.1 WAR is tied for second-worst in the American League.

Robbie Grossman has fared a little bit better, though he's only slashing .215/.333/.346. His OPS of .679 is significantly lower than that of Canha and Pinder, who both provide far more power.

[RELATED: One quarter through the season, the A's need to shake things up]

Obviously, it's too soon to completely give up on Profar and Grossman, and there will still be a role for them down the road. But for the time being, Pinder and Canha bring more to the table and have played themselves into starting jobs.

Adding Pinder and Canha to the everyday lineup would give Oakland a legitimate power threat from every spot in the lineup. It also wouldn't be surprising to see their production increase if given more consistent at-bats, similar to what we've seen from Josh Phegley this season.

If nothing else, a couple of lineup changes could shake up a stagnant offense and potentially help get the A's back on track. At this point, could it really hurt?

LeBron James speaks out on Rob Manfred's handling of Astros scandal

LeBron James speaks out on Rob Manfred's handling of Astros scandal

The way MLB commissioner Rob Manfred has handled the Astros' cheating scandal left many fans, and players, outraged.

Angels superstar Mike Trout, who isn't one to be controversial or outspoken, said he didn't agree with the lack of punishment toward members of the 2017 Astros team. And on the other side of the country, Yankees slugger Aaron Judge admitted to taking down a photo he shared with Astros second baseman Jose Altuve because he didn't feel it held any meaning anymore. 

The latest athlete to have a say in what's going on in the world of baseball? LeBron James.

Yes, he doesn't play baseball, but the NBA superstar and global icon took to Twitter on Tuesday to make his opinion known.

The extra-long hashtag alone truly shows how the 16-time All-Star and four-time MVP feels on the subject.

At the end of the day, they're all playing sports, and King James wants something to change as well. He explained if he were to go through something similar in the basketball world, he would be just as upset as the rest of the MLB players have shown.

Manfred spoke to the media earlier on Tuesday and addressed the Astros' wrongdoing during that 2017 World Series run.

[RELATED: Fiers says Astros 'cheated as a team']

He complimented A's pitcher Miker Fiers, the "whistleblower" who shed light on the subject back in November. Manfred said Fiers "did a service" for the industry by going on the record, noting that it would have taken longer to clean up the mess this has caused without Fiers coming forward.

The players will continue to be angry if more is not done on the issue.

The ball remains in Manfred's court. 

Rob Manfred working to protect A's pitcher Mike Fiers from retaliation

Rob Manfred working to protect A's pitcher Mike Fiers from retaliation

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- A’s starting pitcher Mike Fiers played a huge role in exposing the Houston Astros’ sign-stealing scandal. He provided firsthand knowledge and evidence of wrongdoing by the Astros and put his name behind it.

Some believe his actions as a whistleblower were just and appropriate helping clean up major league baseball.

Others disagree. Fiers has received heavy flak for his role shedding light on cheating in baseball, from those in the industry and fans watching this scandal unfold. That’s especially true among the Astros fanbase, which has made him a public enemy for bringing this to light.

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred was asked in a Tuesday press conference about the criticism and flak pointed his way, and said the league will make sure he is safe and protected whenever he is pitching and when the A’s are on the road playing in an environment hostile to Fiers.

“We will take every possible step to protect Mike Fiers wherever he is playing,” Manfred said, “whether it’s in Houston or somewhere else.”

[RELATED: Melvin has sky-high expectations for A's this season]

Manfred continued his comments, offering unprompted praise for Fiers’ role as a whistleblower.

“I want to be really clear about this,” Manfred said. “Mike, who I do not know, did the industry a service. I do believe that we will be a better institution when we emerge at the end of this episode, without a Mike Fiers, we would probably have a very difficult time cleaning this up. It would’ve taken longer. We would’ve done it eventually, but it would’ve taken a lot longer. I have a real problem with anyone who says Mike did anything other than the right thing.”