Daniel Gossett positions himself as rotation option for A's

Daniel Gossett positions himself as rotation option for A's

MESA, Ariz. — The A’s sent right-hander Daniel Gossett down to the minors Sunday morning, but he continued boosting his stock while participating in his first major league camp.

Manager Bob Melvin went so far as to say Gossett appears first in line should the A’s need to dip into their Triple-A rotation to bring a starter up.

“The talk of these (available) ‘4’ and ‘5’ spots, typically over the course of a season we run through quite a few guys,” Melvin said. “So he knows that he is now in line for one of those spots, and his job is to go down and perform and continue to develop in the fashion we’ve seen. If he continues to do that it won’t be long before he’s here. As far as the starting pitchers that have gone (to the minors) that look to potentially be here, he’s at the top of the list.”

The 24-year-old Gossett, a second-round pick out of Clemson in 2014, appeared in three exhibitions. He gave up three runs and just two hits in 6 1/3 innings, though he did issue six walks. For a guy who’s only pitched two games as high as Triple-A, Gossett impressed Melvin with his poise and especially his stuff.

“He’s got a good sinker, got a good cutter. When he’s good, he’s proficient in throwing strikes,” Melvin said. “The next thing to come for him will be the changeup and breaking ball. But there’s a lot of similarities between him and Kendall Graveman, for me, in the way he pitched. You’re always trying to find a comp for you that you can kind of emulate, go back and watch video of. And I think they’re pretty good comps.”

Gossett went 10-6 with a 2.69 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP last season in 27 starts, split between all three levels of the farm system. He led A’s minor leaguers with 151 strikeouts.


Another outfielder is dealing with an injury that could affect his battle for a 25-man roster spot. Jaff Decker was scratched from Sunday’s lineup after he hurt an oblique muscle a day earlier while hitting in the cage. The non-roster outfielder has played well enough to thrust himself into the conversation to be the fifth outfielder should the A’s keep that many.

Jake Smolinski underwent right shoulder surgery Friday and is expected to be sidelined for an extended period. With Smolinski out, Alejandro De Aza was already looking like the favorite to be the potential fifth outfielder. But Decker has played well.

“Those things are tough to forecast,” Melvin said of oblique injuries. “For sure it’ll be a few days but I think we’ll get a better idea come tomorrow or the next day. And that’s unfortunate because he was having a good camp.”


A's notes: Failures with runners in scoring position an oddity in Twins series

A's notes: Failures with runners in scoring position an oddity in Twins series

OAKLAND -- The A's went 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position in Sunday's 5-1 loss, finishing their three-game series with the Twins an astounding 0-for-21 in that stat.

“That does not happen very often with us,” A's manager Bob Melvin said. “We're usually pretty good with runners in scoring position. We were not this series.

"Usually those things tend to even out. Unfortunately they didn't even out today.”

For the season, Oakland ranks sixth in MLB with a .268 batting average with runners in scoring position.

Some other notes from the day at the Coliseum ...

-- A's right-hander Trevor Cahill has allowed three or more runs in five consecutive starts, and he owns an ERA of 7.45 during that stretch. But Melvin thought he looked better against the Twins.

“I actually thought his delivery and his stuff -- the movement on his stuff -- were really good, some of the best we've seen,” Melvin said. “All things considered, I think it was a step in the right direction for him. The last time we saw him, he was completely out of whack and hurting a little bit. You could tell within his delivery, it just wasn't smooth. But I think he looked OK today.”

Cahill agreed" “My stuff was a lot better. I was able to command a lot better for the most part. I just couldn't get that out when I had to.”

-- Matt Olson blasted his 28th home run of the season to extend his career high. Those 28 homers also lead all American League first basemen.

"It's nice to see some results, for sure,” Olson said. “The more the merrier, but wins are No. 1 right now.”

-- A's catcher Jonathan Lucroy threw out his 27th attempted base stealer of the season, extending his major league lead. Lucroy also recorded his 79th assist of the season, an Oakland record for catchers.

-- J.B. Wendelken pitched a scoreless ninth to lower his ERA to 0.71. The young righty has allowed only one earned run in 12 2/3 innings for Oakland this season.

-- A's starting pitchers have a streak of 37 consecutive games of seven innings or fewer. A's starters have pitched 807 1/3 innings this season. The fewest in a non-strike season in A's history is 858 2/3 in 1997.

-- The A's fell to 39-20 since the All-Star break, still the best record in Major League Baseball.

Didi Gregorius wrist injury could impact A's-Yankees wild card game


Didi Gregorius wrist injury could impact A's-Yankees wild card game

The New York Yankees suffered a big blow beyond Sunday's 6-3 loss to the 110-loss Orioles. It turns out shortstop Didi Gregorius tore cartilage in his right wrist when he slid home with the winning run in Saturday's game.

According to Yankees manager Aaron Boone, Gregorius could potentially miss the rest of the season.

Gregorius received a cortisone shot that reportedly made him feel better. He will be reevaluated in the coming days.

If Gregorius is unable to play in the American League wild card game, it would be a significant blow to New York, and a boon for the A's. The 28-year-old is slashing .268/.336/.498 with 27 home runs and 86 RBI. Perhaps more importantly, Gregorius is an elite defensive shortstop.

There is still a chance that Gregorius will be able to play in the play-in game, but if he can't, it would be a major advantage for Oakland. Gregorius has hit third, fourth, or fifth in the Yankees lineup recently, and losing his bat and glove would hurt. The Yankees would likely replace him with either rookie Gleyber Torres or recent pickup Adeiny Hechavarria.

The AL wild card game is set for October 3, giving Gregorius a week-and-a-half to recover.