Athletics

From finding underwear to washing pants, Graveman dives into role as clubhouse attendant

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Joe Stiglich

From finding underwear to washing pants, Graveman dives into role as clubhouse attendant

ARLINGTON, Texas — Rather than sit around through four days of inactivity, Kendall Graveman put himself to work in a lighthearted way this weekend.

The A’s right-hander has spent the past two days helping out the clubhouse staff that services the visiting team at Globe Life Park. Dressed in a blue polo and black shorts, just like all the other clubbies before Saturday night’s game against the Rangers, Graveman did everything from serve Liam Hendriks his quesadilla to finding a pair of lost underwear.

What inspired such a maneuver? Graveman made his final start Wednesday at the Coliseum, so there’s not a whole lot on his to-do list during this season-ending four-game road series.

“They were down a guy (on the clubhouse staff),” Graveman said. “I obviously don’t have much going on. A lot of the things they do goes unnoticed, from washing dishes, to laundry, to finding lost items.

“Obviously, it’s a little bit comical on my end. But these guys do a lot. Without the clubbies around the league, things wouldn’t run as smoothly as they do. … They’re here two hours after we leave and they’re here before we show up, getting everything ready.”

Graveman is one of the more humble and down-to-earth big leaguers around. Dressed for the part, Graveman meshed right in as he walked through the clubhouse sincerely looking for things to do. He even posed for a picture with all the other visiting clubhouse attendants. And his gesture to help out, though lighthearted, was much appreciated.

“I love it. It shows what kind of guy he is,” said Kelly Terrell, the Rangers’ visiting clubhouse manager. He’s always been good to us.”

One of Graveman’s more serious chores: Washing a pair of pants for first base coach Mike Aldrete after he spilled something on them.

“You don’t see it very often,” Hendriks said of Graveman making like a clubbie. “But he does off-the-wall things — randomly.”

Manager Bob Melvin raised one concern over the new duties of his No. 1 starter.

“I hope it’s not one extra guy I have to tip.”

Angels two-way star Shohei Ohtani cleared to begin throwing

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USATSI

Angels two-way star Shohei Ohtani cleared to begin throwing

ANAHEIM — The Los Angeles Angels say two-way star Shohei Ohtani’s elbow ligament is continuing to heal and he has been medically cleared to begin a throwing progression.

The team said Ohtani was given a six-week evaluation Thursday by Dr. Steve Yoon at the Kerlan Jobe Institute. The Angels said they would release specifics about his progress and rehabilitation schedule at another time.

Ohtani was placed on the disabled list with an ulnar collateral ligament sprain on June 8 after complaining about tightness in his right elbow following a June 6 start against Kansas City. The Japanese sensation has since returned to the roster as a designated hitter, but his prospects to pitch remain unclear.

He is hitting .283 with seven home runs and 22 RBIs. On the mound, Ohtani won four of his first five decisions before getting injured.

Khris Davis happy in Oakland, hopes to stay with A's long term

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USATSI

Khris Davis happy in Oakland, hopes to stay with A's long term

For A's slugger Khris Davis, Oakland has felt like home from day one. And the numbers prove it.

Since the start of the 2016 season, when Davis was traded to the Athletics by Milwaukee, only Giancarlo Stanton has hit more home runs, in all of baseball.

Now in his third season wearing the green and gold, the 30-year-old Davis hopes to play in Oakland for years to come.

“I envision myself winning a championship in Oakland,” he said. “I think there's a lot of tradition here. It's got a rich history of championships. I feel like I could bring a championship to Oakland one day.”

It appears the A's would like to see Davis stay in Oakland as well. According to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle, the team has had talks with his agent, Lou Nero of Octagon Baseball, about a multi-year deal.

This season, Davis is earning a team-high $10.5 million. He is under arbitration control for next year, where he would likely get a raise to around $15 million. He is slated to become a free agent after the 2019 season.

While the A's tend to stay away from long-term contracts, it would make sense to re-sign Davis for at least a few years. He has been a powerful force in the lineup the last three seasons, and shows no signs of slowing down. After crushing 42 home runs in 2016, and 43 in 2017, Davis has a chance to make it three consecutive years with 40-plus homers and 100-plus runs batted in.

“Certain guys make their teammates better, and Khris Davis is that guy for us,” said manager Bob Melvin. “He's a presence that the other team feels. He's always one swing away from a three-run homer. He just makes our lineup deeper and kind of takes the pressure off everybody else. He's been terrific since the day he got here.”

Davis has done his best to just focus on baseball, and leave the negotiations to his agent. But he has made it known that he loves playing in Oakland.

“I like the clubhouse,” he said. “We've got a great group of guys I like to be around, and just grow with them on a daily basis. I like where I'm at right now. Whatever happens, happens in the future. It's a business, but at the same time, I'm happy and I can't complain.”

“I know he's really comfortable here,” Melvin added. “There are certain places where guys just feel at home and comfortable, and this is the place for him.”