Athletics

Jake Diekman's frustrations with MLB had him considering opting out

Jake Diekman's frustrations with MLB had him considering opting out

The restart of the MLB season is becoming more and more real after Monday’s announcement of the 2020 schedules, but with the coronavirus pandemic still going on, the outlook of MLB's future is still murky at best.

This is especially important for A’s reliever Jake Diekman, who is diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, making him more at risk if he were to contract the virus.

Diekman, who just re-signed with the A’s in the offseason, told the San Francisco Chronicle he and his wife Amanda had discussions about opting out of the season after the latest delay in testing results from MLB. He also said it could go further than just opting out. 

“We’ve had conversations about what it would look like if we opted out,” Diekman said. “We knew there would be hiccups but we didn’t know there would be hiccups with the actual test results because that’s basically the No. 1 priority. Everything else is secondary. I feel like deep down, every player has it in the back of their mind that this is all going to fall apart.”

Diekman joins other players, and A’s general manager David Forst, who have expressed frustrations with the league’s delay from the lab in Utah.

Forst reportedly had informed the team of the situation, saying in addition to the July 4 holiday halt, MLB or the company that collects the samples had not communicated to the organization. The A’s were forced to cancel Monday's workouts since they never received the results, joining other teams across the league who had to follow suit.

A’s position players have yet to take the field at The Coliseum. 

Diekman added he was “irked” with the situation, noting that time is being wasted with just a few weeks until the July 24th scheduled Opening Day. 

“Some teams have already had televised simulated games and we haven’t had a workout yet. We have hitters who haven’t seen any live pitching in months and we’re supposed to play in just over two weeks?,” Diekman said.

[RELATED: A's announce 60-game MLB schedule]

There is a silver lining, however. He complimented the team saying they’ve gone above and beyond to ensure the team’s safety, and has been especially supportive of himself and his condition. 

Amanda even tweeted out how manager Bob Melvin has been so supportive of Jake and everything he is going through.

Stephen Piscotty hits game-tying grand slam in ninth inning vs. Giants

Stephen Piscotty hits game-tying grand slam in ninth inning vs. Giants

The 10,000-plus cardboard cutouts at Oracle Park got to witness something great Friday night. 

Following Matt Olson’s solo home run in the top of the ninth, A’s outfielder Stephen Piscotty cleared the bases with a grand slam to tie it at 7-7 against the Giants. 

Piscotty knew it was gone as soon as he hit it.

Piscotty's grand slam was off of Trevor Gott, who ended up up surrendering five runs in the inning before being removed.

According to MLB.com’s Sarah Langs, Piscotty is the 14th player in MLB history with multiple ninth-inning grand slams in a season.

Piscotty hit a walk-off grand slam against the Texas Rangers over a week ago to give the A’s a 5-1 victory. 

There’s something about grand slams and the A’s this season. 

Olson started the season off with a walk-off grand slam over the Los Angeles Angels. It was the first game in league history that went into extra innings since the new rule was implemented in the 2020 season to have a runner on second base beginning in the 10th.

There's something special there. 

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Mark Canha fills Ramón Laureano void with impressive catch vs. Giants

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Mark Canha fills Ramón Laureano void with impressive catch vs. Giants

It’s not impossible, but it’ll be difficult to replace Ramón Laureano as he serves his four-game suspension for his role in the benches clearing brawl between the A's and Astros on Sunday.

However, between Chad Pinder and Mark Canha, at least defensively, the A’s should be OK.

Watch this catch by Canha on a deep fly ball hit by Evan Longoria in the bottom of the sixth of Friday night’s game against the Giants:

Canha was on the ground for a while, but appeared to be fine and was back in the game hitting moments later.

The catch was very Laureano-esque if you ask me.

Canha also has been pretty productive at the plate, collecting15 hits in 18 games this season, and he has proven he’s a diverse option in the outfield. He can even be used as the designated hitter if needed.

If that doesn’t work, there’s always Pinder who showed off his own defensive skills against the Los Angeles Angels earlier this week.

A’s manager Bob Melvin has always appreciated versatility, so knowing he has a couple options to fill that void helps.

[RELATED: Why A's will miss Laureano greatly upon suspension]

Laureano reportedly won the appealed on his original six-game suspension after he had an on-field confrontation with Astros’ hitting coach Alex Cintrón who, as Laureano admitted, made a comment about the A’s centerfielder’s mother. He served the first of his four-game suspension Friday.

Cintrón is serving his 20-game suspension for his role in the incident.