Athletics

Jake Diekman's wife appreciates Bob Melvin's message to A's players

Jake Diekman's wife appreciates Bob Melvin's message to A's players

A's reliever Jake Diekman is considered a high-risk player for the 2020 MLB season, but as of now, he has no plans to opt out.

So that means his teammates need to be extra cautious regarding the coronavirus. If one of them contracts the virus, they could pass it to Diekman. That outcome could end up being very bad.

Since the age of 11, Diekman has had ulcerative colitis, a disease that affects the colon. In 2016, Diekman underwent surgery to remove his colon. A year later, he had a second procedure where doctors used his small intestines to create a "J-Pouch," a replacement colon.

No one understands the risk to Diekman more than A's manager Bob Melvin.

During a Zoom conference call with A's reporters Saturday, Melvin mentioned that he plans to address his team Sunday about taking the coronavirus precautions as seriously as possible.

“How important it is to try to stay in as much of a bubble as we possibly can,” Melvin said, according to The San Francisco Chronicle's Matt Kawahara. “It is literally like it is in real life, understanding that you’re doing this for the person next to you, too.

"You’re staying healthy for not only yourself and your family but your teammates and their families.”

Melvin will be sure to mention Diekman.

“His name will come up as well, that it’s very important to take this seriously,” Melvin said, according to Kawahara.

Melvin's comments made their way to Amanda Diekman, Jake's wife.

[RELATED: Diekman dominated TikTok during stoppage]

Melvin is widely loved by his players, and this is another example of why. He cares about all the guys.

The A's acquired Diekman last July from the Kansas City Royals, and re-signed him to a two-year contract this offseason. The 34-year-old is expected to be a key piece of Melvin's bullpen this season.

Why A's will greatly miss Ramón Laureano while he serves suspension

Why A's will greatly miss Ramón Laureano while he serves suspension

A's manager Bob Melvin wasn't sure if he'd have Ramón Laureano in center field for Wednesday's game against the Los Angeles Angels. Laureano is appealing a six-game suspension for his role in Sunday's A's-Houston Astros brawl, and Oakland expected to learn about his appeal before first pitch at Angel Stadium.

But Laureano started, and the A's were beyond thrilled to have him in the lineup for Wednesday's 8-2 win. He drove in a pair of runs and saved at least one, casually robbing a home run from Angels outfielder Brian Goodwin in the bottom of the seventh inning.

Laureano was just as happy, but he toned it down -- as he usually does -- in a video conference with reporters after the game.

“Yeah, I mean I didn’t pay attention too much, I was ready to play since I woke up,” Laureano said of potentially not playing Wednesday.

[BALK TALK: Listen to the latest episode]

Laureano has a way of making these incredible plays and acting as if each were as simple as going grocery shopping. Is it as effortless as he makes it look?

“It’s never an easy play, I just get good timing on it and the outfield here is pretty short in center field," Laureano said. "I always feel good playing here.”

Laureano hadn't watched the game film yet, so he wasn't aware how impressively easy his catch looked.

Pitcher Chris Bassitt was. He pumped his fist in gratitude toward Laureano after each of the outfielder's highlight-reel plays.

“He’s a Gold Glove center fielder,” Bassitt said. “No doubt, but I mean, he won us the game defensively. I mean, I know we won it by a couple more runs, but he definitely saved us.”

Bassitt said balls can really fly in Angel Stadium, and playing during the day forces outfielders to work even harder. But that was no worry for Laureano. He thrives there.

A’s manager Bob Melvin gets to see it all unfold from the dugout. 

“I enjoy watching him play, he’s energetic, he’s exciting, he’s a thrill a minute -- and we’ve seen those plays in the outfield,” Melvin said after the win. “This wall can be fairly easy, not that it’s an easy play, but he times it very well. He knows once he hits the warning track how many steps to the wall and he’s really confident doing it.”

Angels' manager Joe Maddon was pretty upset Laureano didn't start serving his suspension Wednesday.

A total game-changer. 

[RELATEDStewart believes 'justice was done' in Laureano, Cintrón bans]

Whenever Laureano starts serving his suspension, the A's will miss him. Oakland can have a glimmer hope of knowing that Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Joe Kelly's eight-game suspension was reduced to five when he appealed. Kelly threw at Astros players and mocked them as he walked off the mound.

“Since you’re telling me that, I will take that bait,” Melvin said after the game. ”Yeah, I would like it to be reduced, so we’ll see where it goes. I’m not in charge of that.”

Watch Ramón Laureano casually rob home run from Angels' Brian Goodwin

Watch Ramón Laureano casually rob home run from Angels' Brian Goodwin

A’s pitchers Yusmeiro Petit and Chris Bassitt are going to buy Ramón Laureano a nice steak dinner after the performance(s) he put on Wednesday.

The A’s centerfielder made a few strong plays against the Angels, but one in particular was peak Laureano. The fact that he robbed a home run of Los Angeles outfielder Brian Goodwin was great, but watch how casual he made the catch look:

I’m literally laughing out loud. How does he make it look so easy? All in a day’s work for Laureano.

This saved the Angels from tying it up in the bottom of the seventh, but that’s typical of the A's outfielder.

[RELATEDCintrón apologizes, denies insulting Laureano's mother]

Laureano was given a six-game suspension after his role in the A’s-Astros bench-clearing brawl on Sunday, but has elected to appeal it. That means, when he does serve the ban, the A’s will be without him for the time being, but they have a phenomenal back-up plan in Chad Pinder.

Pinder’s middle name could be “diverse,” if it wasn’t Hudson. The guy can do it all, and he can do it well. Just as he did on Tuesday night against the Angels in the 6-0 loss. 

[BALK TALK: Listen to the latest episode]