Athletics

Khris Davis' Opening Day home run has him on track to tie an MLB record

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Khris Davis' Opening Day home run has him on track to tie an MLB record

You guys, baseball is back!

If you're one of the brave and dedicated people who woke up early/stayed up late to watch the A's open up the season in Japan against the Mariners, I salute you.

If not, that's OK, we got you covered with some of the top moments during the A's 9-7 loss to the Mariners. 

Stephen Piscotty got the first hit of the 2019 season with a homer to center field, and Khris Davis did Davis-like things with a long ball of his own in the bottom of the third. 

This homer was his third Opening Day home run in a row:

He's just one home run from tying the record at four joining a pretty prestigious group: Gary Carter from 1977-80, Todd Hundley (1994 -97), and Yogi Berra (1955-58).

So, he could be the fourth guy to reach this feat. 

And a note from Ryan Spaeder of The Ace of Spaeder who helped assist me with these findings:

"Frank Robinson hit home runs in eight different Opening Day games, but never three straight, like Khris Davis did today," Spaeder told NBC Sports Bay Area.

He's also hit a .247 batting average over the course of four straight seasons, and guess what he's estimated to hit in 2019? 

Yep, .247. Crazy right?

[RELATED: Watch Davis' three-run homer in Japan]

Oh, and he's also a career .247 spring training hitter.

Of course he is.

If anything else, the man is consistent.

A's closer Liam Hendriks a finalist for AL Reliever of the Year award

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A's closer Liam Hendriks a finalist for AL Reliever of the Year award

A's closer Liam Hendriks is one of three finalists for the Mariano Rivera American League Reliever of the Year Award.

Hendriks is joined by Astros closer Roberto Osuna and Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman. The NL finalists are Josh Hader, Will Smith, and Kirby Yates.

Hendriks, 30, enjoyed a breakout season in 2019, recording a 1.80 ERA and 0.96 WHIP. The right-hander notched 124 strikeouts in 85 innings, an A's franchise record for relievers, compared to just 21 walks.

Hendriks took over closing duties from Blake Treinen in the middle of the season and finished with 25 saves, along with eight holds. His 124 punchouts led AL relief pitchers and his 1.80 ERA ranked second among AL relievers with at least 40 innings.

Osuna posted a 2.63 ERA and 0.88 WHIP, with 73 strikeouts in 65 innings. Chapman finished with a 2.21 ERA and 1.11 WHIP, striking out 85 in 57 innings.

[RELATED: Hendriks' energy a big part of A's success]

The voting will be conducted by a panel of eight all-time great relief pitchers: Mariano Rivera, Trevor Hoffman, Dennis Eckersley, Rollie Fingers, Bruce Sutter, Lee Smith, John Franco, and Billy Wagner. Both the AL and NL awards will be presented on October 26, before Game 4 of the World Series.

Why A's should move on from Robbie Grossman in final arbitration year

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Why A's should move on from Robbie Grossman in final arbitration year

Editor's note: Over the next two weeks, we will examine 10 A's players who may or may not return to Oakland next season. For each player, we will provide reasons why the A's should bring him back and reasons why they should not, followed by a final determination.

Robbie Grossman, OF

Contract: Final year of arbitration (projected to get $3.3 million after earning $2 million this season)

Reasons to bring him back

Grossman provides versatility as a switch-hitter who can play all three outfield positions. He also has a strong record of reaching base, maintaining a .351 on-base percentage throughout his career.

The A's lineup is extremely right-handed heavy and they could certainly use another left-handed bat, particularly in the outfield. For $3.3 million, Grossman could add some value as a fourth or fifth outfielder.

Reasons to let him go

Grossman is coming off his worst season since 2015, hitting just .240/.334/.348 with six home runs and 38 RBI in 138 games. The 30-year-old has never provided much power, averaging just six homers per season in his career, with a high of 11 in 2016.

Oakland already has a crowded outfield with Ramón Laureano, Mark Canha, Stephen Piscotty, and Chad Pinder. The A's also have Dustin Fowler, Skye Bolt, and Seth Brown awaiting their opportunity in the minor leagues. Grossman isn't necessarily an upgrade over any of those names.

Final verdict

Due to their excellent outfield depth, the A's should move on without Grossman in 2020. That $3.3 million could be better spent in other areas -- relief pitching, as an example.

[RELATED: A's stay or go candidate for 2020 season: Josh Phegley]

If Grossman were to return, he would almost certainly be a bench player, and as we've noted, Oakland has plenty of other options to fill those fourth and fifth outfielder roles for far less than $3.3 million.