Athletics

A's lose Kendall Graveman to season-ending Tommy John surgery

A's lose Kendall Graveman to season-ending Tommy John surgery

A's Opening Day starter Kendall Graveman will undergo Tommy John surgery, manager Bob Melvin announced to the media in Texas on Tuesday afternoon.

News of Graveman's impending surgery was first reported by Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle. Slusser reports that Dr. Keith Meister will perform the surgery Monday in Dallas.

Graveman is expected to be out 12 to 14 months, which means he will likely miss most of next season. The 27-year-old right-hander struggled this year, going 1-5 with a 7.60 ERA and 1.66 WHIP in seven starts. For his career, he is 23-29 with a 4.38 ERA.

Graveman was optioned to Triple-A Nashville in April, and made four starts for the Sounds before landing on the DL. He will be the third Oakland pitcher to undergo Tommy John surgery this year, joining Jharel Cotton and A.J. Puk. Injuries have forced the A's to use 12 different starting pitchers this season.

Graveman will $2.36 million this season. He is eligible for arbitration in 2019 and 2020.

Stephen Piscotty proving he's A's X-factor, despite power-bat surroundings

Stephen Piscotty proving he's A's X-factor, despite power-bat surroundings

While sluggers like Khris Davis, Matt Chapman, and Matt Olson garner most of the attention in the A's lineup, manager Bob Melvin has often said that Stephen Piscotty is truly the X-factor.

After a somewhat pedestrian start to the season, Piscotty is beginning to heat up, and that is great news for the A's. The 28-year-old went 2-for-4 with three RBI on Sunday in Detroit, including the go-ahead two-run double in the seventh inning to give Oakland a 5-3 lead in a game suspended by rain.

Piscotty has now reached base safely in 15 consecutive games and has gone 8-for-18 with three doubles and four walks in his last five contests.

"I feel like, while I'm not at my best, I've still been able to operate and have some good at-bats," Piscotty told reporters Sunday. "Still a little bit of work to go, but I'm seeing the ball well. I was able to get a couple of walks the other day. That's big for me. That's a good sign that I'm seeing the ball well."

When Piscotty is at his best, he adds much-needed length to the Oakland lineup. He can be a serious power threat in the fifth or sixth spot in the order, as he showed last year, belting a career-high 27 home runs, 41 doubles, and 88 RBI.

For the season, Piscotty is now slashing .263/.337/.409 with five homers and 22 RBI. Last year, he got off to an even slower start than he did this season, hitting just .227/.286/.349 through the month of May.

Piscotty caught fire midway through the season and that's when the A's really took off last year. He amassed 24 home runs from June through September, ranking near the top of the league. If Piscotty can pick up the power in a similar way this year, the A's will take their production to another level.

[RELATED: A's starting pitching beginning to turn around]

To really understand Piscotty's value in the lineup, just look his offensive numbers in wins versus losses. In A's victories this season, Piscotty is slashing .337/.383/.523. That line falls to .188/.291/.292 in Oakland's defeats.

The A's hope Piscotty's recent success marks the start of an extended hot streak into the All-Star break and beyond. His bat makes Oakland's lineup nearly impossible for pitchers to navigate, with dangerous hitters lurking from top to bottom.
 

A's vs. Tigers lineups: Khris Davis returns in series finale at Comerica

A's vs. Tigers lineups: Khris Davis returns in series finale at Comerica

Entering the series against the Detroit Tigers, the A's were looking for something to jump-start them and they found a team they've owned of late.

After Saturday's 4-1 win at Comerica Park, Oakland now has won 15 straight games against the Tigers and they'll go for the sweep Sunday behind right-hander Mike Fiers. 

Bob Melvin gets an important member of his lineup back for the afternoon series finale, too. Khris Davis, who missed Saturday's game to rest a hip ailment, is back in Sunday's lineup. He will bat cleanup and be the designated hitter.

Here are the lineups for Sunday's game between the A's and Tigers. Coverage starts at 9:30 a.m. on NBC Sports California and streaming live on the My Teams app

Oakland Athletics (22-25)
Marcus Semien, SS
Matt Chapman, 3B
Chad Pinder, LF
Khris Davis, DH
Stephen Piscotty, RF
Matt Olson, 1B
Jurickson Profar, 2B
Ramon Laureano, CF
Josh Phegley, C

Mike Fiers, RHP (3-3, 5.12 ERA)

[RELATED: Is Phegley worthy of All-Star nod?]

Detroit Tigers (18-26)
Niko Goodrum, 1B
Dawel Lugo, 3B
Nicholas Castellanos, RF
Miguel Cabrera, DH
Ronny Rodriguez, SS
Christin Stewart, LF
Josh Harrison, 2B
Grayson Greiner, C
JaCoby Jones, CF

Gregory Soto, LHP (0-2, 13.50 ERA)