Athletics

Maxwell speaks about anthem protest, but stays mum on legal issues

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USATSI

Maxwell speaks about anthem protest, but stays mum on legal issues

When A's catcher Bruce Maxwell knelt during the anthem last season, he was the first MLB player to do so. He knelt before each of each of Oakland's final nine games, in order to protest racial inequality and in response to President Trump's incendiary comments about NFL players kneeling, but ended the season as the only MLB player to kneel during the anthem. 

This season, he won't kneel at all, he told reporters in a statement on the first day of spring training. 

“Obviously, I didn’t take that lightly,” Maxwell told the San Francisco Chronicle prior to the release of his statement.  “That was to bring awareness to a problem and the face we do see it, we do experience and we have empathy for what’s going on. This year I don’t plan on kneeling. … And we’ll move on forward.”

While Maxwell did address his protest during the anthem, he largely did not address his offseason legal issues.

“It’s ongoing, I can’t really discuss details,” he said. “It’s something me and my lawyers are handling.”

On Oct. 28, Maxwell was arrested in Scottsdale after allegedly pointing a gun at a food-delivery person. He pleaded not guilty to felony charges of aggravated assault and disorderly conduct in November, and is set for a settlement conference on April 13 after failing to reach a plea agreement on Monday, according to the Chronicle. 

If an agreement cannot be reached, Maxwell's trial is set to begin on Aug. 9. 

Elite command leads to spectacular May for Mengden

Elite command leads to spectacular May for Mengden

When did Daniel Mengden turn into Greg Maddux?

The 25-year-old A's right-hander continued a brilliant May Saturday afternoon, extending his scoreless innings streak to 17 with a two-hit shutout of Arizona.

The key for Mengden has been his control. On Saturday, he threw 76 strikes compared to just 26 balls, registering first pitch strikes to 23 of the 30 batters he faced. Those numbers are truly Maddux-esque.

“Everything was working today,” Mengden said. “Bruce (Maxwell) and I had a great plan going in, and it starts with strike one.”

“It's not just strikes, it's quality strikes," A's manager Bob Melvin added. "Not a whole lot is in the middle of the plate. 

"He's on the corners and he's getting balls off the end of the bat. They're not squaring him up.”



In five starts this month, Mengden has allowed just four earned runs in 33 2/3 innings, for a miniscule 1.07 ERA. He has only walked two batters, while striking out 19, contributing to a tremendous 0.68 WHIP.

“For me, it's just getting strike one, limiting walks, and letting the defense play,” Mengden explained.

“He's been on quite a roll,” Melvin marveled. “He's been durable, he's been real economical with his pitch count, and I don't think I've ever seen him mix his pitches as well as he has. (He throws a) really good curveball, slider, and fastball on both sides of the plate, and just enough changeups. And he's thrown a lot of strikes.”

For the season, Mengden has only allowed six walks in 66 1/3 innings, tied for the fewest of any pitcher with at least 60 innings. His strikeout-to-walk ratio is 6.33, fifth best in baseball.

Mengden has now lowered his ERA to 2.85, ranking ninth in the American League. His 0.96 WHIP is tied for ninth in MLB.

At 6-foot-2, 190 pounds, Mengden doesn't have overpowering stuff. He throws a four-seam fastball in the low 90s and has a solid curveball and slider, mixing in a changeup every once in awhile. Most importantly, he can throw all four pitches for strikes.

Now in his third major league season, Mengden is hitting his stride as a starting pitcher, and that is great news for the A's.

 

Daniel Mengden throws complete game two-hitter to dominate D'backs

Daniel Mengden throws complete game two-hitter to dominate D'backs

BOX SCORE

OAKLAND -- Daniel Mengden pitched a two-hitter for his second career shutout, and the Oakland Athletics beat the slumping Arizona Diamondbacks 3-0 on Saturday.

Mengden (5-4) struck out five and walked none. Socrates Brito singled in the second and David Peralta singled in the sixth for Arizona's only hits.

Matt Olson, Matt Joyce and Chad Pinder connected for the Athletics, who began the day ranked last in the majors with 15 home runs at home and tops in baseball with 47 on the road.

The Diamondbacks wasted a solid outing for Clay Buchholz in their 15th loss in 17 games. Buchholz (0-1) permitted one run and two hits in six innings.

Joyce hit a drive to center in the first for his ninth career leadoff homer. Buchholz then retired 15 in a row.

Buchholz struck out three and walked none in his second start with Arizona. The 33-year-old right-hander missed most of last season after he tore a tendon in his right forearm.

Olson hit his eighth homer in the seventh against Jorge De La Rosa, and Pinder belted his fifth off Fernando Salas in the eighth.

Mengden threw 102 pitches. He has walked just six batters in 66 1/3 innings.

Right fielder Stephen Piscotty made a leaping grab in front of the wall for the last out.

NICE CATCH

Oakland's Dustin Fowler made a diving catch on a ball in front of him in shallow center, taking a base hit from Nick Ahmed with one out in the eighth.

MAKING MOVES

The Athletics put reliever Santiago Casilla on the 10-day disabled list with a strained right shoulder. They also optioned right-hander Josh Lucas to Triple-A Nashville and recalled righties Chris Bassitt and Carlos Ramirez from their top affiliate.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Diamondbacks: RHP Shelby Miller (Tommy John surgery) will start his first rehab game with Single-A Visalia on Tuesday. Miller has pitched in three extended spring training games.

Athletics: Casilla experienced a similar injury in spring training, manager Bob Melvin said. It isn't thought to be serious.

UP NEXT

Diamondbacks: RHP Zack Greinke (3-3, 3.71 ERA) starts on Sunday. He is 6-1 with a 3.12 ERA in 15 career games (11 starts) against Oakland.

Athletics: RHP Frankie Montas will be called up from Triple-A Sacramento to make his first start since Oct. 4, 2015.