Athletics

MLB rumors: A's looking at San Jose Giants stadium as alternate site

MLB rumors: A's looking at San Jose Giants stadium as alternate site

The A's might get to use San Jose after all.

Years after the A's unsuccessfully tried to move to the South Bay, they could send their pool players there to work out.

The San Francisco Chronicle's Susan Slusser reported Tuesday night, citing two sources, that the A's are looking at Excite Ballpark, the home of the San Jose Giants, the High-A affiliate of the San Francisco Giants.

Excite Ballpark is approximately 40 minutes south of the Coliseum, so if the A's need to get a player to Oakland quickly, it's the best option.

The A's originally wanted to use Banner Island Ballpark, the home of their High-A affiliate in Stockton, but as Slusser reports, the rising number of coronavirus cases in San Joaquin County is a growing concern.

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Banner Island Ballpark is an hour east of the Oakland Coliseum.

Last Friday, A's general manager David Forst addressed the issue of an alternate site for the players that don't make the 30-man Opening Day roster.

“That has not been easy,” Forst told reporters. “We’re working on that. We have a lot of players and staff members waiting by the phone anxious to hear when they’re leaving and when they’re going. I’m spending a lot of time working on that, as are a lot of other people.”

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Forst also mentioned the ever-evolving situation with the coronavirus, and how it factors into the decision of where to send the players and coaches.

“Stockton is in the mix,” Forst said. “Anywhere we’ve looked around here, the situation with the virus is a factor. San Joaquin County, Stanislaus County -- we’ve looked around Alameda County -- how each county is handling things and their particular orders come into play when we’re looking into alternate sites.”

The A's are set to open the 2020 MLB season on July 24 against the Los Angeles Angels, so Forst and the front office still have a little time to sort through the options and lock in an alternate site.

Chad Pinder's amazing catch shows A's can fill Ramón Laureano void

Chad Pinder's amazing catch shows A's can fill Ramón Laureano void

Chad Pinder didn't spend much time in the outfield before the A's loss to the Los Angeles Angels on Tuesday.

Just two innings, in fact.

The 28-year-old only played one inning there at Angel Stadium, but Pinder certainly made his presence known when he ran down a foul ball roped off Mike Trout's bat in the bottom of the eighth inning.

It was just about the A's lone highlight in Tuesday's 6-0 loss, but Pinder's timing couldn't have been better. Oakland could be without center fielder Ramón Laureano for as many as six games depending upon the appeal of his suspension, and Pinder's catch is proof they'll still be in good shape defensively.

Pinder saved just shy of six runs in each of the last two seasons with his defense, according to Fangraphs' Ultimate Zone Rating (UZR). He was better in the corners than he was in center field, but Pinder, Mark Canha and Robbie Grossman are so versatile that it's difficult to envision any of them truly holding Laureano's spot in his absence.

[RELATED: Stew believes justice was done in Laureano, Cintrón ban]

The 28-year-old will need to turn it around at the plate, as Pinder is slashing just .192/.276/.308 in 29 plate appearances. Laureano has been one of the A's better hitters, sitting third on the team with 10 RBI and three home runs.

The A's undoubtedly will miss Laureano's bat, but they won't miss his glove as much if Pinder can keep flashing the leather like he did Tuesday night.

Justice served with Ramón Laureano, Alex Cintrón suspensions, Dave Stewart says

Justice served with Ramón Laureano, Alex Cintrón suspensions, Dave Stewart says

Although Major League Baseball's health and safety guidelines state that suspensions for fighting wouldn't be pro-rated to reflect a 60-game season, it's nonetheless telling how much discipline Ramón Laureano and Alex Cintrón faced for their roles in Sunday's brawl at the Oakland Coliseum.

The A's outfielder was suspended for a tenth of the season (six games), while the Houston Astros hitting coach was suspended for a third of it (20 games). Laureano alleged that Cintrón insulted his mother -- which Cintrón later denied -- before he charged into Houston's dugout after he was hit by a pitch for the second time in the game (and the third time in the series).

Cintrón apologized Tuesday and said he'd accept the full length of the suspension, saying that "coaches are held to a higher standard and should be an example to the players." For those reasons, NBC Sports California analyst Dave Stewart thought the disparity in the two suspensions was fair.

"With Cintrón, I didn't really know what to expect," Stewart said, admitting he was pleasantly surprised Laureano didn't face more discipline.  "I do know that the punishment was based on the fact that he's a coach, and coaches are supposed to be upholding peace and keeping players from getting in trouble versus inciting problems. If it's 20 games, that's perfectly fine for me. Something should've been done, and I think in this particular case, justice was done."

[RELATED: A's Chapman believes defense should get more respect]

Laureano is appealing the suspension, and he will continue to be in the A's lineup until that process is completed. Stewart said he ultimately expected Laureano to serve a game or two less than the initial punishment, but that he wouldn't anticipate it being cut in half.

No matter how many games Laureano ends up sitting, Stewart thinks MLB got the outfielder's suspension right proportionally to Cintrón's.

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