Athletics

Notes: Henderson Alvarez could be nearing A's debut

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Notes: Henderson Alvarez could be nearing A's debut

OAKLAND — The long-awaited A’s debut of Henderson Alvarez may not be far off.

Alvarez threw a 45-pitch bullpen session Wednesday and is scheduled to throw between five and six innings Saturday with Triple-A Nashville. If that goes well, manager Bob Melvin said Alvarez could then be activated from the 60-day disabled list.

Signed in the offseason to a one-year $4.25 million contract, Alvarez has yet to return to a big league mound since undergoing shoulder surgery last July while he was a member of the Miami Marlins. He was close to joining the A’s in mid-May when he suffered a setback with his shoulder that delayed his return.

“If everything goes well (Saturday), you could see him on the mound for us next,” Melvin said before Wednesday night’s game against Texas. “As always, I get ahead of myself. But if he can get it to close to 70 pitches and feels good — this really is his second rehab— hopefully that’s the case.”

[LISTEN: The A's Insider Podcast: Broadcaster Mark Mulder]

That means Alvarez could conceivably make his 2016 debut either June 23 or 24 against the Angels in Anaheim, depending on how the A’s want to set up their rotation coming out of Monday’s day off.

The 26-year-old Alvarez, 27-34 with a 3.80 ERA over five major league seasons, broke in with Toronto in 2011 as one of the Blue Jays’ top prospects. He was part of the 11-player trade between the Jays and Marlins that sent Mark Buehrle, Jose Reyes and others to Toronto. Alvarez was an All-Star in 2014 for Miami and he threw a no-hitter on the final day of the 2013 regular season.

“Everything was working good in the bullpen (Wednesday), especially the slider,” Alvarez said through interpreter Alex Arpiza. “It was working exactly how you want it to work.”

The A’s have team control over Alvarez for the 2017 season as well (he’ll once again be eligible for arbitration this offseason).

Until he returns, and until the A’s get either Rich Hill or Sean Manaea back from the disabled list, the rotation will be a patch-work operation. The A’s still haven’t announced a starter for Saturday — Manaea’s turn in the rotation — but there appears a good chance that Zach Neal will step in from the bullpen and make a spot start against the Angels, who are scheduled to start Tim Lincecum that day at the Coliseum.

All indications are Eric Surkamp will make another start Sunday despite an 8.07 ERA at the big league level.

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Right fielder Josh Reddick will test his fractured left thumb by taking batting practice for the first time Friday. If that goes well, Melvin said Reddick could begin a minor league rehab assignment a few days after that.

Liam Hendriks, A's thank medical field during coronavirus pandemic

Liam Hendriks, A's thank medical field during coronavirus pandemic

During this unprecedented time amid the coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19), it’s given us an opportunity to give thanks to those who so selflessly have been working hard to ensure the rest of us stay safe. 

For A’s closer Liam Hendriks, he wanted to give a special shoutout to those in the medical field working hard:

 “We, as an Oakland Athletics organization, want to say, ‘Thank you,’ for everything you’re doing, please stay safe,” he said via the A’s Instagram account.

Hendriks personally has felt the devastation the coronavirus has brought upon us as a society. He revealed recently that a friend of his, Conrad Buchanan, died due to COVID-19. Hendriks announced the news on Instagram last week and urged the world to stay home, “not only for your health, but for the sake of others as well.”

[RELATED: What Canha misses most during MLB hiatus]

Hendriks also wrote that Buchanan is survived by his wife and daughter.

MLB The Show 20 player ratings: Where A’s roster ended up on 100 scale

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MLB The Show 20 player ratings: Where A’s roster ended up on 100 scale

We won't have live Oakland A’s baseball for a while. For now, we have to improvise.

One of the ways the league is making sure everyone stays home is by implementing a way to watch MLB The Show 20 in a tournament put on by the players themselves.

In the game, you’re able to create essentially your own legacy in Major League Baseball.

Just like most games based on professional sports, each individual is given an overall rating.

Here are how some of the A’s players fared, out of a possible best score of 100:

3B Matt Chapman: 92
Closer Liam Hendriks: 88
1B Matt Olson: 86
SS Marcus Semien: 85
CF Ramón Laureano: 83
RP Joakim Soria: 83
SP Sean Manaea: 81
RP Yusmeiro Petit: 81
RP J.B. Wendelken: 78
P Frankie Montas: 76

You can see the rest of the A’s numbers, as well as other players across the league, in this video:

For Matt Chapman, he’s unsurprisingly one of the best third basemen in the game according to The Show’s player ratings -- No. 4 in that category to be specific. Right behind Houston Astros star Alex Bregman, who was rated a 95. 

Nolan Arenado leads the hot corner with a 99 overall rating. Chappy earlier this year told NBC Sports California where he believed he ranked compared to Arenado, Bregman and even Anthony Rendon. Rendon was signed by the Angels in the offseason, which only beefed up the AL West at that position.

Last season, Chappy put up solid numbers earning his first All-Star selection and his second, and consecutive Gold and Platinum Glove Awards. He hit 36 home runs and slashed .249/.342/.506 with 91 RBI.

For Liam Hendriks, who was rated the second-highest on the team, he was the third-highest among closers, with Kirby Yates leading the category.

Last season, Hendriks was sensational with a 1.80 ERA and a 0.965 WHIP in 85 innings. He also earned the first All-Star selection of his career.

[RELATED: Mike Fiers details mentality behind no-hitters]

Marcus Semien also earned high marks with his 85 rating. He was tied with the likes of Adalberto Mondesi, Carlos Correa and Trea Turner. Not a bad group to be associated with.

The ratings at shortstop had a lot to do with fielding abilities. Despite the shift in power we get to see among middle infielders, the glove was a highlight here -- but the bats were all but ignored. Semien has improved drastically over the last couple of seasons with both his glove and offensive game. He was appreciated here.

Angels star Mike Trout also received a 99 rating, which goes to show who the rest of the league has to measure up to.