Athletics

A's option Nick Martini, DFA Beau Taylor to make room for Corban Joseph

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AP

A's option Nick Martini, DFA Beau Taylor to make room for Corban Joseph

SAN FRANCISCO -- The A's officially selected the contract of infielder Corban Joseph from Triple-A Las Vegas on Wednesday and optioned outfielder Nick Martini. Oakland also designated catcher Beau Taylor for assignment to make room on the 40-man roster.

Joseph, 30, has put together a phenomenal season in Triple-A, slashing .371/.421/.585 with 13 home runs, 35 doubles, and 73 RBI in 97 games. He has previously spent a little time in the majors, most recently last year with the Orioles, and he is thrilled for this latest opportunity.

"It's big, especially being 30 years old," Joseph said. "I've gone up and down throughout my career -- some time with the Yankees and some time with Baltimore -- I just keep grinding through these situations. I'm just trying to put my best foot forward. Getting an opportunity as a 30-year-old is huge for me."

The A's originally picked up Joseph from the Orioles in the minor-league phase of the Rule 5 Draft. Needless to say, not many people expected him to ever reach the big leagues in Oakland.

"Myself included," A's manager Bob Melvin admitted. "You look at the pecking order with the (Franklin) Barretos and the (Jorge) Mateos and guys like that, he was more of a guy that you looked to maybe help your Triple-A team out. ... But he's put himself in this position. Our organization is not afraid to promote guys who are doing well and give them an opportunity, and that's the case with him."

Joseph figures to split time with Jurickson Profar at second base. Profar has struggled for most of the season, both offensively and defensively, and Joseph gives the A's another left-handed bat in the lineup.

"We're just trying to do the best we can with the position and with a guy who's been swinging a hot bat and has been all year," Melvin said. "When you have that kind of year, and we're maybe not getting as much production as we want out of that position, you look somewhere else."

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Joseph admits it hasn't always been easy to stay positive throughout his many years in the minors, but he refused to give up on his dream.

"I think anyone who's played the game longer than six or seven years, it gets frustrating at times," Joseph said. "But I've got good family support that has continued to encourage me and push me, and a lot of family friends that continue to believe in me. I think that goes a long way."

Why Matt Olson's walk-off in A's 2019 win vs. Brewers was so impressive

Why Matt Olson's walk-off in A's 2019 win vs. Brewers was so impressive

Programming note: Watch the re-air of Matt Olson's walk-off homer vs. Brewers tonight at 8 p.m. PT on NBC Sports California.

Milwaukee Brewers All-Star closer Josh Hader has been almost unhittable when facing left-handed batters during his three-year MLB career.

But A's first baseman Matt Olson didn't care about the numbers on July 30, 2019.

With the A's and Brewers tied 2-2 in the bottom of the 10th inning, Olson hit a moonshot solo home run on the first pitch he saw from Hader to send the Oakland Coliseum into a frenzy.

A's fans will get a chance to relive Olson's heroics Friday night as NBC Sports California re-airs the game at 8 p.m.

In a Twitter fan poll, Olson's walk-off beat out Marcus Semien's walk-off from March 29, 2018.

Left-handed hitters are hitting just .120 off Hader in 209 at-bats. He's allowed just 25 hits and six homers to lefties, so Olson beat the odds in order to send the A's home winners on that night.

[RELATED: Stewart addresses beating coronavirus]

Olson would finish the 2019 season with a career-high 36 homers, with 11 coming off left-handed pitchers.

Olson will have to wait an undetermined amount of time before he can hit his next walk-off as the MLB season has been delayed due to the global coronavirus pandemic.

A's legend Dave Stewart describes coronavirus scare, testing process

A's legend Dave Stewart describes coronavirus scare, testing process

Dave Stewart is down 15 pounds, and feeling “about eighty percent” healthy.

All of this part of an illness, which two weeks ago, the former pitcher-turned NBC Sports California A's analyst feared was coronavirus.

“I was very, very much afraid,” Stewart said, who also suffers from asthma.

The 63-year old’s symptoms began while on a baseball business trip in Monclova, Mexico. The return flight to California is when he knew something was wrong, and testing for COVID-19 was imminent.

“Went straight from the airport, to the testing place,” Stewart said. “They didn’t even give me two minutes, rushed me into the tent, put a mask on me. And started the testing.”

That testing, as you might well already know about, is invasive through the nasal cavities.

“Two swabs, up these big tunnels of mine,” Stewart said about the testing process. “They put those things up there, I felt like they were in my brain. One for the flu, the other for the virus.”

Stewart’s breathing and blood pressure were also observed, in addition to an X-ray of his chest region. 

Eight painstaking days later, he received good news: Everything was negative.

But that didn’t stop Stewart from self-quarantining the moment he got home. And for good reason: He has a 93-year old mother and 102-year old step-father.

“If I’m carrying it, and I don’t know it, then I’m responsible for two very elderly people,” Stewart said.

“The people that I could touch, and possibly give this to, and possibly endanger their lives.”

[RELATED: Why Astros serving bans despite hiatus stings for A's fans]

The 1989 World Series MVP is set to resume his role on "A’s Pre and Postgame Live" once baseball resumes. Stewart also was set to have his jersey retired with the A’s on May 23. But that is now inevitably better suited for a later date.

“This is certainly something I can live with, that’s for sure,” Stewart said.