Athletics

Scott Hatteberg believes 2020 MLB season will be 'really tough' to pull off

Scott Hatteberg believes 2020 MLB season will be 'really tough' to pull off

Scott Hatteberg forever will be linked to the A’s team that won 20 games in a row during the 2002 season, an achievement that would eventually be featured in a Hollywood film.

Hatteberg recently stopped by the NBC Sports Bay Area baseball podcast Balk Talk to talk about that, but he also talked about the current state of baseball. After the recent positive coronavirus tests that took over the Miami Marlins, could we have a full 60-game season?

“To cut to the end, I’m glad they’re playing,” Hatteberg said in an interview on Balk Talk. “I know it’s a difficult decision, it’s so individual, and everybody’s situation is different and there’s risk that others don’t have.”

Hatteberg, being a former player himself after 14 seasons in the league, knows what it’s like to be worried if a guy would have to opt-out, or anything related were to happen, it could feel as if he was letting the team down, but there are still concerns there.

“I talked to Billy Beane just the other day, and it’s going to be really tough to pull this season off, I mean, the Marlins are already showing what can happen and this was talked about,” Hatteberg said. “So how they end up doing it, I know they’re trying to take every precaution, but I do not envy the people making decisions.” 

Hatteberg is still working with the A’s as the special assistant to baseball operations, which has him scouting, among other things, but admitted since the coronavirus pandemic, things have been different. While he’s used to driving around Mississippi or similar areas, he has to do everything from home. That means watching film, which has a lot of disadvantages.

“That was an interesting thing this year because there was no college baseball, there was really no high school baseball, so we watched a ton of video and wrote reports on that, and with the condensed draft, we had to kind of roll the dice that way,” Hatteberg said.

[RELATED: Willis, Morse joke about playing for Marlins again]

But the lack of driving around for long periods of times, and no longer taking 6:00 a.m. flights, were certainly a plus with everything going on, Hatteberg admitted, though he misses the advantage of seeing certain things with the naked eye -- all the film in the world might not be able to help him in that department.

You can listen to that, and the rest of the interview on Balk Talk here. 

[BALK TALK: Listen to the latest episode]
 

A's call up prospect James Kaprielian, place pitcher Jordan Weems on IL

A's call up prospect James Kaprielian, place pitcher Jordan Weems on IL

The wait is over. The A's called up highly-touted pitching prospect James Kaprielian on Tuesday and placed pitcher Jordan Weems on the 10-day IL with a strained right latissimus dorsi in a corresponding move.

Kaprielian, 26, was the No. 16 pick in the 2015 MLB Draft by the New York Yankees. The A's acquired the right-hander, along with Dustin Fowler and Jorge Mateo, from the Yankees for Sonny Gray on July 31, 2017. 

The UCLA product has dealt with injuries for much of his minor league career. He missed the entire 2017 and 2018 seasons after sustaining an elbow injury in 2016 and undergoing Tommy John surgery the following the year. But in 2019, he was back on the bump

[RELATED: A's eight-run inning vs. Mariners not as rare as expected]

Between three levels last season -- Advanced Single-A, Double-A and Triple-A -- Kaprielian went 4-3 with a 3.18 ERA. Over 68 innings, he struck out 75 batters and had a 1.10 WHIP. He appeared in 19 games, making 16 starts.

Weems, 27, has a 3.60 ERA over five innings this season.

[BALK TALK: Listen to the latest episode]

Dave Stewart calls Astros 'cheaters,' thanks them for Ramon Laureano

Dave Stewart calls Astros 'cheaters,' thanks them for Ramon Laureano

Dave Stewart had one of the most intimidating stares in MLB history. When the A's pitcher turned NBC Sports California analyst gave you that look, it was game over. 

Stewart once again brought the heat Monday night on A's Postgame Live after Oakland's 11-1 blowout win over the Seattle Mariners. Everyone loves a good dig at the Houston Astros, and Stewart didn't hold back. 

"He's solid, he is a solid player," Stewart said of A's outfielder Ramon Laureano. "How the A's got this guy is unbelievable. And what it took to get is unbelievable in Houston. Houston, thanks once again, you cheaters."

The Houston Astros selected Laureano in the 16th round of the 2014 MLB Draft. Just three years later, Houston traded the outfielder to Oakland in November 2017 for pitcher Brandon Bailey. 

Laureano, 26, made his MLB debut the next season and has been an integral player for the A's ever since. He hit .288 with five homers and seven stolen bases in just 48 games in 2017, following it up with another .288 season last year. Laureano also added 24 long balls and swiped 13 bags. The center fielder is hitting .324 with two home runs and nine RBI through 10 games this season. 

[RELATED: A's eight-run inning vs. Mariners not as rare as expected]

Bailey, 25, made his big league debut this season for Houston out of the bullpen.

Laureano has one of the best arms in baseball, can knock the ball over the fence and steal a base for extra credit. This was one of the A's best trades in recent memory, and Stewart will remind the Astros as much as he can.

[BALK TALK: Listen to the latest episode]