Athletics

Seven A's prospects who could reach major leagues in 2019 season

Seven A's prospects who could reach major leagues in 2019 season

Unlike the Giants, the A's are loaded with prospects that appear close to major-league ready. The only issue, however, is health. 

Led by perhaps the top pitching prospect in baseball, Jesus Luzardo stands alone on this list. Once he returns from a left rotator cuff strain, the 21-year-old could be the ace the A's need to make another postseason run.

With a starting rotation full of question marks, four arms make our list of A's prospects who could toe the rubber in Oakland this season. That doesn't mean the three bats aren't intriguing, though. 

What is most exciting about these seven prospects, however, is if they reach the big leagues this season, it would be their MLB debut.

The A's were the surprise team in baseball last season. And there's plenty of youth on the way that can help make a push for the playoffs the norm yet again in Oakland.

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Bob Melvin puts A's-Astros brawl blame on Houston coach Alex Cintron

Bob Melvin puts A's-Astros brawl blame on Houston coach Alex Cintron

The benches cleared when A’s outfielder Ramón Laureano appeared to hear something Houston Astros hitting coach Alex Cintrón said coming out of the visitor’s dugout during the A’s 7-2 win on Sunday

Laureano was hit by a pitch from Astros reliever Humberto Castellanos in the bottom of the seventh inning. When Laureano got to first base, Cintrón said something to him from the dugout. That’s when madness ensued. 

Laureano and A’s catcher Austin Allen were ejected from the game, but no members of the Astros were thrown out.

A’s manager Bob Melvin said Laureano would have never gone over to the Astros dugout unless something extremely offensive was said. 

“I think the league will know who it is, and that person should get suspended,” Melvin told reporters after the game. “Hopefully that’s the case, and nowadays without fans in the stands, and mics everywhere, my guess is they know who he is.” 

Melvin was asked what was said to Laureano.

“I can't tell you that,” Melvin said. 

Melvin was confused why Allen was ejected and nobody from the Astros was ejected despite the incident happening in front of the Houston dugout. 

“I don’t know how we ended up getting a couple guys kicked out and it kind of came out of their dugout and I don’t understand it, it’s just how it worked out,” Melvin said.

A’s first baseman Matt Olson was on deck when it happened and rushed over to defend Laureano. Matt Chapman joined him. Olson said he didn’t want it to be a situation where it was Laureano against the entire Astros team.

“[Laureano] was hit a lot, I know it was a curveball, but when he started going down the line, we heard that things were said that weren’t right to him, and maybe someone even told him to come over to the dugout, so I think he was definitely provoked a little bit,” Olson said.

Laureano had been hit twice by pitches Sunday. The first one occurred earlier by Brandon Bailey in the bottom of the fifth inning. Bailey had been traded by the A’s to the Astros in 2017 for Laureano.

Olson admitted there was a lot of chatter going back and forth, so he wasn’t sure exactly what was said.

For now, Laureano and Allen were the only two ejected from the game, but soon we will find out if there is further discipline for others involved. 

[RELATED: FanGraphs has A's almost guaranteed lock in postseason]

For reference, Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Joe Kelly had been suspended for eight games after throwing a fastball behind Astros’ Alex Bregman and another ball above the head of Carlos Correa on July 28. 

Melvin said while he didn’t talk to everyone right after the game, the clubhouse appeared to have the same mindset as he did that Laureano was provoked.

[BALK TALK: Listen to the latest episode]

A's takeaways: What you might've missed from fiery 7-2 win vs. Astros

A's takeaways: What you might've missed from fiery 7-2 win vs. Astros

BOX SCORE

Things got heated in the bottom of the seventh inning in the A’s 7-2 win Sunday over the Houston Astros.

The A’s now are 12-4 on the season after sweeping the Astros with their ninth win in a row, and own a five-game lead in the AL West.

The A’s bats looked great and got off to a hot start, thanks to a Robbie Grossman home run. Starting pitcher Jesús Luzardo earned his first big league win.

Here’s what you might have missed Sunday at the Coliseum.

Benches clear

In the bottom of the seventh, Ramón Laureano was hit by a pitch from Astros reliever Humberto Castellanos. As Laureano got to first base, Astros hitting coach Alex Cintron began saying something to him that didn't sit well with Oakland's outfielder.

While we’re not sure what was said, Laureano charged at Cintron.

Former A’s catcher Dustin Garneau grabbed Laureano before he could reach the Astros' dugout.

As a result, both Laureano and A’s catcher Austin Allen were ejected from the game. A’s pitching coach Scott Emerson escorted Laureano off the field.

[BALK TALK: Listen to the latest episode]
 

Not wasting any time

Remember how the A’s have had a history of taking a while in a season to get things started? Well, we could laugh at that now. History doesn’t always repeat itself.

In the bottom of the second inning, Grossman hit a solo shot to right field for his second homer of the season.

On Saturday, Marcus Semien also didn’t waste any time to make an impact of his own while working a 3-2 count in his first at-bat of the game. He hit a solo homer as well, giving the A's an early lead.

[RELATED: Benches clear in A's-Astros game after Laureano hit by pitch]

Luzardo is here to stay

Sunday marked Luzardo’s second career big-league start, and it went rather swimmingly.

He gave up a two-run homer to Yuli Gurriel in the top of the fourth, but other than that, he was pretty solid.

Through 5 2/3 innings, Luzardo struck out five, walked two, and gave up five hits and just two earned runs before giving the ball to Yusmeiro Petit in relief.

Luzardo’s first outing against the Texas Rangers was “terrific,” as A's manager Bob Melvin said. “Comes as advertised.”

He sure does.