Athletics

Source: A's to promote highly touted third baseman Matt Chapman

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Source: A's to promote highly touted third baseman Matt Chapman

UPDATE (Thursday at 1:45pm) -- The A's officially selected the contract of infielder Matt Chapman from Triple-A, the team announced in a press release.

To clear space on the roster for their highly-touted prospect, the A's designated infielder Trevor Plouffe for assignment.

Plouffe, who signed a one-year free agent deal with the A's this offseason, was hitting .214 with seven home runs in 14 RBI in 58 games. He was 2-for-30 over his last 12 games and is tied for fourth in the American League with 10 double play balls. 

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An A’s season that is sliding downhill quickly will get a boost with news that third baseman Matt Chapman will join the team Thursday.

A source confirmed to NBC Sports California that Chapman, the team’s No. 3 prospect as ranked by Baseball America, will receive his first major league call-up and be in Oakland for the start of a four-game series with the New York Yankees.

It’s the most dramatic statement yet that Oakland is turning the page and looking toward the future after completing a 1-5 road trip that has dropped its overall record to 27-38, 16 1/2 games out in the American League West.

Chapman’s arrival suggests that Trevor Plouffe’s time as the everyday third baseman is over. The first-year Athletic, signed to a one-year $5.25 million deal in the offseason, has hit just .215 with seven homers and 14 RBI.

Chapman hit .259 with 16 home runs in just 48 games with Triple-A Nashville, the early part of his season interrupted by a wrist injury. Though he’s accumulated a high number of strikeouts as well — 63 in those 48 games — he boasted a .350 on-base percentage that is a marked improvement over the .328 mark he had last season spent mostly with Double-A Midland.

The A’s have been conservative to this point with Chapman and their other top hitting prospect at Nashville, middle infielder Franklin Barreto, saying they’ve wanted each to get more seasoning at Triple-A. They feel the time is now right for the 24-year-old Chapman, their first-round pick in 2014 out of Cal State Fullerton.

He’s swatted a combined 59 homers over his past two seasons in the minors and has continued to display the defensive ability at third that team officials believe is Gold Glove-caliber for the future.

In discussing Chapman recently, A’s coordinator of instruction Ed Sprague raved about Chapman’s abilities with the glove.

“He could (even) be a Gold Glove shortstop, he’s that athletic,” Sprague said.

The San Francisco Chronicle was first to report news of Chapman getting promoted.

A's notes: Mark Canha hits career-high 17th homer in win vs. Twins

A's notes: Mark Canha hits career-high 17th homer in win vs. Twins

OAKLAND — Mark Canha blasted a pinch-hit two-run home run to tie the game in the sixth inning Friday night. It was his 17th homer of the season, a new career high.

“That's kind of cool,” Canha said after the A's walked off the Twins in the 10th inning. “To know that you don't have a ceiling of 16, it's just kind of cool for me. I love home runs. My favorite part about the game is hitting home runs. Hopefully I can get to 20. That's kind of been a goal for me the past couple months.”

“[He's meant] a lot,” added manager Bob Melvin. “He plays multiple positions, knows how to come off the bench. ... He's ready for every situation. He's a lefty killer. ... He's a real weapon for us later on in the game and has been really for a few years now.”

Canha has hit 13 of his 17 home runs against left-handed pitchers, second most in the American League behind the Rangers' Joey Gallo.

--- The A’s scored seven or more runs in their eighth straight home game, setting a record for the longest streak in franchise history.

--- Blake Treinen leads MLB pitchers with a 0.83 ERA. He has allowed seven earned runs the entire season. Treinen has not allowed a hit in his last 13 1/3 innings, the second-longest streak in Oakland history.

--- Liam Hendriks has thrown seven straight scoreless first innings as an “opener.” He lowered his ERA to 2.35 in his seven starts this season.

--- Matt Chapman set an Oakland record with his league-leading 25th double since the All-Star break. Chapman also leads the majors with 41 extra-base hits since the Midsummer Classic.

--- Khris Davis set a career high with his 44th and 45th home runs of the season, fourth most in Oakland history and sixth most in A's history. This was his 22nd career multi-homer game, and his seventh this season.

--- Oakland starting pitchers have a streak of 35 consecutive games of seven innings or fewer. A's starters have pitched 798 innings this season. The fewest in a non-strike season in A's history is 858 2/3 in 1997.

--- The A’s have won eight of their last nine games against the Twins, and 17 of their last 20 at the Coliseum.

--- Oakland improved to 30-13 (.698 winning percentage) in one-run games, which is the best record in MLB. The A's record for winning percentage in one-run games is .698 (30-13) in 1928.

--- The A's are 38-19 since the All-Star break, which is the best record in the majors.

A's slugger Khris Davis stakes AL MVP claim with two homers vs. Twins

A's slugger Khris Davis stakes AL MVP claim with two homers vs. Twins

OAKLAND — Khris Davis probably isn't going to win the AL MVP award. Heck, he might not even finish in the top five. But after Friday night's performance, it became even more clear that there is no one in baseball more valuable to their team than the A's designated hitter.

Davis hit two more home runs, including a walk-off blast in the 10th inning, which sent the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum into a frenzy, followed immediately by boisterous chants of “MVP.”

“I was one of those (chanting),” A's manager Bob Melvin joked. “You look at his numbers and what he's meant to this team, he definitely needs to be in the conversation.”

“What do you say?" asked outfielder Mark Canha. "I'm at a loss for words. He does things that just leave you speechless. It's crazy.”

“I can't explain (the feeling),” Davis said. “There's not a better feeling in the world.”

Davis set a new career high with his 44th and 45th home runs of the season, four more than anyone else in MLB. His 119 RBI are also a career high and rank second in baseball, five behind Boston's J.D. Martinez.

“It's one-of-a-kind power,” Melvin marveled. “He's so strong. He uses his lower half well, but sometimes he loses his lower half and just kind of flicks it, and that means his hands and forearms are pretty strong. He keeps himself back just enough to drive it.”

“I thought it was a double, just the ball off my bat initially,” Davis said of his game-winning home run. “I was thinking, 'Get on second.' And then it just kept carrying, which is even better.”

Davis will likely finish behind Martinez and Mookie Betts of the Red Sox, Cleveland's Jose Ramirez, Houston's Alex Bregman, and Mike Trout of the Angels in the MVP voting. They are all admittedly terrific players, but are any of them truly as valuable to their team as Davis is to the A's?

Take Davis out of Oakland's lineup and it's a completely different team. Sure, Oakland has other good hitters. But Davis affects the way opposing pitchers approach the entire lineup. He is a constant in the back of their mind, lurking just beneath the surface.

“He's obviously awesome for us on the field,” Canha said. “He's an awesome teammate. We love the heck out of him.”

“It's pretty dramatic how he started the game and ended the game,” Melvin added. “He's as good a power hitter as anybody in the game.”

Davis' 45 home runs are already the fourth most in Oakland single-season history. He is trying to become the first A's player to lead MLB in homers since Mark McGwire in 1996.

“It would be a nice achievement,” Davis acknowledged. “But first and foremost, I want to get deep in the playoffs. That means a lot more.”