Athletics

Two A’s named to Arizona Fall League Top Prospects Team

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Two A’s named to Arizona Fall League Top Prospects Team

The A's tough 2015 may be ending on a much higher note compared to where they sat just months ago. 

Oakland's front office already added bullpen arms in Liam Hendriks, Marc Rzepczynski, and Ryan Madson, along with a new bat in first baseman Yonder Alonso. On Monday, two young A's looking to make the majors were honored while representatives are at the Winter Meetings looking to improve the club. 

The Arizona Fall League revealed its 2015 Top Prospects Team on Monday, with two players in the A's farm system making the cut. Starting pitcher Sean Manaea and infielder Chad Pinder were named to the list. 

Manaea, 23, was the crown jewel of a package that was sent to the A's for utility man Ben Zobrist. At the AFL, Manea lived up to the hype. 

The left-hander started on the hill in the "Fall Stars Game" where he struck out four in two scoreless innings and was named AFL Pitcher of the Week only 10 days later. Manaea led the AFL in strikeouts with 33 in only six games started. 

Even at his young age -- he'll be 24 in February -- Manaea could very well find a spot in the A's rotation at some point during the 2016 season.

[STIGLICH: Will 'dazzling' Manaea get shot at A's rotation in spring?]

“He throws in the mid-90’s, good secondary pitches. For a lefty, he pitches inside to righties, and he’s not just a change-up guy against them. I’m really, really impressed. You can tell this guy’s got a real high ceiling," A's manager Bob Melvin said after seeing Manaea start an AFL game. 

In those six games Manaea started, he finished with an 0-2 record and 3.86 ERA in 25.2 innings pitched. 

Not to be forgotten, Pinder, 23, showed power and solid defense at second base. In 13 games, he hit .235/.316/.549 with 12 hits and also blasted four home runs. 

Pinder also played in the league's All-Star Game.

A's vs. Mariners live stream: How to watch MLB games online, on TV

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USATSI

A's vs. Mariners live stream: How to watch MLB games online, on TV

After spending the first week of the 2020 MLB season at home, the A's (3-3) head to the Pacific Northwest for their first road trip.

The A's and Seattle Mariners (3-4) will play a four-game wrap-around series beginning Friday and concluding Monday.

Here's how you can watch the A's play the Mariners online (download the MyTeams app here!) and on NBC Sports California:

Friday, July 31

When: A's Pregame Live at 6 p.m. PT -- First pitch at 6:40 p.m. PT
TV: NBC Sports California
Stream: MyTeams app

Saturday, Aug. 1

When: A's Pregame Live at 5:30 p.m. PT -- First pitch at 6:10 p.m. PT
TV: NBC Sports California
Stream: MyTeams app

Sunday, Aug. 2

When: A's Pregame Live at 12:30 p.m. PT -- First pitch at 1:10 p.m. PT
TV: NBC Sports California
Stream: MyTeams app

Monday, Aug. 3

When: A's Pregame Live at 5:30 p.m. PT -- First pitch at 6:10 p.m. PT
TV: NBC Sports California
Stream: MyTeams app

Dontrelle Willis hilariously reacts to Steve Bartman cutout at A's-Mariners

Dontrelle Willis hilariously reacts to Steve Bartman cutout at A's-Mariners

Of all the cardboard cutouts present at T-Mobile Park for the A's series in Seattle this past weekend against the Mariners, one seemed to stand out. In left field, Steve Bartman, the Chicago Cubs fan who became famous for reaching for a foul ball during an NLCS game against the Florida Marlins in 2003, a game Chicago went on to lose, was right there in the front row.

NBC Sports California analyst Dontrelle Willis was a member of that Marlins squad that went on to win the 2003 World Series, and says he and Moises Alou, the Cubs outfielder who was kept from catching the ball by Bartman, still aren't on the best of terms.

[RELATED: What you might have missed in A's gritty win over Mariners]

"Everytime I see Moises he wants to fight me," Willis quipped Sunday night on Twitter.

Willis was part of the Marlins' rotation from 2003-07, and was named the NL's Rookie of the Year in that season after going 14-6 with a 3.30 ERA.

MLB teams have had to employ cardboard cutouts of fans in lieu of the real thing, as no spectators will be permitted at games during the abbreviated 2020 season as result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Fans have to appreciate that MLB teams like the Mariners are trying to have a little fun in what has been an up-and-down season to say the least.

[BALK TALK: Listen to the latest episode]