A's vs. Astros lineups: Mike Fiers goes for record 13th straight win


A's vs. Astros lineups: Mike Fiers goes for record 13th straight win

The A's officially called up pitchers Jesús Luzardo and Daniel Mengden on Monday ahead of their four-game series against the league-leading Houston Astros.

Luzardo, 21, is ranked as the A's top prospect and is considered one of the best pitching prospects in all of baseball. The left-hander threw 91 pitches on Friday for Triple-A Las Vegas, so he doesn't figure to be available until Wednesday, at the earliest. Oakland plans to use Luzardo out of the bullpen down the stretch.

Meanwhile, veteran right-hander Mike Fiers will get the start Monday night as he looks for his 13th straight win, which would tie the Oakland record. The 34-year-old is undefeated in his last 21 starts, already matching the franchise record.

For the season, Fiers is 14-3 with a 3.51 ERA in 29 starts. The former Astro is 1-2 with a 5.63 ERA in seven career starts against Houston.

Fellow right-hander Zack Greinke will take the hill for the Astros. In six starts since joining the club in a trade from Arizona, the 35-year-old is 4-1 with a 3.86 ERA.

Overall this year, Greinke is 14-5 with a 3.09 ERA. He has enjoyed great success against the A's throughout his career, going 7-2 with a 2.97 ERA in 17 outings, including 13 starts.

A's centerfielder Ramón Laureano will miss his second straight game after leaving Saturday's contest with a right leg cramp. He is considered day-to-day. Mark Canha will start in center field and bat fifth.

[RELATED: Dombrowski's firing shows why Beane, Forst stay with A's]

Here are the full lineups for the A's-Astros game, which will be broadcast on NBC Sports California and the MyTeams app. Coverage begins at 4:30 p.m. PT, with first pitch at 5:10.

Oakland A's (84-59)
SS Marcus Semien
RF Robbie Grossman
3B Matt Chapman
1B Matt Olson
CF Mark Canha
LF Seth Brown
DH Khris Davis
2B Jurickson Profar
C Josh Phegley

RHP Mike Fiers (14-3, 3.51 ERA)

Houston Astros (94-50)
CF George Springer
2B José Altuve
LF Michael Brantley
SS Alex Bregman
DH Yordan Álvarez
1B Aledmys Díaz
3B Abraham Toro
C Robinson Chirinos
RF Josh Reddick

RHP Zack Greinke (14-5, 3.09 ERA)

How David Forst thinks state of MLB free-agent market will impact A's


How David Forst thinks state of MLB free-agent market will impact A's

During an interview last offseason on MLB Network, Indians manager Terry Francona joked he was upping his score in a game on his phone. That's how he described the "excitement" of the Winter Meetings.

Not much happened.

This year in San Diego, things could be different.

"It does seem like the narrative has been less about the starring free-agent market," A's general manager David Forst said Thursday on a conference call. "You know, we always kind of go at our own pace here. I think we have a good track record of targeting the players that we think fit for us and moving at our own pace."

Jurickson Profar also will be heading to San Diego, but as a member of the Padres. He was the first major trade of the A's offseason with catcher Austin Allen and a player to be named later coming back to Oakland in the deal. 

"I don't know that we're gonna be affected by what is going on in the rest of the industry, but it is nice that there's less of a narrative of how slow and boring things are and hopefully that continues next week," Forst said.

That narrative possibly being gone means Ken Rosenthal will continue to lose sleep and perhaps means the A's will get aggressive. 

[RELATED: A's remain in talks with Blake Treinen]

With the loss of Profar, Franklin Barreto and Jorge Mateo will get a chance to make an impression at spring training along with Sheldon Neuse who played at second base a bit last season. The A's, however, aren't set on the infield. 

"But we do continue to look for a left-handed option in the infield," Forst added.

A's remain in contract talks with Blake Treinen, GM David Forst says


A's remain in contract talks with Blake Treinen, GM David Forst says

MLB's annual Winter Meetings head to San Diego next week, and there already are some big-name free agents receiving big paychecks. 

It appears the moves are going quicker than they started last offseason. As for the A's, one of their priorities is their pitching -- particularly out of the bullpen.

"We will continue to be in conversations with relief pitchers," Forst said Thursday in a conference call with reporters. One of those relievers includes former Athletic Blake Treinen.

The 31-year-old was non-tendered on Monday making him a free agent, but Forst said they're keeping the option open to re-sign him.

"We'll continue that conversation, but there's obviously going to be a lot of interest in him."

Treinen leaves behind a rough season that was the complete opposite of his 2018 All-Star campaign.

In 2019, he finished with a 4.91 ERA with just 59 strikeouts in 58.2 innings. The season prior? A 0.78 ERA with a 0.83 WHIP. He also was in AL Cy Young and MVP talks.

The good news for Treinen is the free-agent market is very forgiving with relief pitchers. One bad season could be right ahead of something great. 

Along with Treinen, Forst also explained that bringing back Jake Diekman was a priority for the team, which the A's did Tuesday on a two-year contract.

[RELATED: Profar trade gives A's infield clarity]

But the A's are far from being done, and Forst mentioned it had been a while since the A's went with a bullpen of fewer than eight players. 

"I think it's an area we will continue to address if possible," Forst added.