Athletics

Why Marcus Semien deserves more All-Star Game votes than he's been given

Why Marcus Semien deserves more All-Star Game votes than he's been given

The MLB All-Star break is vastly approaching and voting for the festivities in Cleveland is underway. 

Familiar names pop-up in the recent American League update of superstars that could be selected this time around, but a name remains missing: Marcus Semien. 

The A's shortstop has put up a sensational campaign this season, slashing .274/.357/.431 with nine home runs and 34 RBI. He accumulated 70 RBI across the entirety of last season, so he's well on his way to doubling those 34 come the end of the season. As a matter of fact, he's on pace to best last year's totals in hits, homers and runs almost drastically.

His defense has also improve thanks to some coaching assistance from former A's coach Ron Washington, who practically rebuilt Semien's confidence.

So why the absentee name? 

As far as the AL is concerned, no surprises surround the names of Mike Trout and George Springer. Alex Bregman has also made a name for himself as one of the more dominant third basemen. And naturally, I can't forget to mention the A's hot corner enthusiast Matt Chapman, who will grab anything within a mile radius of him; he's fifth in All-Star voting among AL third basemen for the time being.

Semien is not even in the top 10 in his respective category. And, it could be because those don't view the Green and Gold as one of those ... "sexy" teams.

MLB.com's Will Leitch calls Semien one of the underrated players in the game in a recent article, but compliments him by highlighting the fact that he's "one of the quiet reasons the A's keep being a little better than you think they're going to be."

Oh, and that phenomenal seven days he recently had that earned American League Player of the Week honors:

But here's another, and important observation he brings up ...  

He has fewer votes than Chris Davis. THE CHRIS DAVIS WITH THE "C."

I will not argue with Jorge Polanco leading the way in AL shortstop voting -- the dude is hitting .339 with 10 long balls and a .973 OPS -- he deserves that spot. As does Carlos Correa and Tim Anderson, to name a few ... but, c'mon. 

[RELATED: Mark Canha putting together elite stat season]

Voting is not that difficult people -- you literally just have to Google it this year. And if you don't understand, try Googling it. You can also click here to do it. I've done most of the work for you, the rest is up to you.

Every vote counts, or whatever it is they say.

Semien is not going to be the guy pimping out home runs or telling Madison Bumgarner to go fetch a ball in the ocean, but he's the perfect candidate to at the very least to be considered. 

A's vs. Twins lineups: Matt Chapman out, Chad Pinder to start at third

pinderusatsi.jpg
USATSI

A's vs. Twins lineups: Matt Chapman out, Chad Pinder to start at third

The A's will be without All-Star third baseman Matt Chapman as they take aim at their seventh straight win Thursday night in Minnesota.
 
Chapman left Wednesday's game after two innings with left ankle soreness and is considered day-to-day. He told reporters his absence is just precautionary and he should play on Friday.
 
"It just stiffened up on my throw across the diamond (in the top of the first) and then when I took that swing in the box (in the bottom of the first), it kind of just like caught, and then it didn't feel right," Chapman said after the game. "So it was more precautionary than anything."
 
Chad Pinder will fill in at third base and hit eighth in the order. Pinder homered in Wednesday's win, one of six A's home runs in the game. Jurickson Profar hit two homers of his own and will get another start at second base and bat seventh.
 
Designated hitter Khris Davis will hit sixth for the second straight game, with right fielder Mark Canha in the cleanup spot again. Canha notched his first career two-homer game on Wednesday.
 
Veteran right-hander Mike Fiers will be on the mound for Oakland, seeking his eighth straight win and 11th consecutive quality start. Fiers, 34, ranks second among American League starters with a 2.31 ERA since April 26. For the season, he is 9-3 with a 3.61 ERA.
 
Fiers is 6-1 with a 2.66 ERA in 12 career appearances against Minnesota, including 11 starts. Earlier this month, he allowed two runs (one earned) in six innings in a no-decision against the Twins.
 
Minnesota will counter with right-hander Kyle Gibson. The 31-year-old is 8-4 this season with a 4.03 ERA. In five career starts against the A's, he is 2-2 with a 3.81 ERA.
 
Here are the full lineups for the A's-Twins 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 (55-41)
Marcus Semien, SS
Robbie Grossman, LF
Matt Olson, 1B
Mark Canha, RF
Ramón Laureano, CF
Khris Davis, DH
Jurickson Profar, 2B
Chad Pinder, 3B
Josh Phegley, C

Mike Fiers, RHP (9-3, 3.61 ERA)
 
Minnesota Twins (58-36)
Max Kepler, CF
Mitch Garver, C
Nelson Cruz, DH
Marwin Gonzalez, LF
C.J. Cron, 1B
Luis Arraez, 2B
Miguel Sanó, 3B
Jake Cave, RF
Ehire Adrianza, SS
 
Kyle Gibson, RHP (8-4, 4.03 ERA)

Billy Beane on A's plans for MLB trade deadline, season summary so far

Billy Beane on A's plans for MLB trade deadline, season summary so far

Newly-acquired A's pitcher Homer Bailey got off to a rocky start in his A's debut Wednesday, but settled into his first outing and helped the A's prevail over the Mariners. 

The veteran pitcher was acquired from the Royals via trade Sunday, but the A's don't appear to be done bringing more arms into the equation as the July 31 trade deadline nears.

“We’re hoping we’re active," A's executive vice president of baseball operations Billy Beane told The Athletic's Tim Kawakami. "We’re looking for pitching -- we don’t have a lot of depth there, it would be nice to add relievers and/or a starter would probably be the area that we’re looking at."

Beane mentioned that with the hard 31st deadline this year -- there is no longer an Aug. 31 waiver deadline -- it could make other teams aggressive early on. But with the A's sitting pretty, it would be crazy to think they wouldn't be involved in the trade market.

“Where we go from here, I hope we make a bunch of trades, this is the reason you get the job is to be in the playoff hunt and to ultimately make transactions," Beane said. "If you're right around .500 near the trade deadline, you're still in a pretty good position in most seasons to have a shot at the wild card."

But it appeared any of those transactions wouldn't be geared toward any of the guys out in the field.

"I think we feel pretty good about the position players."

As they should. 

Matt Chapman, Matt Olson, Ramón Laureano and Marcus Semien were those named and complimented by Beane and those four are just part of the successful offense/defense force that the A's have constructed. And as much as the team is seeking out players to throw on the hill, Beane is rather impressed with what he's seen thus far.

"[Mike] Fiers coming back, [Brett] Anderson's pitched very, very well, [Frankie] Montas was one of the best starters in the league and we lost him," Beane told Kawakami. "So they've kind of held their own and done well."

Beane said heading into the season the starting rotation was something the A's had to invent.

"It was a big concern, but we also knew about halfway through that we had the chance of getting A.J. Puk back, Sean Manaea back,  [Jesús] Luzardo -- you know, would be back."

[RELATED: A's should trade for Marlins pitcher, analyst writes]

Manaea would continue to have a starting job once he finishes his rehab assignment. He will start for the High-A affiliate Stockton Ports on Thursday night.

Puk will more than likely take a bullpen role once he is with the big league club. And when it comes to Luzardo, it could be similar for the A's No. 1 prospect. Beane hopes all three of them will be in an Oakland uniform by August -- it's just a matter of when during the month we will see them.

They don't want to rush the trio.