A's, Yankees release starting lineups for AL Wild Card Game

A's, Yankees release starting lineups for AL Wild Card Game

NEW YORK — The A's and Yankees announced their starting lineups for Wednesday night's American League Wild Card Game, with no real surprises on either side.

Nick Martini leads off for the A's, as he typically does against right-handed pitchers. The two-through-six spots also remain the same for Oakland. Rookie Ramon Laureano gets the nod over Marcus Semien in the seven spot, and Jonathan Lucroy rounds out the order.

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For the Yankees, former Giant Andrew McCutchen will lead off, which he has become accustomed to doing this season. Aaron Judge, Aaron Hicks, Giancarlo Stanton and Luke Voit provide a ton of power in the middle of New York's order. The bottom of the lineup also has plenty of home run potential with Didi Gregorius, Miguel Andujar and Gary Sanchez lurking.

Earlier Wednesday, the teams released their full AL Wild Card Game rosters.

Mark Canha likely will pinch-hit for the A's at some point if the Yankees bring in a left-hander out of the bullpen. Franklin Barreto also made Oakland's roster and could provide value as a pinch-runner late in the game.

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On the pitching side, Edwin Jackson is the only starter on the A's roster, meaning Oakland almost definitely will employ a full bullpen game. Jackson will provide as insurance for potential extra innings.

The Yankees carry three starting pitchers on their roster, which would seem to indicate that Luis Severino will be on a very short leash. New York also carries three catchers on their roster, along with some power and speed on the bench.

A's will retire Dave Stewart's No. 34 in 2020 season, team announces

A's will retire Dave Stewart's No. 34 in 2020 season, team announces

OAKLAND -- The A's had a major surprise in store Sunday at their 30th-anniversary celebration of the 1989 World Series title.

In front of players, coaches and executives from that championship squad, A's president Dave Kaval announced that World Series MVP Dave Stewart would have his No. 34 retired next season.

"Dave is one of the great legends in Oakland A’s history," Kaval said in a statement. "He exemplifies what it means to be an Oakland A. He gave his heart and soul to this Club and our Oakland community."

An Oakland native, Stewart pitched eight seasons for the A's, going 119-78 with a 3.73 ERA. The right-hander finished in the top four of Cy Young voting for four straight seasons from 1987-90.

Stewart got emotional when talking about the honor.

"I've had people say, 'You should be in the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame' but I'm smart enough to know that my numbers don't equal that," he said. "So, in a small way, you want to do something good in your community and be remembered. And this does that."

Stewart's postseason numbers were simply incredible. In 10 ALCS starts, he went 8-0 with a 2.03 ERA, winning a pair of ALCS MVP awards.

"I've watched the A's since they came to Oakland, so I know the history of the organization," Stewart said. "I could probably tell you about every player, especially in the early days. As a kid, I used to hop the fence to come in and watch these guys play. Until today, the names and the numbers that have been retired were all Hall of Famers, and deservedly so.

"For the organization to step outside that and honor me in that way, there just are no words to express how I feel."

The honor was made even more special by the opportunity for Stewart to share it with his former teammates from the '89 World Series team, who were on hand, along with the squad's manager Tony La Russa.

"I like to say that we're best friends," Stewart said of La Russa. "That was built on my time here in Oakland and earning his respect. ... When you think about family and all the hardships and all the happy times that you have, those are the friendships that I built through those years that I will continue to have until I die."

Added La Russa: "That team had everything. Their minds were right from day one of spring training till the end. Just let them play. ... When you have that conversation of greatest teams, it's impossible not to include the '89 A's because every place you looked, there was a productive player. Every place on the pitching staff and the position players, it was so deep."

La Russa and Stewart both carry a tremendous amount of pride for that team. Stew probably summed it up best.

"F---ing good. We were good," he said. "We didn't accomplish everything that we wanted to, but we were really good. I mean, from top to bottom, we could beat you in a lot of ways. We could run the bases, we could pitch, we (had a) bullpen, we could hit, we played small when we had to.

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"We were really good."

They sure were.

A's outfielder Stephen Piscotty undergoes MRI on sprained right ankle

A's outfielder Stephen Piscotty undergoes MRI on sprained right ankle

OAKLAND -- Just when the A's outfield appeared to be nearing a return to full health, Oakland manager Bob Melvin announced on Sunday that starting right fielder Stephen Piscotty had aggravated his sprained right ankle and had to undergo an MRI.

Piscotty initially sprained the ankle last Saturday on an awkward slide back into second base on a pickoff attempt. He has played through the ailment since then but was seen in a walking boot Sunday morning.

"It got a little better, a little worse, and then last night he took a swing where it really bothered him," Melvin said. "He had an MRI this morning. We're waiting on the results of that. I don't have a great feeling about it at this point, but we'll see what the doctors have to say and then proceed accordingly."

Piscotty, 28, missed all of July with a sprained right knee but returned from the injured list in early August. Unfortunately, center fielder Ramón Laureano then went on the IL with a stress reaction in his right shin. Now with Laureano nearing a return, it appears Piscotty might miss some time again.

The good news for the A's is that they have plenty of outfield depth. Mark Canha filled in for Piscotty when he was out with the knee sprain and figures to take over right field again when Laureano returns to center. Robbie Grossman and Chad Pinder should continue to split time in left.

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Piscotty is slashing .252/.312/.416 with 13 home runs and 44 RBI in 92 games this year. He's in the third season of his six-year, $33.5 million contract, originally signed with the St. Louis Cardinals.