Meet Your 2017 Oakland A’s

0IMG_2486cAs the 2016 season came to an end and the A’s headed into the offseason, there were an awful lot of questions regarding the team’s roster for the coming season, and many of those questions still remained unanswered as the calendar turned to 2017. But a quartet of January free agent signings, along with a number of other minor moves, seems to have solidified the shape of the A’s roster for 2017.

At one time, it appeared that a number of rookie hitters might stand a good chance of making the 2017 opening day roster, including players such as catcher Bruce Maxwell and infielders Chad Pinder and Joey Wendle. But the way things are now shaping up, barring injuries, it looks like the A’s are likely to start the season with no rookie position players on the roster and perhaps just one or two rookie pitchers on the opening day squad.

Of course, the A’s being the A’s, it’s entirely possible that the front office could still have a few unexpected tricks up its sleeve before opening day. But after the flurry of roster moves over the past month, here’s how things are now shaping up for your 2017 Oakland A’s…

 

CATCHERS

Stephen Vogt

Stephen Vogt

Stephen Vogt was named to the American League All-Star squad for the second straight season last year, and the A’s current clubhouse leader is set to return as the team’s primary catcher again this season. Josh Phegley, who appeared in 73 games for Oakland in 2015, made it into just 25 games for the A’s last year due to injuries. Phegley has apparently recovered from last summer’s knee surgery and, as long as he’s healthy, is expected to serve as Vogt’s platoon partner in 2017. Rookie receiver Bruce Maxwell had an impressive Triple-A campaign and looked solid in 33 late-season games with the A’s last year. So if there are any health issues with Phegley or Vogt to start the year or at any point during the season, then Maxwell should be poised to step right in and pick up the slack.

 

MIDDLE INFIELDERS

Marcus Semien

Marcus Semien

Slugging shortstop Marcus Semien hit 27 home runs while appearing in a total of 159 games for Oakland in 2016. The iron-man infielder played in more games than any other member of the A’s squad for the second straight season, and we can probably expect to see more of the same kind of endurance from Semien again this year. Meanwhile, second baseman Jed Lowrie, in his second stint with the A’s, missed the final two months last season while undergoing foot surgery. The team expects him to be recovered from the procedure and has anointed him as its starting second baseman for the coming season, as long as he remains healthy. The A’s also signed infielder Adam Rosales as a free agent in late January, and one would expect that the versatile veteran could fill in fairly regularly for Lowrie at second base while also giving Semien a few more days off at shortstop over the course of the season. With Semien, Lowrie and Rosales in the picture, it doesn’t leave much room for other middle infielders like Joey Wendle and Chad Pinder, who are likely to be available at Nashville if any infield replacements are needed. Also waiting in the wings at Nashville will be shortstop (and possible future second baseman) Franklin Barreto, who’s considered the A’s top hitting prospect.

 

CORNER INFIELDERS

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Ryon Healy

Another one of the A’s January free agent signings was former Twins infielder Trevor Plouffe, whom the team made clear would serve as its starting third baseman, shifting young slugger Ryon Healy to first base and the designated hitter spot. Last year’s primary first baseman Yonder Alonso has been retained and the left-handed hitter is expected to man the position while righties are on the mound. Healy, who proved himself at the plate last year, is expected to be a regular in the lineup, likely serving as the designated hitter much of the time while possibly shifting back to his natural position at first base when Alonso sits against lefties. That would open up the designated hitter spot against lefties. Mark Canha missed most of last season after undergoing hip surgery but is expected to be at full strength come spring training. A’s general manager David Forst has frequently spoken favorably of Canha over the course of the offseason, and he would seem to be the most likely candidate for the role, while also being available to fill in at first base as well as in the outfield. If reinforcements are needed at the corner spots, the A’s top power-hitting prospect, third baseman Matt Chapman, will be just one step away at Nashville, as will other young sluggers like Renato Nunez and first baseman/outfielder Matt Olson.

 

OUTFIELDERS

Khris Davis

Khris Davis

Khris Davis clubbed 42 home runs while serving as the A’s starting left fielder last season and, fortunately for A’s fans, they can expect to be seeing the big bopper back in the cleanup spot for the green and gold again this year. American League stolen-base leader Rajai Davis was signed as a free agent to man center field and bat leadoff, while veteran left-handed hitter Matt Joyce was signed to be the team’s starting right fielder against righties, with returning right-handed hitter Jake Smolinski expected to serve as his platoon partner against lefties. Mark Canha, who is likely to see some time at first base and in the designated hitter spot, could also be available to fill in in the outfield corners. Meanwhile, down on the farm, two young left-handed hitting prospects who could step in and fill outfield roles if needed, Matt Olson and Jaycob Brugman, should be back for their second seasons at Nashville. And joining them there will likely be another left-handed-hitting outfielder, this one with plenty of major league experience, 32-year-old veteran Alejandro De Aza, who was signed to a minor league contract last month.

 

STARTING PITCHERS

Sonny Gray

Sonny Gray

There really don’t seem to be too many big question marks about the A’s starting rotation at this point. Sonny Gray, Kendall Graveman and Sean Manaea are set to top the starting five. And since Daniel Mengden recently fractured a bone in his right foot, it’s now even more likely that the final two spots in the rotation will be filled by a pair of pitchers the A’s front office has repeatedly spoken highly of during the offseason, rookie Jharel Cotton and reliever-turned-starter Andrew Triggs. The A’s used a total of 14 different starting pitchers last year though, so we’ll probably end up seeing plenty of other names in the starting mix before the season’s through. Jesse Hahn, who made 9 starts for the A’s last season, is likely to start the year at Nashville and could be called upon if needed. A pair of pitchers who each made at least half a dozen starts for the A’s in 2017, Ross Detwiler and Zach Neal, should be available at Triple-A as well. Flame-thrower Frankie Montas, who’s on the 40-man roster, is also expected to start at Nashville, as is 2014 2nd-round pick Daniel Gossett. Raul Alcantara, who made 5 starts for the A’s late last year and is out of options, may very well end up serving as a long man out of the A’s bullpen but could always shift back into a starting role if needed. And, of course, once he recuperates from his foot injury, Mengden will be available again at some point, as will righty Chris Bassitt and lefty Felix Doubront, both of whom are returning from Tommy John surgery.

 

RELIEF PITCHERS

Ryan Madson

Ryan Madson

Much like the starting rotation, the A’s bullpen picture appears to be fairly clear as well, with just a couple of key questions remaining. With the A’s surprising signing of former Giants closer Santiago Casilla in January, the big question is whether Ryan Madson will return to the closer’s role for Oakland in 2017 or if Casilla will wind up displacing him. However it ends up shaking out though, the pair should serve as two of the team’s top late-inning options. Joining them will be fellow righties John Axford, Liam Hendriks and Ryan Dull as well as southpaw Sean Doolittle. If the A’s would like to have a second lefty in the bullpen, then Daniel Coulombe, who appeared in 35 games for the A’s last year and is the only other left-handed reliever on the 40-man roster, would seem to be the obvious choice. 24-year-old right-hander Raul Alcantara is out of options though, so the A’s may want to use that final spot to protect the young starter and have him serve as the long-man out of the bullpen. But if the A’s wanted to hang on to Alcantara and have a second lefty in the bullpen as well, then they could always consider trading one of their other relievers. If they did decide to do that, then someone like Axford, who is in the final year of his contract and is owed $5.5 million this year, would seem to be the most likely candidate. And if any bullpen reinforcements are needed, one of the top options this year could be right-hander Bobby Wahl, who’s on the 40-man roster, struck out 10.8 batters per 9 innings across three minor league levels in 2017 and finished the year with 4 saves over the last month of the season at Nashville.

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Be sure to like A’s Farm’s page on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @AthleticsFarm. You can also get our exclusive A’s minor league newsletter e-mailed to you free by signing up here.

A’s President Dave Kaval Offers the Inside Scoop on Team’s New Stadium & Player Payroll Plans

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New A’s President Dave Kaval

Since assuming the job just a little over two months ago, it’s safe to say that new A’s president Dave Kaval has provided a breath of fresh air in the sometimes dank passages of the Oakland Coliseum. In a relatively short period of time, he’s already earned plenty of brownie points with A’s fans for his honesty, enthusiasm and willingness to engage with almost anyone and everyone who wants to engage with him. And after talking with some A’s employees who were on hand at FanFest, it’s clear that the energetic executive has brought a renewed sense of energy and purpose to the entire A’s staff. 

The 41-year-old likes to make things happen and he’s not afraid to try new things. His decision to return FanFest to Jack London Square for the first time since 1999 turned out to be a good call, with an estimated 15,000 A’s fans, most of whom seemed to be in a hopeful mood about the team, enjoying a fresh take on the event while out under the sun with the water in view.

Kaval kicked off the day with an inspiring message to A’s fans gathered on the main lawn for the team introductions. In his state-of-the-team address, he promised to announce the site of the team’s new stadium as well as a timeline for the new home of the A’s this year. And just a little later, he addressed those topics in greater detail, as well as others, during an interview session with a group of A’s bloggers.

The Stanford graduate had kind words for the work of bloggers and for alternative media in general: “I think media’s changing…I think the voices that are in this room are important…and I think some of our hardcore fans are more connected to the content you guys generate…I’ve always been a big believer in new media.”

In this session, as expected, Kaval was engaging and enthusiastic and seemed more than happy to address any questions that came his way. A’s Farm kicked off the questioning by asking the team’s top executive whether or not the A’s planned to increase their player personnel budget prior to moving into a new stadium, and he seemed to be a man with a plan…

We want to kind of duplicate what the Indians did in the early 1990s, which is to create a nucleus of really good young players who are hitting their prime when you open the ballpark. Then, if you guys remember, the Indians sold out 455 consecutive games which, in a smaller market, is a pretty incredible accomplishment. So to do that, the first thing you need to do is you need to know the timeline of when you’re going to open the new stadium – and we’re going to know that this year. Then I can go to Billy [Beane] and David [Forst] and say, “Hey, this is kind of the runway you have. Let’s put the pieces in place and make the necessary investments in order to get to that opening day where we have a nucleus of great young players who can compete for a world championship that season.” And Billy and David have done an amazing job of cultivating the young talent – I mean, you saw it in the playoffs this year. That’s not the issue – the issue is having the revenue to sign those players and keep them as part of your nucleus. So that’s the plan – I think it’s one that can work out very well. I think the exact dollar investment level is hard to know, but I think fans should hopefully be more in the know about what the plan is.

Asked to confirm that the club is indeed willing to make increased investments in player personnel prior to having a new stadium ready to go, Kaval made it clear that the team is…

Absolutely, 100%! I think seeing us actively go after [Edwin] Encarnacion, who’s a player who was going to get paid $20-25 million per year, that’s a huge move for the A’s. That’s not something that you’ve seen in the past. I think knowledgeable fans like you guys know that that’s a big statement – and it was a serious bid…but getting a player of that caliber to really anchor your offense, really support your young pitchers, because you’re going to have more run production, and really kind of put the fear into the opposing pitching, is a really important part of building a winning team.

When asked about his vision and priorites for the new stadium and when he will announce the team’s plans, he was fairly definitive…

Avaya Stadium

San Jose’s Avaya Stadium

This year we will announce the location and the timeline, and the timeline will include when we’re going to break ground. I was hopeful we could even make the announcement today, but we just haven’t done all the work necessary to make sure that we make the right decision, and to make sure that we get all the feedback from the community…In terms of design, I think the over-arching theme is intimacy. We want a ballpark that’s intimate, where you’re close to the action – think more like Wrigley or Fenway than Yankee Stadium or some of the bigger stadiums…The thing is we want somewhere where, even if you’re in the upper deck, you’re close to the action and every seat is a good seat. And if you come to Avaya Stadium, which we built for the Earthquakes, we have that, and it’s been so well received…It also creates an amazing fan experience – it’s loud, it’s raucous, it’s somewhere that we could take the Oakland fans and energize them and actually create a home-field advantage for our club…The other thing that I think is really important when you do a ballpark is you want to celebrate the history of the organization. So we want to go back all the way to Philadelphia. We’re looking at the possibility of putting in a museum that celebrates the actual history of the Athletics, all the way back to 1901 with the Philadelphia A’s, as well as our Kansas City period, then obviously here in Oakland – that’s a really important piece of the puzzle…And then I think you need to create neighborhoods – places in the ballpark where fans can gather and congregate and have a shared experience around the sport. And that could include things like we did at Avaya with the scoreboard bar. It could include an amazing bleacher section, with old-school bleachers. They might be wood – maybe we get reclaimed redwood and have a totally new thing, something that people actually appreciate and take pride in, because we want to have the people with the bed sheets and the signs. We don’t want to lose any of that with the new ballpark, because that’s how you give a building a soul, and that’s something that’s really important to us.

On the subject of the Raiders and how their actions might affect the A’s plans, Kaval didn’t seem too concerned with what the A’s Coliseum co-tenants were up to…  

It’s completely independent. We have our own path that we’re on. Now we were kind of surprised that they would actually leave – we’ve just been working under the assumption that they were going to be here. But we are charting our own course. We’re making our own decisions. I think, in the past, we were trying to tether our decisions too closely to theirs, and that got us in trouble. So we want to just say, “This is our plan to build our ballpark in the right location.” And then whatever happens with the Raiders happens.

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Howard Terminal

Asked what sites, besides the Coliseum and Howard Terminal, are currently being considered and what some of the major considerations are, Kaval provided more details about the team’s thinking and also revealed that some new technology had been deployed at FanFest…

The other two sites are in and around the Lake Merritt area…We’re trying to evaluate each one of those opportunities independently so we make a good decision…I think one thing about that location is that we kind of look at it as areas in and around the Lake Merritt BART station, because that’s a really important transit hub for the community. I think here, on this site at Howard [Terminal], some of the challenges are just around transit and making sure you can get people here. That’s the nice thing about having this event today…so we can understand how this site would even work. And actually, we’re flying a drone above us right now – it’s looking at where people go and patterns and all that stuff.

When asked what A’s fans can expect on the stadium front in the coming months, Kaval seemed eager to get the show on the road…

This year, as soon as possible, we’re going to announce where we’re going to build the ballpark. And this is as important – it’s one thing to just pick a site, but we’re actually going to announce the roadmap to opening day…There’s different pros and cons or challenges and opportunities with every site. And I think, at the end of the day, we want to shoot for something that can really be transformative. We want to make sure that we have a vibrant ballpark experience around the actual location and people are living there and there are bars and restaurants and it can be a place to be. That’s what these ballparks can do, and that’s our mission.

Discussing his efforts to draw fans back into the fold while the A’s are still playing at the Coliseum, Kaval promised to improve the fan experience at the A’s current home…

I think, for the first time, instead of just kind of punting on the Coliseum, we have a commitment to make sure that the fan experience can be enhanced. And I think you’re seeing that with the Shibe Park Tavern, where we’re investing millions of dollars in the Coliseum to create a truly east coast kind of throwback environment where fans can gather and have a great time, not even just for a game – it could be an away game and you have a viewing party. We have pool tables and artifacts from Shibe Park celebrating the history with the Philadelphia Athletics. The other thing is looking at the whole food truck pavilion that we’re going to build between the actual Coliseum and the arena – that’s going to be a great area. We’ll have up to 16 food trucks. You know, familes, millennials, everyone gathering. We’re going to have Adirondack chairs and games and kids’ zones and beer gardens. Whether you want a gluten-free gourmet food truck or you want to have chicken and waffles, all that stuff together is going to create a fun area. We’ll have video boards so you can watch the game. Those are important neighborhoods and areas to build for people to gather. So in the third inning of the game, instead of just going and getting a hot dog – and I will say, we’re not going to have any frozen buns – you can go outside – you get in and out privileges – and you can get a Vietnamese vegetarian wrap or whatever you want. So those are the types of things we’re doing, and we’re going to do more. You can’t change everything overnight, but we’re taking one step at a time to make sure the experience is better for the fans.

And finally, Kaval talked about his overall vision for the franchise and how he plans to win back the loyalty of some disappointed A’s fans…

The vision is to build a world-class stadium in Oakland and to win more world championships. And then I think the third piece, and this is something where we need to work with the community, is to really revitalize the community with the ballpark. So that’s where we need to take this organization. We’re working 24/7 to do that…And all I can do in my role is to take one step at a time and make progress in different areas – have FanFest free at Jack London Square, have opening day and see the food truck experience, see the Shibe Park Tavern, sign a player to a long-term contract – and then hopefully over time people will see that it’s not just rhetoric, there are actions that are supporting this that actually make me believe that this is a path that they want to be on but…they can decide whether to be an A’s fan or not – I think it’s way better than being a Giants fan – but it’s their decision. And we think we will attract that support. And I can already kind of feel it. It’s a little like a snowball, and it’ll happen!

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Be sure to like A’s Farm’s page on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @AthleticsFarm. You can also get our exclusive A’s minor league newsletter e-mailed to you free by signing up here.

 

A’s 2017 Minor League Spring Training Schedule

0dsc04060xIf you’re planning on checking out a little minor league action during your spring training trip this year, below is the A’s complete minor league spring training schedule.

Home games are played at Fitch Park at 651 N. Center Street in Mesa. There is no charge for entry and all games are scheduled to begin at 1:00pm local time, but things can always change without notice…

 

MINOR LEAGUE SPRING TRAINING SCHEDULE

3/13 – Triple-A & Double-A vs. White Sox at Camelback Ranch

3/14 – Camp Day

3/15 – Triple-A & Double-A vs. Cubs at Fitch Park

3/16 – Camp Day

3/17 – Triple-A & Double-A vs. Rockies at Salt River Fields

3/18 – Triple-A & Double-A vs. Giants at Scottsdale / High-A & Low-A vs. Giants at Fitch Park

3/19 – Camp Day

3/20 – Triple-A & Double-A vs. Cubs at Sloan Park / High-A & Low-A vs. Cubs at Fitch Park

3/21 – Triple-A & Double-A vs. Giants at Scottsdale / High-A & Low-A vs. Giants at Fitch Park

3/22 – Triple-A & Double-A vs. Cubs at Fitch Park / High-A & Low-A vs. Cubs at Sloan Park

3/23 – Triple-A & Double-A vs. Rockies at Fitch Park / High-A & Low-A vs. Rockies at Salt River Fields

3/24 – Triple-A & Double-A vs. Angels at Tempe DIablo / High-A & Low-A vs. Angels at Fitch Park

3/25 – Camp Day

3/26 – Camp Day

3/27 – Triple-A & Double-A vs. Cubs at Fitch Park / High-A & Low-A vs. Cubs at Sloan Park

3/28 – Triple-A & Double-A vs. Giants at Fitch Park / High-A & Low-A vs. Giants at Scottsdale

3/29 – Triple-A & Double-A vs. Dodgers at Camelback Ranch / High-A & Low-A vs. Dodgers at Fitch Park

3/30 – Triple-A & Double-A vs. Rockies at Fitch Park / High-A & Low-A vs. Rockies at Salt River Fields

3/31 – Triple-A & Double-A vs. Cubs at Fitch Park / High-A & Low-A vs. Cubs at Sloan Park

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Be sure to like A’s Farm’s page on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @AthleticsFarm. You can also get our exclusive A’s minor league newsletter e-mailed to you free by signing up here.

A’s Prospects Final Winter League Stats

Dom = Dominican Winter League

Mex = Mexican Pacific Winter League

PR = Puerto Rican Winter League

VZ = Venezuelan Winter League

–Final Regular Season Statistics–

BATTING (min. 20 ABs)

Renato Nunez

Renato Nunez

Beau Taylor (C)

(Dom) 30 AB / 0 HR / 3 BB / 11 K / .400 AVG / .455 OBP / .500 SLG / .955 OPS

Renato Nunez (3B)

(VZ) 168 AB / 11 HR / 21 BB / 38 K / .304 AVG / .389 OBP / .542 SLG / .930 OPS

Rangel Ravelo (1B)

(VZ) 180 AB / 6 HR / 32 BB / 20 K / .300 AVG / .414 OBP / .444 SLG / .859 OPS

Joey Wendle (2B)

(Mex) 137 AB / 3 HR / 8 BB / 16 K / .307 AVG / .345 OBP / .511 SLG / .856 OPS

Melvin Mercedes (IF-OF)

(Dom) 73 AB / 0 HR / 17 BB / 19 K / .260 AVG / .402 OBP / .288 SLG / .690 OPS

Tyler Marincov (OF)

(Dom) 54 AB / 0 HR / 6 BB / 20 K / .167 AVG / .258 OBP / .167 SLG / .425 OPS

Edwin Diaz (3B-SS)

(PR) 26 AB / 0 HR / 4 BB / 6 K / .115 AVG / .233 OBP / .115 SLG / .349 OPS

 

PITCHING (min. 10 IPs)

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Jake Sanchez

Jake Sanchez (RHP)

(Mex) 31 2/3 IP / 27 H / 1 ER / 5 BB / 27 K / 0.28 ERA / 1.01 WHIP

Giovanni Soto (LHP)

(PR) 48 1/3 IP / 42 H / 11 ER / 9 BB / 31 K / 2.05 ERA / 1.06 WHIP

Carlos Navas (RHP)

(VZ) 27 2/3 IP / 19 H / 7 ER / 8 BB / 30 K / 2.28 ERA / 0.98 WHIP

Cesar Valdez (RHP)

(Dom) 41 2/3 IP / 43 H / 17 ER / 7 BB / 27 K / 3.67 ERA / 1.20 WHIP

Aaron Kurcz (RHP)

(Mex) 20 1/3 IP / 22 H / 10 ER / 8 BB / 14 K / 4.43 ERA / 1.48 WHIP

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Be sure to like A’s Farm’s page on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @AthleticsFarm. You can also get our exclusive A’s minor league newsletter e-mailed to you free by signing up here.

A’s 2017 Non-Roster Invitees

The A’s announced their list of non-roster invitees to major league spring training camp on Thursday. A number of them are recently-signed minor league free agents, but many spent last season with the organization as well.

NON-ROSTER INVITEES

–New Position Players–

rl543432C Ryan Lavarnway

Signed as a minor league free agent Nov. 21 after playing in the Atlanta and Toronto farm systems in 2016. He combined to hit .266 with six home runs and 48 RBI in 91 games with Triple-A Gwinnett and Double-A New Hampshire.

3B-2B Jermaine Curtis

Signed as a minor league free agent after hitting .291 with nine home runs and 50 RBI in 89 games with Triple-A Louisville in the Reds organization. He added 42 walks for a .404 on-base percentage.

OF-1B Chris Parmelee

Went 4-for-8 with two home runs and four RBI in six games with New York (AL) last year and is a .248 career hitter with 30 home runs and 98 RBI in 311 games over six seasons in the majors. He spent most of 2016 at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre where he hit .248 with 11 home runs and 29 RBI in 64 games. He signed as a minor league free agent Nov. 19.

OF Jaff Decker

Hit .154 in 19 games with Tampa Bay last year and is a .162 career hitter in 60 games over four seasons in the majors. He also batted .255 with 12 home runs and 35 RBI in 99 games with Triple-A Durham. He signed as a minor league free agent Nov. 22.

OF Kenny Wilson

Signed as a minor league free agent Nov. 15. He combined to hit .255 with three home runs, 32 RBI and 30 stolen bases in 125 games with Double-A Jacksonville and Triple-A New Orleans in the Miami organization.

UPDATE:

OF Alejandro De Aza

Free agent outfielder Alejandro De Aza signed a minor league contract, was assigned to Triple-A Nashville, and was added to the list of non-roster invitees to the A’s major league spring training camp. He spent the entire 2016 season with the New York Mets and hit .205 with six home runs and 25 RBI in 130 games.  He is a .261 career hitter in 810 games in nine Major League seasons with Florida (2007, 09), Chicago-AL (2010-14), Baltimore (2014-15), Boston (2015), San Francisco (2015) and New York-NL (2016).

 

–Returning Position Players–

mm473724bC-OF Matt McBride

Hit .209 with two RBI in 20 games with Oakland last year. He also batted .267 with seven home runs and 30 RBI in 70 games with Nashville.

C Sean Murphy

Was the A’s third round selection in the 2016 draft and batted .228 with two home runs and seven RBI in 23 games in his professional debut with short-season Vermont and the A’s affiliate in the Arizona Rookie League.

2B-SS Josh Rodriguez

Returns for his second straight camp with the A’s as a non-roster invitee. He played for Midland and Nashville in 2016 and hit .263 with nine home runs and 53 RBI in 88 games.

3B Matt Chapman

The A’s first round pick in the 2014 draft returns for his second straight big league camp. He combined to hit .237 with 36 home runs and 96 RBI in 135 games with Double-A Midland and Nashville. He ranked third in all of minor league baseball in home runs and tied for 10th in RBI.

SS Richie Martin

The A’s first round pick in the 2015 draft returns for his second consecutive big league camp. He combined for a .235 average, three home runs, 38 RBI and 14 stolen bases in 91 games with Stockton and Midland.

2B Max Schrock

Was acquired from Washington for Marc Rzepczynski Aug. 25. He led all of minor league baseball with 177 hits after batting .331 with 32 doubles, two triples, nine home runs and 71 RBI in 129 games with Stockton, Midland, Single-A Potomac and Single-A Hagerstown.

OF Andrew Lambo

Appeared in one game with Oakland and also hit .255 with four home runs and 30 RBI in 56 games with Nashville before missing the last half of the season following a diagnosis of testicular cancer.

UPDATES:

1B Rangel Ravelo

First baseman Rangel Ravelo cleared waivers, was assigned to Triple-A Nashville, and was added to the list of non-roster invitees to the A’s major league spring training camp. He spent the entire 2016 season at Nashville, where he batted .262 with eight home runs and 54 RBI in 106 games.

1B-3B Max Muncy

Infielder Max Muncy cleared waivers, was assigned to Triple-A Nashville, and was added to the list of non-roster invitees to the A’s major league spring training camp. He appeared in 51 games for Oakland and 64 games at Nashville in 2016.

 

–New Pitchers–

mb572728RHP Michael Brady

Signed as a minor league free agent Nov. 15. He combined for a 3-6 record and a 2.89 ERA in 18 games (12 starts) with Double-A Harrisburg and Triple-A Syracuse in the Washington organization in 2016.

RHP Cesar Valdez

Signed as a minor league free agent Nov. 17 after going 12-1 with a 3.12 ERA in 30 games (18 starts) with Triple-A Fresno in the Houston organization. He ranked third in the Pacific Coast League in ERA and tied for fourth in wins. He walked 13 and struck out 114 in 138 1/3 innings.

RHP Josh Smith

Was claimed off waivers from Cincinnati Nov. 4 and outrighted to Nashville Nov. 18. He went 3-3 with a 4.68 ERA in 32 games (two starts) with the Reds. He was also 4-4 with a 3.80 ERA in nine games (eight starts) with Triple-A Louisville.

RHP Tyler Sturdevant

Signed as a minor league free agent Nov. 11. He went 0-1 with a 3.93 ERA in 16 relief appearances in his major league debut with Tampa Bay last year. He was also 3-2 with four saves and a 3.66 ERA in 34 games with Durham.

RHP Simon Castro

Signed as a minor league free agent after going 0-5 with 10 saves and a 3.38 ERA in 50 relief appearances with Triple-A Albuquerque in the Colorado farm system.

 

–Returning Pitchers–

fd467094LHP Felix Doubront

Missed the entire 2016 season after undergoing UCL reconstruction surgery April 12.

RHP Chris Smith

Was a non-roster invitee with the A’s last year. He went 6-8 with a 3.93 ERA in 22 starts at Nashville before joining Oakland Aug. 7. He had no decisions, a 2.92 ERA and .165 opponents batting average in 13 relief appearances with the A’s.

RHP Daniel Gossett

The A’s second round pick in the 2014 draft pitched for Stockton, Midland and Nashville in 2016 and combined for a 10-6 record and a 2.69 ERA in 27 appearances, all starts. He led the A’s farm system with 151 strikeouts.

RHP Heath Fillmyer

Oakland’s fifth round pick in the 2014 draft combined for a 7-6 record and a 3.29 ERA in 26 games, including 24 starts, with Single-A Stockton and Midland.

RHP Tucker Healy

A 23rd round selection in the 2012 draft, he spent the entire 2016 season at Nashville where he went 4-3 with eight saves, a 3.61 ERA and .202 opponents batting average in 44 relief appearances. He struck out 76 in 52 1/3 innings.

RHP Ryan Brasier (sold to Hiroshima Carp)

Second straight season as a non-roster invitee with the A’s. He was 5-3 with a save, a 3.56 ERA and 70 strikeouts in 60 2/3 innings over 46 relief appearances with Triple-A Nashville. (UPDATE: Ryan Brasier has been sold by the A’s to the Hiroshima Carp of the Japanese Central League.)

RHP Aaron Kurcz

Combined for a 9-1 record, five saves, a 3.03 ERA and .211 opponents batting average in 46 appearances with Midland and Nashville. He was acquired by the A’s from Atlanta for international bonus slot 4 on July 6, 2015.

RHP Trey Cochran-Gill

Was acquired from Seattle for Evan Scribner following the 2015 season and went 4-5 with a 3.07 ERA in 42 relief appearances with Midland in 2016. He added a 1.84 ERA in 10 relief appearances with Mesa in the Arizona Fall League.

LHP A.J. Puk

Was the A’s first round choice in the 2016 draft and went 0-4 with a 3.03 ERA and .185 opponents batting average in 10 starts with Vermont in his professional debut. He struck out 40 in 32 2/3 innings.

UPDATE:

LHP Ross Detwiler

Left-handed pitcher Ross Detwiler signed a minor league contract, was assigned to Triple-A Nashville, and was added to the list of non-roster invitees to the A’s major league spring training camp. He was acquired by the A’s from Cleveland in a minor league deal July 17 and combined for a 2-4 record and a 6.10 ERA in 16 major league games, including seven starts.  He was also 6-4 with a 4.40 ERA in 16 games, including 15 starts, with Triple-A Columbus and Nashville. Detwiler appeared in 9 games for Oakland and 4 games at Nashville in 2016.

RHP Zach Neal

Pitcher Zach Neal cleared waivers, was assigned to Triple-A Nashville, and was added to the list of non-roster invitees to the A’s major league spring training camp. He made his Major League debut with Oakland last year and went 2-4 with two saves and a 4.24 ERA in 24 games, including six starts, over four stints with the A’s.  He allowed a .265 opponents batting average but issued just six walks in 70.0 innings for a .281 on-base percentage.  Neal was also 7-2 with a 3.21 ERA in 11 starts with Triple-A Nashville where he walked just eight batters in 61.2 innings.

(Information provided by A’s Media Relations)

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A’s In The AFL – November 14-19 Final Update

A's AFL MVP: Pitcher Frankie Montas (17 IP/1 ER)

A’s AFL MVP: Pitcher Frankie Montas (17 IP/1 ER)

 

A’s Prospect AFL Highlights

(November 14 – November 19)

Monday, November 14th:

Shortstop Franklin Barreto went 2 for 5, while third baseman Yairo Munoz went 1 for 4 with a walk and drove in 2 runs. Starter Dylan Covey gave up 3 runs over 4 innings but still earned the win, while RHP Frankie Montas allowed 2 runs, 1 earned, in 2 2/3 innings, and RHP Sam Bragg tossed 1 scoreless inning in relief as Mesa won 13-5 on Monday.

Tuesday, November 15th:

No A’s prospects participated in Mesa’s 6-5 win on Tuesday.

Wednesday, November 16th:

Second baseman Franklin Barreto went 1 for 4 with a  double in Mesa’s 10-0 loss on Wednesday.

Thursday, November 17th:

Second baseman Yairo Munoz went 2 for 4 with a triple, while shortstop Franklin Barreto went 2 for 5, and RHP Trey Cochran-Gill allowed 1 unearned run in 2 innings of relief in Mesa’s 6-6 tie as the team clinched the AFL East Division title on Thursday.

Friday, November 18th:

No games scheduled.

Saturday, November 19th:

Starter Dylan Covey allowed 1 hit and 1 run over 5 innings to earn the win, while RHP Frankie Montas struck out 5 in 3 scoreless innings of relief, and second baseman Franklin Barreto went 1 for 3 as Mesa won the AFL Championship Game 6-1 on Saturday.

 

A’s Prospect Final AFL Stats

(October 11 – November 18) [Championship Game Not Included]

Franklin Barreto (SS-2B)

88 AB / 0 HR / 2 BB / 21 K / .261 AVG / .290 OBP / .330 SLG / .620 OPS

Yairo Munoz (3B)

74 AB / 0 HR / 5 BB / 17 K / .270 AVG / .313 OBP / .365 SLG / .677 OPS

Max Schrock (2B)

54 AB / 0 HR / 1 BB / 2 K / .278 AVG / .304 OBP / .407 SLG / .711 OPS

Dylan Covey (RHP)

24 2/3 IP / 28 H / 13 ER / 8 BB / 17 K / 4.74 ERA / 1.46 WHIP

Frankie Montas (RHP)

17 IP / 7 H / 1 ER / 8 BB / 9 K / 0.53 ERA / 0.88 WHIP

Trey Cochran-Gill (RHP)

14 2/3 IP / 14 H / 3 ER / 2 BB / 14 K / 1.84 ERA / 1.09 WHIP

Sam Bragg (RHP)

13 2/3 IP / 11 H / 3 ER / 1 BB / 12 K / 1.98 ERA / 0.88 WHIP

 

 

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A’s 2017 Minor League Staff

 

Nashville Sounds manager Ryan Christenson

Nashville Sounds manager Ryan Christenson

NASHVILLE SOUNDS (Triple-A)

Manager: Ryan Christenson

Pitching Coach: Rick Rodriguez

Hitting Coach: Eric Martins

Ryan Christenson was named manager at Triple-A Nashville after guiding Double-A Midland to back-to-back Texas League Championships in 2015-16.  He began his managerial career in the A’s farm system in 2013 and has a 323-236 (.578) record while leading his clubs to postseason appearances in all four of his seasons.  Christenson is currently managing the Mesa Solar Sox in the Arizona Fall League.  Rick Rodriguez (pitching coach), Eric Martins (hitting coach) and Brad LaRosa (athletic trainer) return to the Nashville staff while Henry Torres joins the club as strength and conditioning coach.

 

 

Midland RockHounds manager Fran Riordan

Midland RockHounds manager Fran Riordan

MIDLAND ROCKHOUNDS (Double-A)

Manager: Fran Riordan

Pitching Coach: John Wasdin

Hitting Coach: Brian McArn

Fran Riordan replaces Christensen at the helm of Midland after managing at Single-A Beloit the previous two seasons.  Prior to that, he managed for 14 season in independent leagues.  John Wasdin (pitching coach), Brian McArn (hitting coach) and Justin Whitehouse (athletic trainer) return to Midland and Matt Rutledge joins the staff as strength and conditioning coach. [UPDATE: Pitching coach John Wasdin has joined the Baltimore organization as pitching coordinator, and Beloit pitching coach Don Schulze will now move up to serve as Midland’s pitching coach.]

 

 

Stockton Ports manager Rick Magnante

Stockton Ports manager Rick Magnante

STOCKTON PORTS (High-A)

Manager: Rick Magnante

Pitching Coach: Steve Connelly

Hitting Coach: Tommy Everidge

Rick Magnante returns as manager at Single-A Stockton for the third consecutive season and is in his 21st season in the A’s organization.  Steve Connelly (pitching coach), Tommy Everidge (hitting coach) and Sean Doran (strength and conditioning coach) also return to Stockton.  An athletic trainer to replace Travis Tims will be determined at a later date.

 

 

Beloit Snappers pitching coach Don Schulze

Beloit Snappers pitching coach Don Schulze

BELOIT SNAPPERS (Class-A)

Manager: Scott Steinmann

Pitching Coach: Don Schulze

Hitting Coach: Juan Dilone

Scott Steinmann joins the Oakland organization as manager of the Beloit Snappers in the Midwest League.  Steinmann had spent his entire professional baseball career, which began in 1996 as a player, in the Seattle organization.  His first coaching assignment came in 1999 at Everett of the Northwest League and he spent 17 seasons on various coaching staffs in the Mariners farm system, including nine seasons as a manager.  His most recent assignment was in 2015 at the helm of Single-A Clinton.  Don Schulze (pitching coach), Juan Dilone (hitting coach) and Brian Thorson (athletic trainer) return to Beloit and Omar Aguilar takes over as strength and conditioning coach. [UPDATE: With Midland pitching coach John Wasdin joining the Baltimore organization as pitching coordinator, Beloit pitching coach Don Schulze will now move up to serve as Midland’s pitching coach. And Carlos Chavez has been promoted from Vermont to take over as Beloit’s new pitching coach.]

 

 

Vermont Lake Monsters manager Aaron Nieckula

Vermont Lake Monsters manager Aaron Nieckula

VERMONT LAKE MONSTERS (Class-A Short-Season)

Manager: Aaron Nieckula

Pitching Coach: Carlos Chavez

Hitting Coach: Lloyd Turner

The coaching staff at Short Season Single-A Vermont remains the same with Aaron Nieckula as manager, Carlos Chavez as pitching coach and Lloyd Turner as hitting coach.  Toshi Nagahara returns as athletic trainer and J.D. Howell will be the new strength and conditioning coach. [UPDATE: With Carlos Chavez moving up to serve as Beloit’s pitching coach, Bryan Corey will now take over as Vermont’s new pitching coach.]

 

 

Arizona League A's manager Webster Garrison

Arizona League A’s manager Webster Garrison

ARIZONA LEAGUE A’S (Rookie Short-Season)

Manager: Webster Garrison

Pitching Coach: Gabriel Ozuna

Hitting Coach: Ruben Escalera

The A’s affiliate in the Arizona Rookie League will also have the same staff, including manager Webster Garrison, pitching coach Gabriel Ozuna, hitting coach Ruben Escalera, coach Gabe Ortiz, athletic trainer Chris Lessner and strength and conditioning coach Terence Brannic.

 

 

Traveling instructor Steve Scarsone

Traveling instructor Steve Scarsone

Minor League Instruction Coordinator: Ed Sprague

Minor League Traveling Instructor: Steve Scarsone

Minor League Hitting Coordinator: Jim Eppard

Minor League Pitching Coordinator: Gil Patterson

Minor League Pitching Rehab Coordinator: Craig Lefferts

Minor League Defensive Coordinator: Juan Navarrette

Minor League Field Coordinator: Aaron Nieckula

Ed Sprague was named coordinator of instruction after serving as a consultant for the A’s player development department in 2016.  He hit .247 with 152 home runs and 558 RBI in 1203 games over 11 seasons in the majors, including part of one season with Oakland in 1998.  Following his playing career, the Stockton native was the head coach at the University of the Pacific for 12 seasons from 2004-15.  Steve Scarsone, who has spent the last eight seasons managing in the A’s farm system, was named traveling instructor.  Gil Patterson, Jim Eppard, Juan Navarrette and Craig Lefferts return in their roles as pitching coordinator, hitting coordinator, defensive coordinator and pitching rehab coordinator, respectively. Nate Brooks was named medical coordinator after 12 seasons with the A’s as a minor league athletic trainer and rehab coordinator.  Travis Tims, who begins his 10th season in the Oakland organization, replaces Brooks as rehab coordinator.  A.J. Selliger will take over as strength and conditioning coordinator in his fourth season in A’s system.  Brooks and Selliger replace Jeff Collins and Josh Cuffe, who have joined the Major League staff in Oakland.

(Information provided by A’s Media Relations)

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A’s In The AFL – November 7-12 Update

A's AFL Prospect Of The Week: Pitcher Frankie Montas

A’s AFL Prospect Of The Week: Pitcher Frankie Montas

 

A’s Prospect AFL Highlights

(November 7 – November 12)

Monday, November 7th:

Shortstop Franklin Barreto went 2 for 4 with a double, while designated hitter Yairo Munoz went 0 for 3 in Mesa’s 4-3 loss on Monday.

Tuesday, November 8th:

Second baseman Max Schrock went 2 for 4 with a double and drove in 4 runs, while shortstop Franklin Barreto went 1 for 4 with a double and a walk and drove in a run, and third baseman Yairo Munoz went 1 for 4, stole a base and made 3 errors. Starter Dylan Covey gave up 5 runs in 3 2/3 innings but still earned the win, while RHP Frankie Montas threw 3 scoreless frames, and RHP Trey Cochran-Gill allowed 1 unearned run in 1 inning of relief as Mesa won 10-7 on Tuesday.

Wednesday, November 9th:

Third baseman Yairo Munoz went 2 for 4 with 2 doubles and drove in a run, while second baseman Franklin Barreto went 1 for 4, stole a base and drove in a run, and RHP Sam Bragg allowed 2 runs in 1 1/3 innings of relief to take the loss as Mesa lost 5-4 on Wednesday.

Thursday, November 10th:

Designated hitter Max Schrock went 1 for 4 with a double to help Mesa win 6-5 on Thursday.

Friday, November 11th:

Shortstop Franklin Barreto went 2 for 5, while third baseman Yairo Munoz went 1 for 3 with a walk in Mesa’s 5-3 loss on Friday.

Saturday, November 12th:

RHP Trey Cochran-Gill pitched 1 1/3 perfect innings in relief as Mesa lost 4-2 on Saturday.

Sunday, November 13th:

No games scheduled.

 

A’s Prospect AFL Stats

(October 11 – November 12)

Franklin Barreto (SS)

74 AB / 0 HR / 2 BB / 18 K / .243 AVG / .269 OBP / .311 SLG / .580 OPS

Yairo Munoz (3B)

66 AB / 0 HR / 4 BB / 16 K / .258 AVG / .296 OBP / .333 SLG / .629 OPS

Max Schrock (2B)

54 AB / 0 HR / 1 BB / 2 K / .278 AVG / .304 OBP / .407 SLG / .711 OPS

Dylan Covey (RHP)

20 2/3 IP / 21 H / 10 ER / 7 BB / 14 K / 4.35 ERA / 1.35 WHIP

Frankie Montas (RHP)

14 1/3 IP / 5 H / 0 ER / 4 BB / 9 K / 0.00 ERA / 0.63 WHIP

Sam Bragg (RHP)

12 2/3 IP / 10 H / 3 ER / 1 BB / 12 K / 2.13 ERA / 0.87 WHIP

Trey Cochran-Gill (RHP)

12 2/3 IP / 12 H / 3 ER / 2 BB / 13 K / 2.13 ERA / 1.11 WHIP

 

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A’s In The AFL – October 31-November 5 Update

A’s AFL Prospect Of The Week: Pitcher Dylan Covey

A’s AFL Prospect Of The Week: Pitcher Dylan Covey

 

A’s Prospect AFL Highlights

(October 31 – November 5)

Monday, October 31st:

Third baseman Yairo Munoz went 1 for 3 with a double, while shortstop Franklin Barreto went 0 for 4, and RHP Trey Cochran-Gill allowed 1 run in 1 1/3 innings of relief as Mesa lost 17-2 on Monday.

Tuesday, November 1st:

Starter Dylan Covey tossed 5 hitless frames, while RHP Frankie Montas threw 3 hitless innings to earn the win, and Marlins prospect Drew Steckenrider pitched a perfect 9th inning to pick up the save and complete the no-hitter as Mesa beat Surprise 1-0 on Tuesday.

Wednesday, November 2nd:

Shortstop Franklin Barreto went 1 for 5 with a double and drove in a run, while second baseman Max Schrock went 1 for 4, and third baseman Yairo Munoz went 0 for 4. RHP Sam Bragg struck out 3 in 2 scoreless innings of relief as Mesa lost 7-4 on Wednesday.

Thursday,  November 3rd:

No A’s prospects appeared in Mesa’s 3-1 win over Surprise on Thursday.

Friday, November 4th:

Third baseman Yairo Munoz went 2 for 4 with a triple, while shortstop Franklin Barreto went 0 for 3, and second baseman Max Schrock went 0 for 4. RHP Trey Cochran-Gill struck out 2 in 1 scoreless inning of relief as Mesa lost 8-3 on Friday.

Saturday, November 5th:

Shortstop Franklin Barreto went 0 for 2 with a throwing error, while RHP Sam Bragg allowed 2 runs in 1 inning of relief as the AFL East Fall Stars lost 12-4 in the AFL Fall Stars Game on Saturday.

Sunday, November 6th:

No games scheduled.

 

A’s Prospect AFL Stats

(October 11 – November 5)

Franklin Barreto (SS)

57 AB / 0 HR / 1 BB / 13 K / .211 AVG / .233 OBP / .263 SLG / .496 OPS

Yairo Munoz (3B)
52 AB / 0 HR / 3 BB / 12 K / .250 AVG / .286 OBP / .308 SLG / .593 OPS

Max Schrock (2B)

46 AB / 0 HR / 1 BB / 2 K / .261 AVG / .292 OBP / .370 SLG / .661 OPS

Dylan Covey (RHP)

17 IP / 13 H / 5 ER / 5 BB / 11 K / 2.65 ERA / 1.06 WHIP

Frankie Montas (RHP)

11 1/3 IP / 4 H / 0 ER / 3 BB / 8 K / 0.00 ERA / 0.62 WHIP

Sam Bragg (RHP)

11 1/3 IP / 7 H / 1 ER / 1 BB / 11 K / 0.79 ERA / 0.71 WHIP

Trey Cochran-Gill (RHP)

10 1/3 IP / 11 H / 3 ER / 2 BB / 11 K / 2.61 ERA / 1.26 WHIP

 

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A’s In The AFL – October 24-29 Update

A's AFL Prospect Of The Week: Infielder Yairo Munoz

A’s AFL Prospect Of The Week: Infielder Yairo Munoz

 

A’s Prospect AFL Highlights

(October 24 – 29)

Monday, October 24th:

Third baseman Yairo Munoz went 0 for 4, while RHP Trey Cochran-Gill tossed 2 scoreless innings, and RHP Sam Bragg threw 1 scoreless frame in Mesa’s 7-2 win on Monday.

Tuesday, October 25th:

Designated hitter Max Schrock went 2 for 4 with 2 doubles and drove in 2 runs, while second baseman Franklin Barreto went 1 for 5 in Mesa’s 7-6 loss on Tuesday.

Wednesday, October 26th:

Third baseman Yairo Munoz went 2 for 3 and drove in 2 runs, while shortstop Franklin Barreto went 2 for 5. RHP Dylan Covey allowed 1 run in 4 2/3 innings to earn the win, and RHP Frankie Montas tossed 2 1/3 scoreless innings in relief as Mesa won 12-5 on Wednesday.

Thursday, October 27th:

Third baseman Yairo Munoz went 2 for 4 with a walk and a stolen base, while second baseman Max Schrock went 2 for 6, drove in a run and stole a base, and RHP Trey Cochran-Gill tossed 2 1/3 scoreless innings in relief as Mesa won 10-7 on Thursday.

Friday, October 28th:

Third baseman Yairo Munoz went 2 for 4, drove in 2 runs and stole a base, while shortstop Franklin Barreto went 1 for 4 with a double and drove in a run, and RHP Sam Bragg tossed 2 1/3 scoreless innings to earn the win in relief as Mesa won 7-3 on Friday.

Saturday, October 29th:

Second baseman Max Schrock went 1 for 5 in Mesa’s 4-3 win on Saturday.

Sunday, October 30th:

No games scheduled.

 

A’s Prospect AFL Stats

(October 11 – 29)

Franklin Barreto (SS)

45 AB / 0 HR / 1 BB / 12 K / .244 AVG / .255 OBP / .289 SLG / .544 OPS

Yairo Munoz (3B)
41 AB / 0 HR / 3 BB / 10 K / .244 AVG / .289 OBP / .244 SLG / .533 OPS

Max Schrock (2B)

38 AB / 0 HR / 1 BB / 2 K / .289 AVG / .325 OBP / .421 SLG / .746 OPS

Dylan Covey (RHP)

12 IP / 13 H / 5 ER / 4 BB / 10 K / 3.75 ERA / 1.42 WHIP

Sam Bragg (RHP)

9 1/3 IP / 6 H / 1 ER / 0 BB / 8 K / 0.96 ERA / 0.64 WHIP

Frankie Montas (RHP)

8 1/3 IP / 4 H / 0 ER / 1 BB / 7 K / 0.00 ERA / 0.60 WHIP

Trey Cochran-Gill (RHP)

8 IP / 8 H / 2 ER / 1 BB / 7 K / 2.25 ERA / 1.13 WHIP

 

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