Tag Archive for Sean Doolittle

Friday, May 22nd: Chad Pinder’s Grand Slam Highlights His 4-Hit Night for Hounds while Ben Zobrist & Sean Doolittle Make Successful Rehab Appearances for Sounds

A’s Farmhand Of The Day: Midland RockHounds Shortstop Chad Pinder (4 for 5 / Grand Slam)

A’s Farmhand Of The Day: Midland RockHounds Shortstop Chad Pinder (4 for 5 / Grand Slam)

 

TEXAS LEAGUE  (Double-A)

Midland RockHounds   8

Corpus Christi Hooks    12

LP – Jensen 3-3 / 5.55

HR – Pinder (6), Walsh (4)

Farmhand Of The Game:

Shortstop Chad Pinder

(4 for 5 / Grand Slam)

Despite falling to Corpus Christi 12-8 on Friday, the RockHounds got a huge night from shortstop Chad Pinder. The 23-year-old collected 4 hits, including a grand slam in the 4th inning. Pinder is now hitting .500 over his last 6 games, and his 6 home runs tie him for the team lead with top prospect Matt Olson. Second baseman Colin Walsh doubled and hit his 4th home run, while first baseman Ryon Healy had 3 hits, including a double, and catcher Bruce Maxwell, left fielder Jaycob Brugman, and right fielder Matt Olson had a pair of hits apiece for the Hounds. RHP Chris Jensen had one of his roughest starts since joining the A’s system from the Rockies, along with Drew Pomeranz, in the Brett Anderson trade. In just 3 innings of work on Friday, Jensen allowed 10 runs on 8 hits, including 4 home runs – one more than the total of 3 that he allowed in 160 1/3 innings last season – to take the loss.

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Tuesday, May 19th: Chris Bassitt Helps Sounds Hang on to Win in 9th while Ben Zobrist & Sean Doolittle Make Rehab Appearances for Ports & Hounds

A’s Farmhand Of The Day: Nashville Sounds Pitcher Chris Bassitt (4 1/3 IP / 1 H / 0 ER / 2 BB / 5 K)

A’s Farmhand Of The Day: Nashville Sounds Pitcher Chris Bassitt (4 1/3 IP / 1 H / 0 ER / 2 BB / 5 K)

 

PACIFIC COAST LEAGUE  (Triple-A)

New Orleans Zephyrs  1

Nashville Sounds       2

WP – Alvarez 2-1 / 6.48

Farmhand Of The Game:

Pitcher Chris Bassitt

(4 1/3 IP / 1 H / 0 ER / 2 BB / 5 K)

LHP Sean Nolin made the start for the Sounds on Tuesday and allowed 1 run on 2 hits and 1 walk while striking out 3, but he left with his team down by a run with 2 outs in the 3rd inning after throwing a total of 59 pitches. With Nolin exiting early, RHP Chris Bassitt took over and shut down New Orleans on just 1 hit while striking out 5 in 4 1/3 shutout innings to give the Sounds the chance to come back and tie things up in the bottom of the 5th on an RBI-single by catcher Luke Carlin. The game remained tied until the bottom of the 9th, when left fielder Matt Carson doubled to lead off the inning and one out later right fielder Kent Matthes doubled him home to give Nashville the walk-off win on Tuesday. RHP R.J. Alvarez tossed a scoreless 8th and 9th to earn his 2nd win for the Sounds.

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Monday, May 18th: Franklin Barreto’s 2 HRs Help Ports Win while Nate Long Pitches Hounds to Victory and Dustin Driver Debuts for Beloit

A’s Farmhand Of The Day: Stockton Ports Shortstop Franklin Barreto (3 for 4 / 2 Home Runs / 5 RBIs)

A’s Farmhand Of The Day: Stockton Ports Shortstop Franklin Barreto (3 for 4 / 2 Home Runs / 5 RBIs)

 

CALIFORNIA LEAGUE  (High-A)

Modesto Nuts       6

Stockton Ports  11

WP – Covey 3-3 / 3.65

HR – Barreto 2 (3), Boyd (3)

Farmhand Of The Game:

Shortstop Franklin Barreto

(3 for 4 / 2 Home Runs / 5 RBIs)

Shortstop Franklin Barreto had a big night at the plate for Stockton on Monday, collecting 3 hits and homering in back-to-back at-bats in the 5th and 6th inning while driving in 5 runs for the Ports. Barreto had gone 0 for 6 with 3 strikeouts over his last two games before his explosive performance on Monday night. Outfielder B.J. Boyd hit a 2-run homer to put the Ports on the board in the 3rd, while first baseman Michael Soto singled, doubled and drove in a pair. Second baseman Branden Cogswell tripled in a run in the 7th, and outfielder Brett Vertigan drew 3 walks, stole a base and scored twice for Stockton. Starter Dylan Covey allowed 3 runs, just 2 earned, on 5 hits while walking none and striking out 5 over 6 innings of work to earn his 3rd win for the Ports. Meanwhile, A’s infielder-outfielder Ben Zobrist is set to begin his rehab assignment with Stockton on Tuesday.

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Sunday, May 17th: Kendall Graveman Earns 2nd Win for Sounds while Sean Doolittle Takes the Loss in 2nd Rehab Appearance for Ports

A’s Farmhand Of The Day: Nashville Sounds Pitcher Kendall Graveman (7 IP / 5 H / 0 ER / 0 BB / 3 K / Win)

A’s Farmhand Of The Day: Nashville Sounds Pitcher Kendall Graveman (7 IP / 5 H / 0 ER / 0 BB / 3 K)

 

PACIFIC COAST LEAGUE  (Triple-A)

New Orleans Zephyrs  2

Nashville Sounds       6

WP – Graveman 2-1 / 1.85

HR – Carson (1)

Farmhand Of The Game:

Pitcher Kendall Graveman

(7 IP / 5 H / 0 ER / 0 BB / 3 K / Win)

RHP Kendall Graveman turned in an impressive start for the Sounds, allowing just 2 unearned runs on 5 hits while walking none and striking out 3 over 7 innings of work on Sunday. The 24-year-old earned his 2nd win and lowered his ERA to 1.85 after 4 starts for Nashville. RHP Ryan Cook pitched 1 2/3 perfect innings in relief to pick up his 4th save for the Sounds. Outfielder Matt Carson, reacquired a little over a week ago in a deal with the Dodgers, hit a 2-run homer in the 2nd and singled in another run in the 4th, while first baseman Anthony Aliotti and third baseman Niuman Romero both singled, walked and drove in a run, and shortstop Andy Parrino and second baseman Joey Wendle had a pair of hits apiece for the Sounds. In other news, with A’s first baseman Ike Davis landing on the disabled list, Sounds outfielder Craig Gentry was recalled by Oakland.

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Thursday, May 14th: Kyle Finnegan & Tim Atherton Pitch Ports & Hounds to Victory while Sean Nolin & Sean Doolittle Make Rehab Appearances

A’s Farmhand Of The Day: Stockton Ports Pitcher Kyle Finnegan (6 IP / 1 H / 0 ER / 0 BB / 6 K / Win)

A’s Farmhand Of The Day: Stockton Ports Pitcher Kyle Finnegan (6 IP / 1 H / 0 ER / 0 BB / 6 K / Win)

 

CALIFORNIA LEAGUE  (High-A)

High Desert Mavericks  2

Stockton Ports             5

WP – Finnegan 2-2 / 4.17

Farmhand Of The Game:

Pitcher Kyle Finnegan

(6 IP / 1 H / 0 ER / 0 BB / 6 K / Win)

Starter Kyle Finnegan turned in an impressive start for Stockton on Thursday, allowing just 1 baserunner – on a bunt single in the 5th – while striking out 6 over a near-perfect 6 innings of work to earn his 2nd win for the Ports. LHP Sean Doolittle followed Finnegan in his first rehab appearance for Stockton. Doolittle struck out the first two batters he faced in the 7th before surrendering 2 straight home runs and then getting the final out on a popout. Doolittle threw a total of 12 pitches, 10 for strikes, and ended up allowing 2 runs in 1 inning of work for the Ports. RHP Trevor Bayless tossed a scoreless 8th, while RHP Ben Bracewell got the final three outs in the 9th for his 1st save. After hitting his first home run for Stockton on Wednesday, third baseman Matt Chapman singled, doubled and scored a run, while first baseman Michael Soto collected 3 hits, including a double, and drove in 2 runs, and outfielder B.J. Boyd also had 3 hits and drove in a pair for the Ports.

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Wednesday, May 13th: #1 Pick Matt Chapman Hits 1st HR for Ports in Loss while Ryan Cook Coughs up Lead in 9th as Sounds Fall

A’s Farmhand Of The Day: Stockton Ports Designated Hitter Matt Chapman (Home Run / 2 RBIs)

A’s Farmhand Of The Day: Stockton Ports Designated Hitter Matt Chapman (Home Run / 2 RBIs)

 

CALIFORNIA LEAGUE  (High-A)

High Desert Mavericks  6

Stockton Ports            5

LP – Walter 0-2 / 3.55

HR – Soto (3), Chapman (1)

Farmhand Of The Game:

Designated Hitter Matt Chapman

(Home Run / 2 RBIs)

The A’s #1 pick in last year’s draft, Matt Chapman, came to the plate with a man on in the bottom of the 4th inning and Stockton down by a run and slugged his 1st home run of the season to give the Ports a 1-run lead on Wednesday. Before Wednesday, Chapman had gone 1 for 18 in his first 5 games since returning from a knee injury he suffered right before the start of spring training. Third baseman Michael Soto also hit a 2-run shot in the 3rd for Stockton. But unfortunately, the lead that Chapman provided the Ports with wouldn’t last for long. RHP Dylan Covey, who’d given up 4 runs in the 1st, also allowed the tying run in the top of the 5th. Covey ended up allowing 5 runs on 9 hits and 2 walks over 5 innings of work and left with the game a 5-5 tie. RHP Corey Walter tossed a scoreless 6th but loaded the bases in the 7th before giving way to RHP Sam Bragg, who walked in the winning run, giving Walter his 2nd loss for Stockton. In other news, LHP Sean Doolittle is set to join the Ports on Thursday to begin his rehab assignment in Stockton.

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Oakland A’s & Nashville Sounds 2015 Roster Outlook

It was another busy offseason for A's GM Billy Beane

A’s GM Billy Beane was a busy boy this winter

For the moment, as we sit here perched on the precipice of February, let’s go out on a limb and assume that the majority of the A’s offseason work is now finally done – which is never an entirely safe bet with general manager Billy Beane at the helm. But considering the massive amount of roster turnover and the vast number of new players the team has acquired, the shape of the A’s major league roster actually appears to be fairly clear at this point. While little has changed in the A’s outfield, the rest of the roster will look plenty different from the team that took the field to start 2014…

 

2015 OAKLAND A’S

While last year’s team started out with the tandem of John Jaso and Derek Norris behind the plate, the 2015 model figures to count on a catching platoon of fan-favorite Stephen Vogt and newly-acquired Josh Phegley, who arrived from the White Sox as part of the Jeff Samardzija trade.

The A’s 2015 starting infield looks to be entirely different from 2014, with Eric Sogard likely to be the only returning infielder on the roster, but this time in a utility role. 25-year-old Brett Lawrie will take over for Josh Donaldson at the hot corner, while Berkeley native Marcus Semien has been annointed as the team’s new shortstop. He’ll be mentored up the middle by former All-Star Ben Zobrist, who is set to be the team’s primary second baseman. Slugger Ike Davis should be stationed at first base against right-handers with free-agent catch Billy Butler as the designated hitter, while Butler should take over at first against lefties with Rule-5 pick Mark Canha serving in the DH spot as a sort of new-fangled Nate Freiman. With Zobrist taking over at second, last year’s primary second baseman and the almost-face-of-MLB, Eric Sogard, will likely serve in a utility role, backing up Zobrist at second, Semien at short and Lawrie at third. Sogard has experience at all three positions in both the majors and the minors.

Brett Lawrie: Can he make A's fans forget Josh Donaldson?

Brett Lawrie: Can he make A’s fans forget Josh Donaldson?

As mentioned, there aren’t a lot of new faces in the A’s outfield in 2015. Josh Reddick returns as the team’s rifle-armed right fielder, while Coco Crisp will man center field, as long as his health allows – and A’s fans better hope and pray that’s a lot – and Sam Fuld and Craig Gentry should share duties in left field. Of course, the 2015 version of the A’s does possess similar versatility to last year’s model. If needed, Zobrist is perfectly capable of playing in the outfield, with Sogard slotting in at second. Canha can also do time in the outfield if needed and, like Sogard, Semien has played all over the infield with the exception of first base.

As far as the team’s starting rotation goes, only two members seem to be certain locks – veteran lefty Scott Kazmir and young righty Sonny Gray. General manager Billy Beane did mention in a conference call with reporters that returning lefty Drew Pomeranz and newly-acquired right-handers Jesse Hahn and Kendall Graveman may have “the inside track” for the remaining rotation spots. So assuming the GM’s opinion counts for something, one would have to assume that’s the group that’s most likely to make up the team’s starting five, though new acquisitions Chris Bassitt and Sean Nolin will surely be in on the competition as well and much will clearly depend on how spring training plays out.

It appears that the team may prefer to have Jesse Chavez back in the bullpen as a reliable long man and occasional spot starter if needed. And with Sean Doolittle set to miss the start of the season with shoulder issues, former Nationals closer Tyler Clippard is likely the leading candidate to take over Doolittle’s spot as the last man on the mound for the A’s. Fernando Abad and Eric O’Flaherty are set to be the team’s lefties out of the ‘pen, with Dan Otero and Ryan Cook available from the right side. That leaves one last bullpen spot available while Doolittle’s doing time on the DL. Since he’s out of options, it might be safe to give Evan Scribner the edge, though lefty Eury De La Rosa (acquired from Arizona) and righty R.J. Alvarez (picked up from the Padres) could also be distinct possibilities.

Of course, the team is counting on Doolittle to return at some point. And let’s not forget that A.J. Griffin and Jarrod Parker are both working their way back from Tommy John surgery with midseason returns quite possible for the pair.

 

2015 NASHVILLE SOUNDS

With all the young players the team acquired in trades, and plenty of minor league free agent signees as well, there will be a bit of a roster crunch at the top levels of the A’s farm system in 2015. And it’s going to be particularly difficult for many players to make the move up from Midland, with the possible exception of first baseman Max Muncy with the team’s top prospect, Matt Olson, set to take over at first for Midland in 2015. As things now stand, it appears that there are about 16 position players competing for what is typically 12 roster spots and 23 pitchers competing for what is typically 13 spots on the pitching staff at the A’s Triple-A affiliate. So let’s take a look at some of the players most likely to find themselves playing in Nashville as the PCL team begins its first season as the A’s top affiliate.

The team has two very experienced minor league catchers who’ve had the chance to get their feet wet in the majors and who’ll be waiting in the wings at Nashville in 2015. 28-year-old, lefty-swinging Bryan Anderson has caught 755 minor league games and has appeared in the majors with the Cardinals and the White Sox and even managed to get one at-bat with the A’s last year, while 34-year-old switch-hitter Luke Carlin has been behind the plate for 773 minor league games and has made appearances with San Diego, Arizona and Cleveland.

One of the A’s most exciting minor leaguers, speed-burner Billy Burns, should have the chance to run around the bases and tear up the turf in center field for Nashville in 2015. He’ll likely be flanked by a pair of minor league veterans – 29-year-old Matt Angle and 31-year-old Jason Pridie, who’s appeared with the Twins, the Mets, the Phillies, the Orioles and the Rockies – along with Josh Whitaker, who split last season between Sacramento and Midland.

Nashville’s infield should be anchored up the middle by shortstop Andy Parrino, newly-acquired second baseman Joe Wendle, and Tyler Ladendorf, who split time last season between second base and shortstop and can also play a little in the outfield. The corners could be a little crowded with Alden Carrithers returning at third base, newly-acquired Rangel Ravelo set to see time at third and first, Nate Freiman likely to play first and DH, as is Max Muncy, and Anthony Aliotti, who spent time at first as well as in the outfield for Sacramento last season, is also in the mix.

Infielders Colin Walsh and Niuman Romero, who was signed as a minor league free agent, will also be battling for a spot on the Nashville roster, but it might be tough unless injuries, trades or releases unexpectedly open the door to a roster spot. Due to the roster crunch, Romero, who’s spent over 700 minor league games at shortstop and second base, may end up sharing middle infield duties with Chad Pinder at Midland, where there aren’t a lot of legitimate shortstop options with the departure of Daniel Robertson in the Ben Zobrist deal with Tampa Bay.

Billy Burns: Will he set a new land speed record in Nashville?

Billy Burns: Will he set a new land speed record in Nashville?

When it comes to the Sounds’ starting rotation, between all the new acquisitions, minor league free agent signees and returning players, there should be an abundance of starting pitchers available at the Triple-A level that will make it almost impossible, barring some unexpected injuries, for any starters to make the move up from Midland, including deserving candidates like Nate Long and Chris Jensen. It also means that some better known pitching prospects like former 1st-rounder Deck McGuire aren’t likely to have much of a shot at starting the season with the Sounds.

If, as speculated, Kazmir, Gray, Hahn, Pomeranz and Graveman end up comprising the A’s starting five, that would leave seven solid candidates for the Sounds’ starting rotation, six of whom will be in major league camp this spring. Three of them are currently on the A’s 40-man roster and would probably be first in line – new acquisitions Chris Bassitt and Sean Nolin along with returning righty Arnold Leon – while minor league free agent additions Brad Mills and Rudy Owens, both of whom have gotten a taste of life in the majors, and returning righty Matt Buschmann would all be solid options. Zach Neal, who was one of Sacramento’s most solid starters last season, may be at a bit of a disadvantage since he won’t be participating in the major league camp with the others. But depending on how everything shakes out, they all have a legitimate shot at starting the season in the Sounds’ starting rotation.

Thanks to multiple minor league free agent signings, the bullpen picture is even more crowded, with at least 16 pitchers competing for what will likely be 8 bullpen spots in Nashville. Two who were acquired in trades during the offseason, lefty Eury De La Rosa and righty R.J. Alvarez, are on the 40-man roster, as is righty Taylor Thompson, who was claimed off waivers. As long as they don’t make the major league roster, they should all be assured spots, as should righty Fernando Rodriguez, who posted a 1.97 ERA at Sacramento and allowed 1 run in 7 appearances for the A’s last season.

That leaves five veteran minor league free agent signees – righties Kevin Whelan and Brock Huntzinger, lefties Ryan Verdugo and Jim Fuller and switch-pitcher Pat Venditte (yes, he throws with both arms!) – five returning players who spent all or part of last season at Sacramento – righties Angel Castro, Paul Smyth, Seth Frankoff and Tucker Healy, plus lefty Jeff Urlaub – and two solid pitching prospects who had strong seasons at Midland last year – righties Ryan Dull and Ryan Doolittle – all competing for the remaining four spots in the Sounds’ bullpen.

Of course, one never knows what unexpected injuries might sideline some arms to start the season but, regardless, a number of these names who don’t make the cut with the Sounds are bound to end up in the bullpen at Midland, where Nate Long, Chris Jensen, Sean Murphy and Drew Granier could all be returning to the RockHounds’ rotation this season, perhaps along with someone like Deck McGuire.

Speaking of the A’s Double-A affiliate, some of the team’s top prospects will be found in Midland’s infield this year, with Matt Olson at first, Renato Nunez at third, and Chad Pinder and Ryon Healy in the infield mix there as well. Top catching prospect Bruce Maxwell will be competing for a spot behind the plate with Blake Forsythe and Ryan Ortiz, as well as fellow backstops Beau Taylor and Carson Blair. Meanwhile, the outfield should primarily be comprised of returning RockHounds like Kent Matthes, Chad Oberacker and Conner Crumbliss, with the possible addition of Jaycob Brugman, who proved himself at both Beloit and Stockton last season.

But let’s clearly lay out the possible players on your 2015 Oakland A’s and Nashville Sounds opening day rosters right here (just click on each player’s name below to view their complete stats page)…

Meet Your 2015 Oakland A’s!

A's GM Billy Beane: Rebuilding or retooling for another run?

A’s GM Billy Beane: Rebuilding or retooling for another run?

 

With the A’s heart-breaking 2014 campaign now over, the A’s faithful are left wondering, “What’s next?” But before we examine the possible answers to that question, let’s first take a look at who’s set to stay and who’s set to go…

 

A’s Eligible Free Agents:

Jon Lester, Jason Hammel, Luke Gregerson, Jed Lowrie, Alberto Callaspo, Geovany Soto, Jonny Gomes, Adam Dunn

 

A’s Arbitration Eligible Players:

Josh Donaldson, Brandon Moss, Josh Reddick, John Jaso, Eric Sogard, Sam Fuld, Craig Gentry, Kyle Blanks, Jeff Samardzija, Jesse Chavez, Ryan Cook, Fernando Abad, Fernando Rodriguez, Jarrod Parker

 

A’s Pitchers under Team Control in 2015:

Jeff Samardzija, Scott Kazmir, Sonny Gray, Jesse Chavez, Drew Pomeranz, Sean Doolittle, Fernando Abad, Eric O’Flaherty, Ryan Cook, Dan Otero, Evan Scribner, Fernando Rodriguez, A.J. Griffin, Jarrod Parker, Josh Lindblom

 

A’s Hitters under Team Control in 2015:

John Jaso, Stephen Vogt, Derek Norris, Eric Sogard, Nick Punto, Andy Parrino, Josh Donaldson, Nate Freiman, Kyle Blanks, Brandon Moss, Josh Reddick, Coco Crisp, Sam Fuld, Craig Gentry

 

bbbilly-beane1c

Will Billy be wheelin’ and dealin’ this winter?

Assuming the A’s aren’t likely to re-sign any of the team’s potential free agents, the A’s available roster of players for the 2015 season doesn’t really look all that different from the roster of players the team started 2014 with. But with this season’s disappointment fresh in A’s fans’ hearts and minds, many have been calling for general manager Billy Beane and his staff to dismantle the current roster and begin the rebuild. If recent comments are any indication though, it looks like Beane and company aren’t ready for a rebuild quite yet and would rather retool for at least one more go-‘round with this current crop of A’s players. Beane was quoted in Bay Area media reports this week as saying that the A’s would be looking for a right-handed bat and that the shortstop position was also an area of concern for him. Those don’t exactly sound like the sentiments of a man looking to tear things down but rather of a man looking to build things back up.

When it comes to pitching, the A’s could actually be in a position to start off the 2015 season with a slightly stronger rotation than the team had in place at the start of 2014. Jeff Samardzija, Scott Kazmir, Sonny Gray, Jesse Chavez and Drew Pomeranz are all under team control and all performed well when given a shot in the rotation last year. The team began 2014 with Kazmir, Gray and Chavez in the rotation, along with Dan Straily and Tommy Milone. So Samardzija and Pomeranz would seem to represent something of an upgrade over Straily and Milone. Josh Lindblom should remain available at Triple-A, while A.J. Griffin could be ready to rejoin the rotation at some point during the season as he returns from Tommy John surgery. Jarrod Parker shouldn’t necessarily be counted on to rejoin the rotation though, since this is his second Tommy John surgery – only one player, Chris Capuano, has returned to a starting role after a second Tommy John surgery – but it’s possible that Parker could ultimately end up figuring into the A’s bullpen mix.

What will Doo do in 2015?

What will Doo do in 2015?

Sean Doolittle should return to the closer role, with Ryan Cook, Dan Otero, Fernando Abad and Eric O’Flaherty all coming back in supporting roles. With Luke Gregerson likely to depart via free agency and Jesse Chavez looking to return to the rotation, Evan Scribner and Fernando Rodriguez should have a good shot at stepping into their roles, and it certainly wouldn’t be surprising to see the A’s pick up a couple of affordable arms with high upside (a la Fernando Abad) to add to the competition for the final bullpen spots. But other than that, there really isn’t that much work for the A’s front office to have to do on the pitching side of things this offseason.

When it comes to the team’s position players, while many names remain the same, there could be a couple of notable holes to try to fill. Catchers Derek Norris, Stephen Vogt and John Jaso are all under team control. While Vogt should be ready to get back behind the plate again after offseason foot surgery, Jaso’s catching days could be coming to an end and his days as a designated hitter may be about to begin. With Jed Lowrie set to test the free agent waters, the A’s middle infielder corps currently consists of Eric Sogard, Nick Punto and Andy Parrino, which clearly will not suffice. Brandon Moss should return to platoon at first base with Kyle Blanks if he’s healthy, or Nate Freiman if he’s not. And in the outfield, Josh Reddick, Coco Crisp, Sam Fuld and Craig Gentry all remain under the A’s control for 2015.

So if the A’s front office is looking to retool for 2015, Beane’s comments this week about a right-handed bat and a shortstop being among the team’s areas of need make perfect sense. A productive right-handed hitting outfielder who could fill the role of the departed Yoenis Cespedes would be a big step towards getting the A’s offense back on track. Any number of players due to hit the free agent market or available on the trade market could fill that role. Finding a credible shortstop to take Lowrie’s place could be a little more challenging – especially since former shortstop-of-the-future Addison Russell was dealt away to the Cubs and new shortstop-of-the-future Daniel Robertson is just 20 and still likely a couple of years away – but it might not be quite as challenging as some might think.

Would Stew do a deal with the A's?

Would Stew do a deal with the A’s?

Though some of them will surely be beyond the A’s budget, shortstops such as Hanley Ramirez, Asdrubal Cabrera, J.J. Hardy, Stephen Drew, Clint Barmes, Mike Aviles and Rafael Furcal are all expected to hit the free agent market this offseason. But there could also be some interesting opportunities to be found with one the A’s most frequent trade partners. The Arizona Diamondbacks, now run by former A’s and long-time Beane acquaintances Dave Stewart and Tony LaRussa, currently control four credible shortstops, three of whom – Chris Owings, Didi Gregorius and, yes, Cliff Pennington – all had better WARs this season than Jed Lowrie according to Baseball-Reference, while the fourth, Nick Ahmed, is a former 2nd-round draft pick who turned in a solid .312/.373/.425 slash line at Triple-A in 2014.

So while many disappointed A’s fans might be calling for a rebuild, the A’s front office looks like it may be planning on retooling for another run in 2015. With staff ace Jeff Samardzija now firmly atop the A’s starting rotation – and last year’s goat Jim Johnson nowhere to be found around the bullpen – if Beane and company can manage to come up with a credible shortstop to replace Lowrie and a solid right-handed bat to fill Cespedes’ role in the lineup, then the A’s could very well end up heading into the 2015 season with a slightly stronger roster than they had when they kicked off the 2014 campaign. The ball is now in Billy’s court – let the offseason wheeling and dealing begin!

 

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Sunday, August 24th: Chris Lamb K’s 17 in Stockton Loss while A’s Recall Dan Otero from Sacramento and Jack White Pays a Visit to the Coliseum

A’s Farmhand Of The Day: Stockton Ports Pitcher Chris Lamb (7 IP / 4 H / 1 ER / 1 BB / 17 K)

A’s Farmhand Of The Day: Stockton Ports Pitcher Chris Lamb (7 IP / 4 H / 1 ER / 1 BB / 17 K)

 

CALIFORNIA LEAGUE  (High-A)

Stockton Ports                       0

Rancho Cucamonga Quakes  3

LP – Lamb 4-5 / 3.10

Farmhand Of The Game:

Pitcher Chris Lamb

(7 IP / 4 H / 1 ER / 1 BB / 17 K)

Stockton starter Chris Lamb tied a California League record by striking out 10 straight batters on Sunday, but he still ended up taking the loss. Lamb surrendered a home run in the 1st inning and allowed just 3 hits the rest of the way while striking out a career-high 17 in 7 innings of work. In addition to striking out 10 straight, the left-hander also recorded his final 14 outs on strikeouts. RHP Nolan Sanburn gave up 2 runs in 1 inning of relief for the Ports. Shortstop Daniel Robertson singled, doubled and walked, while designated hitter Bobby Crocker doubled for Stockton’s only other extra-base hit of the game.

Click here for more on Sacramento, Midland, Beloit & Vermont…

Friday, April 18th: Leon Leads Cats to Victory while Hounds Win in Extras and Ports & Snappers Fall

 

A’s Farmhand Of The Day

Sacramento River Cats Pitcher Arnold Leon (6 IP / 6 H / 1 ER / 2 BB / 5 K / Win)

Sacramento River Cats Pitcher Arnold Leon (6 IP / 6 H / 1 ER / 2 BB / 5 K)

 

PACIFIC COAST LEAGUE  (Triple-A)

Fresno Grizzlies                 2

Sacramento River Cats  4

WP – Leon 1-1 / 4.50

Farmhand Of The Game:

Pitcher Arnold Leon

(6 IP / 6 H / 1 ER / 2 BB / 5 K / Win)

RHP Arnold Leon was solid in his fourth start for Sacramento, allowing 2 runs, just 1 earned, while striking out 5 over 6 innings to earn his 1st win. RHPs Paul Smyth, Jeremy McBryde and Evan Scribner each tossed 1 scoreless inning in relief, with Scribner picking up his 3rd save for Sacramento. Outfielder Kent Matthes doubled twice and drove in a run, while catcher Ryan Ortiz had 2 hits and drove in a pair, second baseman Jose Martinez singled twice, walked twice and stole a base, and third baseman Alden Carrithers had 3 walks in the win.

Click here for more on Midland, Stockton & Beloit…