Rehab appearances and autographs

The relocation of the Oakland Athletics’s AAA club to Nashville has been a blessing for the Stockton Ports fans. As of June 5th there have been 7 players to make rehab appearances with the Stockton Ports.

The first came on opening night, Josh Reddick rehabbed with the Ports as they opened the season in San Bernadino against the Inland Empire 66ers. Jarrod Parker soon joined the Ports for a couple of rehab starts. This was during a road trip that took them through Visalia and Bakersfield to face the Rawhide and the Blaze. Unfortunately both Reddick’s and Parker’s rehab assignments were on the road.

Coco Crisp was the first home rehab assignment for the Stockton Ports. On May 3rd and 4th Crisp played for the Ports. On Sunday, May 3rd I was able to get a MLB ball and 2 cards signed by Crisp. On Monday, May 4th I was able to get one more card signed a 2015 Topps cards (not pictured).

Coco Crisp autographed ball and cards from rehab appearance with the Stockton Ports on May 3, 2015

Coco Crisp autographed ball and cards from rehab appearance with the Stockton Ports on May 3, 2015

On May 14th and 17th Oakland Athletics’s closer Sean Doolittle made his rehab appearances with the Ports. These were home games, May 14th was a Thursday day game so I couldn’t go due to work. On Sunday, May 17th, I got to see Doolittle pitch, but I was unable to get his autograph because he did not come out to the bullpen until the 3rd inning.

A couple of days later on a road trip to Visalia second baseman Ben Zobrist joined the Ports for a couple of rehab games. On May 23rd Zobrist joined the Nashville Sounds, who happened to be on a West Coast road trip, for a couple for rehab games. I went to the game in Fresno against the Grizzlies and was able to get Zobrist to sign a ball for me.

Ben Zobrist autographed baseball from rehab appearance with Nashville Sounds on May 24, 2015.

Ben Zobrist autographed baseball from rehab appearance with Nashville Sounds on May 24, 2015.

Sunday, May 31st saw the 6th different Athletic to make a rehab appearance with the Ports. Pitcher Drew Pomeranz threw 2 scoreless innings that day. Most recently former Stockton Port and current Oakland Athletic starting pitcher A.J. Griffin made his first rehab appearance coming off of Tommy John Surgery. He threw 3 innings on June 2nd against the Lake Elsinore Storm and before the game Griffin was nice enough to sign a ball for me.

A.J. Griffin autographed baseball from rehab appearance with the Stockton Ports on June 2, 2015

A.J. Griffin autographed baseball from rehab appearance with the Stockton Ports on June 2, 2015

In addition to all of the prospects that Ports fans get to see on a regular basis, we have been treated to quite a few Oakland Athletics rehab assignments this season. I want to thank the Sacramento River Cats for not wanting to be an Athletics affiliate anymore. Without their desire to switch Ports fans may not get to see as many rehab assignments.

 

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Athletics sign Sam Fuld to minor league deal

On Tuesday the Oakland Athletics agreed to terms on a Minor League deal with outfielder Sam Fuld. His contract includes an invite to the Major League spring training camp. Sam has spent parts of six seasons in the majors as a reserve outfielders. The past three years Sam has been apart of the Tampa Bay Rays organization.

If he is placed on the Major League roster his contract would be worth $800,000 with the possibility of more in performance incentives.

Sam looks to join the Oakland outfield that already includes Yoenis Cespedes, Coco Crisp, Josh Reddick and Craig Gentry.

Athletics exercise club options for Crisp and Anderson

Two highly expected moves were formally announced on Friday.  The Oakland Athletics exercise the club options for outfielder, Coco Crisp and left-handed pitcher Brett Anderson.

Coco was the main spark plug for the Athletics’s return to the postseason.  He batted .267 with an on base percentage of .335 in 131 games this season.  Coco also set a new career high for home runs with 22, doubling his total from 2012.  His previous best was 16 back in 2005 when he played for the Cleveland Indians.

Brett Anderson struggled once again with the injury bug in 2013.  He did get into 16 games, his highest total since 2010, but only 5 were starts.  Brett proved valuable for the Athletics in the stretch drive as he came out of the bullpen.  On the season he went 1-4 with a 6.04 ERA.  Brett did tally 46 strikeouts in 44.2 innings.  Brett’s future role with the Athletics is dependent on whether or not they can resign the 40 year old Bartolo Colon.  Colon returned to his All-Star for this year collecting an 18-6 record.

2 Club Options Declined
Not surprisingly the Oakland Athletics declined the club options for veteran catcher Kurt Suzuki and struggling outfielder Chris Young.

Kurt filled in at catcher quite nicely when John Jaso and Derek Norris were banged up late in the season.  However, with the emergence of Stephen Vogt and a healthy Derek Norris the is simply no room for Kurt.

Chris has one of his worst seasons as he played in 107 games and batted a measly .200.  The only upside for the outfielder was the 12 home runs he hit this season.  Barring any off season acquisitions this move makes room for No. 2 Prospect Michael Choice to get extended playing time at the Major League level.

Oakland Athletics 2013 AL West Champions!

In the bottom of the 3rd inning the news came across the Oakland Coliseum that Justin Maxwell of the Kansas City Royals hit a game winning grand slam against the Texas Rangers securing for the Athletics the division title.  By that time the Athletics were already leading the Minnesota Twins by the score of 6-1.  The Athletics would go on to win the game 11-7 completing a 4-game sweep of the Twins and finishing up the 2013 home season.

Sonny Gray (4-3, 2.90 ERA) pitched 5 strong innings securing his 4th win of the season.  Sonny allowed 4 runs  while striking out 3 batters.  The offensive onslaught was lead by Coco Crisp who went 2 for 4 with 4 RBIs.  Coco hit his 22nd home run and stole his 20th base today reaching the 20/20 mark for the first time in his career.

Oswaldo Arcia was trying to play the spoiler today for the Twins.  Oswaldo went 3 for 4 driving in 6 of the Twins 7 runs.  This is his 1st season in the majors and he is batting .254 with 14 home runs.  The 22-year-old Arcia could be a force to be reckoned with in the years to come.

Evan Scribner came in to pitch the 9th inning.  After giving up 2 runs, Evan struck out Josmil Pinto to end the game and begin the celebration of the division title.

Congratulations to the Oakland Athletics on being the American League West Division Champions for the 2nd year in a row!

Athletics walkoff over Angels keep AL West lead at 6.5

Before the game began on Tuesday night the Athletics knew they would receive no help from the Tampa Bay Rays.  The Texas Rangers beat the Rays 7-1.  So in order for the Athletics to reduce the magic number they would have to take matters into their own hands.  This is not always an easy task against the Angels.  Athletics/Angels games are always competitive.  The two teams seem to rise to the occasion and Tuesday night was no exception.

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Michael Choice makes MLB debut

Labor Day 2013 will be a day Michael Choice will always remember.  It is the day he made his MLB Debut with the Oakland Athletics.  On the day Michael went 0 for 2 with a walk and a run scored.  The walk came in his 1st plate appearance, showing the discipline that made him a force to be reckoned with in the PCL.  Michael reached on an error by Gold Glover Adrain Beltre in the 5th inning just ahead of the 2-run home run by Coco Crisp that put the Athletics ahead for good.

Selected in the 1st round by the Oakland Athletics, Michael Choice was the 10th overall pick in the 2010 draft out of the University of Texas at Arlington.  He spent a full year in each of his next three stops: Stockton Ports in 2011, Midland RockHounds in 2012 and Sacramento RiverCats in 2013 before getting the call to the Oakland Athletics.

Straily, A’s win now tied for 1st place

Dan Straily (8-7, 4.38 ERA) likes national holidays.  At least that what his stats would lead you to believe.  This season Dan has pitched on all three major national holidays that occur during the baseball season.  On Memorial Day he defeated the San Francisco Giants.  On the 4th of July he dominated the Chicago Cubs.  Now on Labor Day, Dan Straily turned his sights on the Texas Rangers.  He was looking to build off his strong start against the Detroit Tigers where he allowed only 1 run in 6 innings.  Dan did not have his best stuff on Monday as he allowed 2 runs to the Rangers in 5 innings.  However he did pitch well enough for the victory.

The offense was led by Yoenis Cespedes and Coco Crisp who each hit home runs Monday afternoon.  Yoenis launched a 2-2 offering from Derek Holland over the center field fence in the 2nd inning.  Coco lined a 2-run home run that just grazed the foul pole in the 5th inning scoring Michael Choice, who was making his MLB debut.  Brett Anderson came out of the bullpen to pitch 1.1 innings striking out 2.  Grant Balfour notched his 36th save of the season.

The victory over Texas put the Athletics in a tie for 1st place with the Rangers.  The series continues Tuesday night as Bartolo Colon (14-5, 2.94 ERA), making his 2nd start since coming off the DL, squares off against Martin Perez (8-5, 3.58 ERA)