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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Spring Training TTMs

Today I mailed my second batch of Spring Training TTMs. This batch consisted of 10 envelopes. Most are to current Oakland Athletics.  Two were sent to former Athletics who are current MLB coaches in other organizations. One was sent to a non-Athletics player. Here are the Spring Training TTMs I have sent out.

Batch #1 – Tuesday, February 18, 2014
Ryan Cook
Sean Doolittle
Tommy Milone
Derek Norris
Jarrod Parker
Eric Sogard

Batch #2 – February 28, 2014
Jesse Chavez
Josh Donaldson
A. J. Griffin
Jed Lowrie
Josh Reddick
Evan Scribner
Dan Straily
Don Baylor, hitting coach for LA Angels of Anaheim
Steve Henderson, hitting coach for Philadelphia Phillies
Hector Santiago, pitcher for LA Angels of Anaheim

I will be posting updates as I receive these cards back. I am considering a third batch of Spring Training TTMs. Not sure for who, but will likely be mostly non-Athletics since I have already sent to most on the Athletics who are confirmed signers. If you have any suggestions please post them in a comment!

New in Oakland, Part 1: Pitchers

This is the first installment of a 3 part series introducing the newest members of the Oakland Athletics. These players were either signed as a free agent or traded for during the off season.  This first installment will introduce the new pitchers on Oakland’s 40-man roster.  These players may or may not make the opening day lineup, but figure prominently in Oakland’s future.

Scott Kazmir, starting pitcher – Scott was signed as a free agent to a 2 year contract in December. The 30 year old missed the entire 2012 season and made a comeback with the Cleveland Indians last year. In 2013 he went 10-9 with a 4.04 ERA, 162 strikeouts and 1.32 WHIP in 29 games.  Scott figures to be the Athletics’ No. 2 started behind Jarrod Parker.

Jim Johnson, closer – Jim was acquired by the Athletics in exchange for the struggling Jemile Weeks and catcher David Freitas. Jim was a league leader in saves last year as he earned 50 in 59 opportunities. Jim has a 2.94 ERA with a 1.29 WHIP. Jim will take over the closer role previously occupied by Grant Balfour.

Eric O’Flaherty, relief pitcher – Eric was signed as a free agent to a 2 year contract in January. You can see our post about it here: A’s sign O’Flaherty. While Eric is recovering from Tommy John surgery and will not be available until mid-season, Eric was an anchor of the bullpen for the Atlanta Braves over the past 5 years. In his MLB career Eric is 20-9 with a 2.85 ERA, 245 strikeouts in 343 games with the Braves and the Seattle Mariners.

Fernando Abad, relief pitcher – Fernando was dealt by the Washington Nationals to the Athletics for Minor League outfielder John Wooten. In 2013 Fernando was 0-3 with a 3.35 ERA and 32 strikeouts in 39 relief appearances

Luke Gregerson, relief pitcher – Luke was dealt to the Athletics by the San Diego Padres for outfielder Seth Smith. In 2013 Luke was a workhorse on the Padres staff compiling a 6-8 record with a 2.71 ERA and a 1.01 WHIP in 73 relief appearances.

Josh Lindblom, relief pitcher – Josh was a part of the trade that brought Chris Gentry from the Texas Rangers to the Athletics for Michael Choice and Chris Bostick. It is likely that Josh will start the season with the Sacramento River Cats, but he could figure prominently in the bullpen later in the season. In limited duty with the Rangers Josh went 1-3 with a 5.46 ERA in 8 games, 5 of which were starts.

Drew Pomeranz, starting pitcher – Drew was acquired by the Athletics along with minor leaguer Chris Jensen in the trade that sent Brett Anderson to the Colorado Rockies. Drew will begin the year with the Sacramento River Cats and figures to be a starter with the Athletics some time in the next year or two. Drew pitched in 8 games, 4 starts, last season for the Rockies and compiled an 0-4 record, 6.23 ERA in 21.2 innings.

Athletics drop 2 of 3 to Angels, but maintain West lead

The Oakland Athletics dropped the final game of the series on Wednesday afternoon in a frustrating loss the LA Angels.  The Athletics were 2 outs away from securing a 4-2 victory when usually reliable closer Grant Balfour gave up a 2-run home run to Josh Hamilton to tie the game.  The Angels would go on to score 1 run in the top of the 11th inning to take a 5-4 lead, which would hold up to give them the victory.

However, the Athletics maintain their 6.5 game lead over the Texas Rangers.  They received help from the Tampa Bay Rays as the had their own extra inning victory over the Texas Rangers by the score of 4-3.

The Minnesota Twins come into town for the 1st time in 2013 to play a 4 game weekend set starting Thursday.  These are the final 4 regular season games for the Athletics and they still have a chance to clinch the division at home.

Series recap:
Monday, September 16th
LA Angels 12
Oakland Athletics 1
WP: C.J. Wilson (17-6)
LP: Jarrod Parker (11-7)

Tuesday, September 17th
LA Angels 1
Oakland Athletics 2
WP: Grant Balfour (1-3)
LP: Michael Kohn (1-3)

Wednesday, September 18th
LA Angels 5
Oakland Athletics 4
WP: Juan Gutierrez (1-4)
LP: Jesse Chavez 2-4)
SV: Ernesto Frieri (35)

Athletics sweep Rangers now lead AL West by 6.5 games

On Sunday the Oakland Athletics completed a 3 game sweep of the Texas Rangers by a score of 5-1.  Tommy Milone made a spot start in place of Jarrod Parker who was scratched due to illness. Tommy, making his first start since August 27th, gave up only 1 run on 5 hits in 5 innings.  The offense backed Tommy with home runs by Josh Donaldson, Chris Young and Josh Reddick.  Today’s win puts the Athletics 6.5 games ahead of the Texas Rangers and reduces the magic number to 8 with 13 games left to play.

Josh Donaldson continues to prove that he belong with the elite 3rd basemen in the league.  In his last 10 games he is batting .444 (16 for 36) with 4 home runs and 11 RBIs.  On the season Donaldson is batting .302 with 23 home runs and a .382 OBP.  Donaldson is leading all Athletics hitters in batting average, hits, walks, RBIs and OBP.  He has played in 146 of 149 games.

The Athletics have now won 5 straight and 16 of the last 20 games.  On Monday they begin their final home stand of the regular season where they will play the LA Angels and the Minnesota Twins.

Series recap:
Friday, September 13th
Oakland Athletics 9
Texas Rangers 8
WP: Dan Straily (10-7)
LP: Derek Holland (9-9)
SV: Sean Doolittle (2)

Saturday, September 14th
Oakland Athletics 1
Texas Rangers 0
WP: Bartolo Colon (16-6)
LP: Yu Darvish (12-9)
SV: Grant Balfour (38)

Sunday, September 15th
Oakland Athletics 5
Texas Rangers 1
WP: Tommy Milone (11-9)
LP: Martin Perez (9-5)