Card of the Week: Kendall Graveman 2015 Panini Immaculate Shadowbox

The card of the week for October 18, 2015 is the 2015 Panini Immaculate Kendall Graveman Shadowbox. This card is numbered 08/49. Kendall was one of the players the Oakland Athletics received in return, along with Brett Lawrie, Franklin Barreto and Sean Nolin, for Josh Donaldson. Kendall is shaping up to be a quality starter in the Athletics rotation.

Panini does a great job in offering interesting designs on their higher end autograph and relic cards. The autograph on this card looks like it is done on a clear acetate with the photo printed on it. The card is thick like a relic card with a white background to make a shadowbox effect.

Kendall Graveman 2015 Panini Immaculate Shadowbox #08/49 - Front

Kendall Graveman 2015 Panini Immaculate Shadowbox #08/49 – Front

The only thing missing from the card is the MLB license. However, with this type of quality and the way the photography is presented I personally don’t miss it too much.

Kendall Graveman 2015 Panini Immaculate Shadowbox #08/49 - Back

Kendall Graveman 2015 Panini Immaculate Shadowbox #08/49 – Back

Card Serial Number

Card Serial Number

 

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Athletics Trade Brandon Moss for Joey Wendle

The Oakland Athletics have a track record for making a splash at the Winter Meetings and this year is no exception. The Athletics traded 2014 All-Star Brandon Moss to the Cleveland Indians for their No. 9 Prospect, second baseman, Joey Wendle. This move comes nearly 2 weeks after All-Star third baseman Josh Donaldson was dealt to the Toronto Blue Jays for Brett Lawrie and a couple of top pitching prospects.

Brandon Moss is a power bat who hit .231 with 25 home runs in 2014 for the Athletics. The 2014 season was a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde type season for Moss. Before the All-Star break Moss was batting .261 with 21 home runs in 89 games. After the break Moss retreated batting .173 with only 4 home runs in his final 58 games. Moss regained his confidence just in time for the Wild Card game, where he provided most of the Athletics offense in that game blasting 2 home runs and driving in 5 run. However it wasn’t enough for the playoff run to continue.

Joey Wendle will likely start the season with Triple A, Nashville Sounds and could easily make the 25-man roster by mid-season. Wendle hit .253 with 8 home runs in 87 games for the Arkon RubberDucks (AA) in 2014 before being sidelined with a broken bone in his wrist. In 2013 Wendle was named a Post Season All-Star with the Carolina Mudcats as well as a MiLB Organization All-Star for the Indians.

Joey Wendle appears to be the long term answer for the second base needs of the Oakland Athletics.

Yoenis Cespedes Repeats as Home Run Derby Champ

Yoesnis Cespedes of the Oakland Athletics won the title of Home Run Derby Champion for the 2nd consecutive year on Monday night. Cespedes is only the 2nd slugger to repeat as champ. The first was Ken Griffey Jr. who won the title in 1998 and 1999.

The Annual All-Star event was well represented by the Athletics as they had 2 participants this year. Cespedes was joined by 3rd baseman Josh Donaldson. As fate would have it Donaldson would be knocked out of the event by his own teammate in a Round 1 tiebreaker. Though I’m sure if he was going to be beat he wanted it no other way.

Cespedes blasted a total of 30 home runs in the event. He hit 3 in the first round. 2 in the tie breaker. He defeated Adam Jones in the 2nd round 9 to 3. Thwarted Jose Bautista in the 3rd round 7 to 4. The finals was no contest. Cespedes out-slugged Todd Frazier 9 to 1 to repeat as the champion.

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!

Josh Donaldson – AL Player of the Month September 2013

Josh Donaldson was named AL Player of the Month for the final month of the regular season.  In the month of September, Josh posted a .337 average with 5 home runs and 16 RBIs in 25 games to help the Athletics retain the AL West Crown.  He also has 11 multi-hit games during the month to push his total to 56 multi-hit games on the year.  Only Mark Kotsay and Miguel Tejada had more (both had 57).  Josh saw a 28 game on base streak come to an end on September 24th.  This was the longest such streak for an Oakland Athletic since 2008.

Congrats Josh Donaldson for the AL Player of the Month honors from The Elephant Farm!

Athletics rout Twins increase lead to 7.5 games

With only 8 games left to play the Oakland Athletics extended their AL West Division lead to 7.5 games on Friday night.  The Athletics trounced the Minnesota Twins 11-0.  Bartolo Colon picked up his 17th win of the season lowering his ERA to 2.64.  He struck out 8 in 6 innings.   Continue reading

Worth Reading: Josh Donaldson for MVP & First Look at Billy McKinney

It is not too often that I will post links to articles on other websites, but I found these 2 articles today that I thought are worthy of sharing.

Bernie Pleskoff’s initial scouting report on 2013 #1 Draft Pick Billy McKinney 

MVP Tracker: A’s Slugger building a case – from USA Today.  Their case for Josh Donaldson for AL MVP.

Enjoy and you can share your comments below.

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.

Continue reading

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)