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A’s Matt Chapman hospitalized with knee infection

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 05:32:49 UT

A’s Matt Chapman hospitalized with knee infection A’s general manager David Forst said Thursday morning that rookie third baseman Matt Chapman is in the hospital receiving intravenous antibiotics for the infection in his left knee. Forst said that Chapman is still expected to come off the disabled list when eligible Thursday. “The oral antibiotics he’d been getting plateaued,” Forst said, adding that team orthopedist Dr. Will Workman had decided the time had come for more aggressive intervention. With Chapman on the DL, Matt Olson was called up from Triple-A Nashville on Thursday and was in right field. Houston put up 10 runs in the first two innings against Jesse Hahn, who had not allowed more than three runs in 11 of his 12 previous starts this season. The next inning, the Astros flashed their power, with Jake Marisnick and Marwin Gonzalez delivering three-run homers off Hahn. Gattis also hit a two-run single in the eight-run inning as Houston sent 11 men to the plate. Marisnick was in the game as a replacement for Springer, who was hit on the left shoulder and hand. Hahn lasted just the two innings, allowing 10 runs, nine earned, a career high. Susan Slusser is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. at White Sox at White Sox Houston has won 10 in a row and 15 of 16 at Oakland, perhaps some payback for 2013, when the A’s went 15-4 against the Astros en route to the division title.



A’s sad to part ways with popular Stephen Vogt

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 02:41:27 UT

Overhauling a veteran roster brings with it some sadness and some youthful excitement, often in equal measure. Thursday, the A’s parted with one of the most popular players in recent club history, designating two-time All-Star Stephen Vogt for assignment and bringing up heir apparent Bruce Maxwell to stay. “I’m going to run with it,” said Maxwell, who had three hits, including an RBI double, in Oakland’s 12-9 loss to Houston at the Coliseum. Vogt, 32, was a terrific story, a late bloomer claimed by Oakland in 2013 who wound up a postseason hero that season. Vogt was a favorite of teammates, fans and media, a standup guy always accountable after tough losses as well as a born entertainer with a gift for mimicry and sketch comedy. Vogt had struggled at the plate and defensively this season, but his value went far beyond his numbers. No one exemplifies the spirit of those playoff teams more than Stephen, and it’s hard to think of anyone who’s been a better member of our community. In an unusual move, Forst let Vogt know before Wednesday’s game that it probably would be his last with Oakland. Manager Bob Melvin then gave Vogt the option of not playing, but Vogt said he wanted to get into the game — so he entered the game in left field. Vogt was batting .217 with four homers in 54 games, and opponents had been successful in 25 consecutive stolen base attempts against him. The A’s have seven days to waive, trade or release Vogt. Melvin said he’d already received a text from Vogt on Thursday with last-second advice for Maxwell, and pitcher Kendall Graveman said, Vogt never let a day go by he wasn’t trying to make someone else better. Melvin agreed, saying that whenever he’s asked about current players who’d make good managers, he always names Vogt. Susan Slusser is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer.



Astros take huge lead, win despite spirited A’s rally

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 23:50:34 UT

The Astros punctuated their domination of the A’s this season with a flood of runs early in the series finale Thursday, offset only somewhat by a lately comeback attempt led predominantly by Oakland’s youngsters. Houston put up 10 runs in the first two innings against Jesse Hahn and went on to a 12-9 victory, sweeping the four games at the Coliseum. The A’s, who swept four games from the Yankees to open the homestand, wound up even for the eight days. [...] minimal damage considering that 19 of the 26 pitches Hahn threw that innings were out of the zone. The next inning, the Astros flashed their power, with Jake Marisnick and Marvin Gonzalez both delivering three-run homers off Hahn. Gattis also hit a two-run single in the eight-run inning as Houston sent 11 men to the plate. Hahn lasted just the two innings, allowing 10 runs, nine earned, a career high. Former A’s outfielder Josh Reddick added a solo homer off Michael Brady in the sixth and Carlos Correa chipped in with a sacrifice fly in the eighth. James Hoyt relieved Paulino and Jaycob Brugman greeted him with an RBI single. In the eighth, Maxwell provided an RBI double and Adam Rosales a two-run double off Dayan Diaz.



A’s designate team leader Stephen Vogt for assignment

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 18:36:08 UT

A’s designate team leader Stephen Vogt for assignment Oakland designated longtime catcher Stephen Vogt for assignment. Vogt, a two-time All-Star and a fan favorite, was the undisputed team leader, but he was batting .217 with four homers and 20 RBIs in 54 games. No one exemplifies the spirit of those playoff teams more than Stephen and it’s hard to think of anyone who’s been a better member of our community. Manager Bob Melvin then gave Vogt the option of not playing, but he said he wanted to get into the game - so he played left. The trade market is thought to be slim, so there is some chance should Vogt go unclaimed that the team might be able to offer him a minor-league job. Kendall Graveman said a day didn’t go by that Vogt wasn’t trying to help a teammate improve, and reliever Sean Doolittle said, He was the unquestioned captain of this team. [...] Oakland placed third baseman Matt Chapman on the 10-day DL with left knee cellulitis and called up first baseman-outfielder Matt Olson and Bruce Maxwell. The A’s fired pitching coach Curt Young last week and designated free-agent acquisition Trevor Plouffe for assignment before trading him to Tampa Bay.



A’s get good news on rookie Chapman

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 00:43:20 UT

Manager Bob Melvin provided encouraging news on rookie third baseman Matt Chapman, who made a bang in his major-league debut series against the Yankees over the weekend. The knee infection that forced him to miss the first three games of the Astros series is responding to medication. The swelling is down and Melvin expects Chapman to return Thursday or Friday, when the A's open a three-game series in Chicago against the White Sox. [...] that Chapman got a small taste of the big-leagues, the 2014 first-round draft pick is aching to return to the field. To be on the shelf because of an injury that's not really baseball-related - it is baseball-related, but it's a freak injury - is not making him happy. The A's believe the infection stems from a collision with a wall in the minors before is callup that cut his leg and caused it to bleed. Chapman's response to medication is encouraging because joint infections that persist might need to be flushed out surgically. Shortstop Marcus Semien will start another "spring training" when he begins a rehab assignment with Class A Stockton on Friday night, just over two months since undergoing right-wrist surgery. Semien will alternate between shortstop and DH while getting three at-bats a game to start, just as a player would in March. Michael Brady, the Cal alum who finally reached the majors at 30, said his command was off when he debuted in the ninth inning of Tuesday night's loss and allowed a homer to his first hitter, Carlos Beltran. Brady managed half a smile when told Beltran's 431st homer tied him with Cal Ripken for 48th all-time. Melvin gave Brady his first taste of the majors in the ninth inning with Oakland trailing 7-4. Chris Bassitt (Tommy John surgery) threw another side session in which he stopped then restarted to simulate pitching multiple innings. There is no timetable for his next step, which is throwing to hitters. … Reliever Ryan Dull (right-knee strain) is expected to throw a bullpen session next week. Henry Schulman is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. The A’s released outfielder Ryan LaMarre, whom they designated for assignment Saturday to clear a 40-man roster spot for pitcher Michael Brady.



Possible audition for A’s Sonny Gray not good against Astros

Wed, 21 Jun 2017 06:31:30 UT

The A’s could never come all the way back from the sudden deficit, losing 8-4, teasing the 15,000 fans at the Coliseum enough by scoring four runs to climb back into the game at 5-4. Oakland has now lost two games to Houston after sweeping the Yankees in a four-game series last weekend. The weirder thing about Tuesday night’s game was that Gray was going against rookie Francis Martes, one of the Astros’ top prospects whom they very well might include in a trade for an established starter. The Astros had five hits off Gray in the first, the hardest the first, as George Springer continued to be the poster boy for this era of leadoff power hitters. Springer tied his and Craig Biggio’s franchise record with his eighth leadoff homer of the season. Gray then walked former A’s teammate Josh Reddick and gave up an infield single to Jose Altuve, but he must have breathed a sigh of relief when Carlos Correa grounded into a double play. The five earned runs allowed by Gray were most in a first inning in 106 career starts. The A’s didn’t give up, scoring single runs in the first, third, fourth and seventh innings. A’s reliever Liam Hendriks let the air out of the balloon by loading the bases in the eighth and giving up a two-run single to Correa. [...] Alonso fell behind fellow Miami resident Eric Hosmer in All-Star Game voting for American League first basemen.




A’s top pick Austin Beck signs for $5.3 million, takes grand tour

Wed, 21 Jun 2017 04:10:59 UT

A’s top pick Austin Beck signs for $5.3 million, takes grand tour Austin Beck, the A’s first-round pick, is 18 years old. [...] he fit in well with the team’s very young players on his visit Tuesday. Beck was at the park to sign his contract, meet the big-leaguers and take some batting practice before the outfielder heads off to the minor leagues. Beck, one of the top hitters available, was drafted by the A’s with the sixth overall pick last week out of North Davidson (N.C.) High School. Beck took it in stride, acknowledging, A’s reliever Sean Doolittle told him to put on a show in batting practice, and the ball did sound good coming off the right-handed hitter’s bat. Beck has heard the Mike Trout comparisons, and he shrugs them off: “I mean, that’s the best player in baseball.” [...] he is a legitimate five-tool player. Park study results: A privately financed ballpark would generate $3.05 billion for Oakland’s businesses and residents over the first 10 years, according to a study by the Bay Area Council Economic Institute. “I think it shows that the ballpark is not only a great thing for our fans and the fan experience but also for the community at large, the jobs it will create, economic impact, and the vibrancy it will create in Oakland,” A’s president Dave Kaval said. Two thousand construction jobs would also be created in building the ballpark. The study reported that annual attendance would go up by roughly 1 million people. Vic Tafur is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. at White Sox



Astros end A’s win streak; Chapman out with injury

Tue, 20 Jun 2017 06:38:57 UT

After the A’s swept the Yankees in a four-game series, they got an even tougher assignment: The Astros dispatched the A’s 4-1 Monday night, powered by homers from Jake Marisnick, George Springer and Derek Fisher, their fifth win in six games against Oakland this season. Another prospect who came up last week, starter Daniel Gossett, fared much better in his second big-league outing than he had in his first. Monday, he gave up two runs in 62/3 innings, both scoring when Marisnick homered on a fastball down in the zone. Brad Peacock gave up four hits, two walks and a run in 52/3 innings. Melvin went out after the play to discuss whether catcher Evan Gattis might have blocked the plate illegally, but the throw took him there. While Oakland’s recent feel-good vibes have revolved around its young players, one of the longest tenured A’s is the subject of trade speculation: The A’s front office has had no qualms dealing within the division, especially with Houston, and Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow is in town for this series. The A’s success against New York to open the homestand brought up strong memories of another up-and-coming Oakland team putting it all together five years ago in a July 2012 four-game sweep of the Yankees at the Coliseum. “There are some similarities there for sure,” said reliever Sean Doolittle, the only player remaining from that club. Momentum is a weird thing in baseball, but it definitely gives us confidence going forward.




Team that covets A’s Sonny Gray to face him Tuesday

Tue, 20 Jun 2017 04:49:06 UT

Sonny Gray, who will start Tuesday against the Astros, probably will be dealt in the next six weeks and one of the more realistic landing spots for the A’s ace is… Industry sources have mentioned the Astros in connection with Gray for weeks, there is zero doubting Houston’s interest, and the A’s front office has had no qualms dealing within the division. Should the Astros present the A’s with the best offer for the right-hander, perhaps the only concession that might come with trading a top starter to a division foe is that the teams might wait until after Oakland has faced Houston this week and next.



A’s bench coach Mark Kotsay away indefinitely after daughter’s injury

Tue, 20 Jun 2017 03:57:14 UT

A’s bench coach Mark Kotsay away indefinitely after daughter’s injury Bench coach Mark Kotsay will be away from the team indefinitely while his daughter Sienna receives treatment for an eye injury, general manager David Forst said Monday. Sienna, 11, was accidentally hit in the right eye at close range by a tennis ball earlier this month, incurring a partial loss of vision. Forst said Kotsay will remain with his family as they meet with specialists and throughout the recovery process. “He is hopeful of returning at some point this season,” Forst said, emphasizing that Kotsay has the team’s full support. Chip Hale, who was A’s bench coach from 2012-14 and returned this offseason after managing Arizona the past two years, will move from the third-base coaching spot to the bench role while Kotsay is away. Minor-league instructor Steve Scarsone, a longtime manager in Oakland’s system, will handle the third-base job. The team announced that longtime A’s minor-league coach and coordinator Garvin Alston, who was on Hale’s staff in Arizona last year, was hired as the bullpen coach. Reliever Sean Doolittle has long credited Alston with helping him convert from first base to pitching in 2011. “Sometimes G would even catch for me — my right arm was still in a cast,” said Doolittle, whose wrist injury prompted the position change. Pitchers Kendall Graveman (shoulder) and Ryan Dull (knee) could be throwing off the mound later in the week. ... Right-hander Andrew Triggs (hip) received a cortisone shot. Susan Slusser is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. Chris Bassitt (Tommy John surgery) will throw some simulated innings Tuesday with hitters standing in, including shortstop Marcus Semien.



A’s rookie Matt Chapman out with a knee infection

Tue, 20 Jun 2017 00:31:10 UT

[...] the rookie third baseman is dealing with a left knee infection and the A’s will not know when he’ll be back in action for at least 24 hours while they wait to see how the joint responds to antibiotics. Trainer Nick Paparesta said he has dealt with knee infections before, without being specific, and he mentioned that the last one he recalled required surgical intervention. Chapman recalls sliding into a fence on a play at Triple-A Nashville two weeks ago, and he’s made several diving plays since being promoted Thursday and he’s slid into bases. Wilmer Flores of the Mets missed two weeks with a knee infection in April and May but his was as staph infection and so severe at the outset that he had to be hospitalized. Paparesta said that Kendall Graveman (shoulder) could be throwing off the mound this weekend and Chris Bassitt, who is coming off Tommy John surgery, will do an “up-down” bullpen, which simulates inning breaks and some hitters will stand in, including shortstop Marcus Semien. Ryan Dull (knee) will be checked by team doctor Will Workman on Monday evening and if that goes well the reliever could be throwing off the mound later in the week.



A’s complete four-game sweep of Yankees with 4-3 win

Mon, 19 Jun 2017 02:50:22 UT

“Against a team of that caliber, it’s tough to sweep a three-game series, let alone a four-game series,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said after sending the Yankees away on a six-game skid. … Sunday’s confidence was buoyed by one fruitful offensive inning, a grind-it-out effort by Cotton and a dominant bullpen. Chad Pinder lined a double into the right-center-field gap that scored Josh Phegley and Matt Joyce, and Khris Davis crushed a two-run homer off the green backdrop in center. “He’s always one swing away from putting a couple of runs up on the board, and that’s what he did for us today,” Melvin said of Davis, who registered his 15th multihit game, 16th go-ahead RBI and 18th home run of the season. Cotton allowed the Yankees to trim their deficit to 4-3 on a Didi Gregorius homer barely inside the right-field foul pole in the fourth inning, but the right-hander retired nine of the final 10 hitters he faced. Having thrown 101 pitches through six innings, Cotton wanted to pitch the seventh, but Melvin told him he could face only one more hitter. With one out in the ninth, Gregorius reached on Pinder’s errant throw from shortstop and advanced to second as the ball went into the Yankees’ dugout.



Yankees’ rookie Aaron Judge is all-business

Mon, 19 Jun 2017 02:46:03 UT

Yankees’ rookie Aaron Judge is all-business Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge has been compared to Derek Jeter for his “Never let them see you sweat” approach and the almost-cliche matter of fact way he deals with the media. Linden (San Joaquin County), the self-proclaimed cherry capital of the world, is about 80 miles east of Oakland, and two busloads of childhood friends and fans made the trip for Thursday’s series opener against the A’s. Many came back for the Friday, Saturday and Sunday games as well. Judge, 25, gave them and the rest of the Yankees-leaning crowd a treat Friday night with a homer and a triple. The Yankees’ bullpen blew the game, 7-6, and Judge was asked if there was at least some satisfaction in homering in front of his Linden folks. “Not really,” he said. The Yankees had been winning plenty thanks to Judge, who is fourth in the majors with a .335 batting average, tied for first with 60 runs and tied for seventh with 53 RBIs. “Distractions?” Judge said. Off the field, he was offered. All the off-field stuff takes care of itself. Once I get on the field, I’ve got a job to do and I’ve got to take care of it. When approached for an interview before Friday night’s game, she politely declined. Patty Judge also, very nicely, wouldn’t say how many friends bused to the Coliseum from Linden, or where they were sitting. When Yankees manager Joe Girardi compared him to Jeter this season, he was crediting Judge’s maturity, work ethic and presence. [...] Judge passed the compliment right on to his mother. “I know I wouldn't be a New York Yankee if it wasn't for my mom,” Judge told reporters. The guidance she gave me as a kid growing up, knowing the difference from right and wrong, how to treat people and how to go the extra mile and put in extra work, all that kind of stuff. Wayne and Patty Judge were physical-education teachers when they adopted two boys, each at birth, six years apart. “They stressed education and keeping a tight schedule,” Judge said. There was time for fun and sports after all your work and chores were done. Judge was almost an Athletic. … OK, not really. Girardi says his budding star is definitely mature enough now. Judge has cut down on his strikeouts and also become one of the team’s leaders. Understands when he makes mistakes, doesn’t make excuses, Girardi said. In spring training, he was there two hours after the game in the cage still hitting with (teammate) Rob Refsnyder. Vic Tafur is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. Email: vtafur@sfchronicle.com Twitter: @VicTafur Quick study How Aaron Judge compares to other prominent Yankees rookies: Player RBI Mickey Mantle Yogi Berra Joe DiMaggio Lou Gehrig * — All-Star Source: baseball-reference.com



Matt Joyce solidifying A’s leadoff spot

Sun, 18 Jun 2017 19:29:27 UT

A day after Matt Joyce went 3-for-3 with two walks against the Yankees, the A’s right fielder was a popular pregame talking point Sunday. Joyce homered on the first pitch he saw Saturday and appears to be adjusting well to batting in the leadoff spot. Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge is just 3-for-11 (.273) with seven strikeouts through the first three games of the four-game set in Oakland. Closer Santiago Casilla’s non-throwing shoulder checked out OK after getting drilled Saturday by a foul ball, but Melvin was unsure pregame about his availability. … Right-hander Andrew Triggs, who was placed on the disabled list June 10 with a strained left hip, will receive a cortisone shot. … Kendall Graveman has been on the DL with a strained throwing shoulder since May 26, and Melvin believes the starting pitcher is starting to progress.



Healy powers A’s to 3rd straight win over Yankees

Sun, 18 Jun 2017 03:07:09 UT

A couple hours later, the A’s designated hitter crushed two home runs on a pristine afternoon at the Coliseum, helping give Oakland a 5-2 victory over the Yankees and a shot at sweeping the AL East leaders, who also lead the league in run differential. After dramatic, one-run wins in each of the first two games of the four-game series, the A’s won Saturday behind the grit of starting pitcher Jesse Hahn, the talent of the bullpen and the power of Healy. The 25-year-old has 17 homers on the season and 30 in his first 139 career games. Matt Chapman, who went 2-for-4, scored on Adam Rosales’ two-out single, and Matt Joyce, who reached base in all five of his plate appearances, scored on Jed Lowrie’s infield single to give the A’s a 5-2 lead. Hahn and four relievers made the lead stand up for the A’s, who have gone 26 consecutive series without a sweep, something that could change Sunday. Hahn was shaky early during his third start since returning from a triceps strain, needing 31 pitches to get out of trouble in the first inning and giving up three straight hits and two runs to the bottom of the Yankees’ lineup in the second. [...] the right-hander didn’t allow a hit in his final three innings and moved to 3-4 on the season as the A’s bullpen sparkled in allowing only two baserunners over the game’s final four innings. Liam Hendricks struck out two of the three batters he faced in the sixth, Joe Smith breezed through the seventh, and Ryan Madson allowed just a jam-shot single in facing the heart of the Yankees’ order. X-rays were negative on the non-throwing arm of closer Santiago Casilla, who was drilled by a foul ball in the dugout, but he still ceded the save opportunity to Sean Doolittle.