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An SB Nation blog for Oakland Athletics fans



Updated: 2018-02-24T11:43:07-08:00

 



Spring Game Thread #2: A’s vs. Padres

2018-02-24T11:43:07-08:00

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Game Thread for Saturday’s Cactus League action.

The Oakland A’s won their Cactus League opener on Friday in walk-off fashion over the Angels. They’re back in action today, this time against the Padres.

The lineup:

  1. Boog Powell, CF
  2. Franklin Barreto, SS
  3. Brandon Moss, 1B
  4. Khris Davis, LF
  5. Chad Pinder, 2B
  6. Renato Nunez, DH
  7. Mark Canha, RF
  8. Sheldon Neuse, 3B
  9. Josh Phegley, C

On the pitching side, Andrew Triggs draws the start, though at this point in the spring that won’t mean more than a handful of batters — a couple innings at most. Also listed on the lineup card: Jharel Cotton, Chris Bassitt, Blake Treinen, Danny Coulombe, Chris Hatcher. Simon Castro, Kyle Finnegan, Nolan Blackwood, and Jarret Martin (who?).

A few thoughts: Starting for San Diego will be Tyson Ross, former Athletic and East Bay native. ... This will be Triggs’ first game action since June due to injury. ... Neuse gets the start at 3B with Matt Chapman resting his bruised hand. ... Pinder is playing his second position in as many days. ... Renato is back in there after going 2-for-2 in the opener. ... I keep forgetting that Moss is back on the team, partly because I’ve already assumed he’ll be flipped at some point. Seeing him in the lineup is weird, but in a good way.

Click here for this morning’s injury updates.




AN Spring Game Thread Auditions

2018-02-22T08:31:36-08:00

Athletics Nation thrives on the efforts of the community. When a spot opens up on the roster, we don't go out and sign a high-profile free agent writer, because we are a small-budget team. Instead, we promote from within, just like the A's do. The front page crew includes a Game Thread staff, and we’re starting to put together this year’s version. To help fill it up, we're holding our annual Spring Training Game Thread Auditions, via the FanPosts section. If you’re interested in writing for AN, then this is the best way to get your foot in the door. In this case we’re specifically looking for folks to run Game Threads/recaps during the season, but many of our current front page columnists originally came to us through past versions of these spring auditions, including Tim Eckert-Fong, bernie_till_i_die, and Frederic_Henry — so as you can see there is not only the opportunity to cover some games but also to find an expanded role down the road. Note: It’s also OK to sign up for this because you just feel like covering a spring game for fun. Wanting to write for AN all season is not a requirement! I'm posting the Cactus League schedule below, and anyone who is interested can claim a game in the comments section. To start out, we'll keep it to one game per person, but that rule may be bent later on depending on demand. When you choose your game, your job will be to do the following: Post the Preview/Game Thread half an hour before game time. (We’ll move it from FanPosts to front page and add a photo for you.) Post a recap of the game, structured however you wish, within an hour or so after the game. Bulleted lists should have 3 items but those are the only 2 things you have to do. At the end of the spring, we will determine who (if anyone) to add to the staff based largely on community feedback, but the final decision will be made by the front page crew. You can help by Rec’ing the recaps that you like best, as that will be a primary factor. Schedule of games to choose from. Games start at noon until 3/11, at which point they switch to 1 p.m. (unless otherwise noted). Games that are televised are in italics with their channels (MLB Network, NBC Sports Net, or online at MLB.tv). Games that have been claimed are denoted by the screen names of the individuals who claimed them: Fri. 2/23 vs. Angels — JTosterSat. 2/24 vs. PadresSun. 2/25 vs. RoyalsMon. 2/26 @ White SoxTue. 2/27 @ Indians — dfodavidWed. 2/28 @ CubsThu. 3/1 vs. RangersFri. 3/2 OFF-DAYSat. 3/3 vs. PadresSun. 3/4 @ PadresMon. 3/5 vs. White Sox — aljoutTue. 3/6 vs. RangersWed. 3/7 @ Mariners (MLBN) (5:40 p.m.) — mattmcsportsThu. 3/8 vs. Angels (MLB.tv)Fri. 3/9 @ Brewers (MLBN)Sat. 3/10 @ RangersSun. 3/11 vs. CubsMon. 3/12 vs. Giants (NBCSBA)Tue. 3/13 @ RoyalsWed. 3/14 OFF-DAYThu. 3/15 vs. Mariners (NBCS) (7 p.m.) — OrodawgFri. 3/16 vs. Indians — Murphy26Sat. 3/17 vs. Mariners (SS) — Pro4pro32polishA’sfanSat. 3/17 @ Giants (SS) (4 p.m.)Sun. 3/18 vs. White SoxMon. 3/19 @ Dodgers (7 p.m.) (MLBN)Tue. 3/20 vs. DodgersWed. 3/21 @ Brewers (MLBN)Thu. 3/22 vs. RockiesFri. 3/23 @ Angels (MLB.tv)Sat. 3/24 vs. Brewers (The three Bay Bridge games from March 25-27 will be used for final auditions or other tune-up purposes.) Game thread positions are on a volunteer basis. Your motivation at this level should be the pure enjoyment of following your team and the fun of having a voice about issues you care about. That said, some of our more regular and experienced contributors do receive small stipends, and the entrepreneurial among us have parlayed this kind of opening into paying gigs in the media industry. If you've ever wanted to write about the A's, this is your chance; the platform already exists and the audience is already here, so you won't get a more gift-wrapped opportunity than this. Sign up for the game you'd like to cover in the comments! Even if you don't want to audition for a permanent spot but always wanted to run a Game Thread one time just for fun, that's fine too. The whole point of all of t[...]



CPL #26: Will Toffey is more than the sum of his tools

2018-02-22T07:36:53-08:00

Drafted last summer in the 4th round, the infielder gets the most out of what he’s got. Our Community Prospect List returns to the 2017 draft, adding its fifth member from that class. Here’s the current list, including their winning margins (the difference between his % of the vote, and the % of the runner-up): A.J. Puk, LHP (+62%) Franklin Barreto, SS (+56%) Jorge Mateo, SS (+22%) Dustin Fowler, OF (+24%) Sean Murphy, C (+0%) Jesus Luzardo, LHP (+37%) Austin Beck, OF (+14%) James Kaprielian, RHP (+2%) Lazaro Armenteros, OF (+41%) Grant Holmes, RHP (+18%) Sheldon Neuse, 3B (+68%) Greg Deichmann, OF (+17%) Logan Shore, RHP (+2%) Kevin Merrell, SS (+8%) Renato Nunez, DH (+7%) Daulton Jefferies, RHP (+9%) Nick Allen, SS (+24%) Ramon Laureano, OF (+44%) Tyler Ramirez, OF (+33%) Dakota Chalmers, RHP (+2%) Nolan Blackwood, RHP (+6%) Dalton Sawyer, LHP (+1%) Casey Meisner, RHP (+22%) B.J. Boyd, OF (+15%) Lou Trivino, RHP (+23%) Will Toffey, 3B (+6%) If you squint hard enough, you can see some vague trends in recent Oakland A’s drafts. The 2nd round is for proven and polished college players who often profile as fast-track candidates: since 2013 that’s pre-injury Dillon Overton, Daniel Gossett, Mikey White, Logan Shore, and Greg Deichmann. The 3rd round is for going big on a high school standout, with an increasing shift toward one who fell from an earlier round due to signability: Kyle Twomey, Chris Kohler, Dakota Chalmers, and Nick Allen, though in 2016 they waited until the 4th round for Skylar Szynski and in 2014 it was 6th-rounder Trace Loehr. Like I said, the trends are only vague. The 4th round has focused on more creative ways to maximize upside, with college players who had come close to warranting higher selection but still had something to prove. In 2013 that meant gambling on Dylan Covey, who’d been a 1st-round talent out of high school but opted for college while he learned to manage his diabetes. In 2014 it was Jordan Schwartz, a former position player who had only recently become a high-velocity pitcher. In 2015 it was Skye Bolt, a relative tools monster who hadn’t yet put it all together on the field. In 2017, the 4th-round dice were rolled on Will Toffey. Whereas his predecessors Covey and Bolt had been highly ranked due to faith in their raw physical talent (respectively Nos. 68 and 67 on MLB Pipeline pre-draft boards; A’s took them at 131st and 128th), Toffey is the opposite, regarded as a competitor who might continue to out-perform his tools (No. 196 on MLBP pre-draft board; A’s took him at 111th). Toffey does bring a couple of gifts in his strong arm and well-regarded fielding at third base. But on the offensive side of the ball he isn’t as highly touted, even despite posting a huge junior season in a tough college conference. His power is a particular question mark, notes Melissa Lockard at Oakland Clubhouse, but even if it never develops then his plate discipline could help make up for it. In his pro debut at Low-A Vermont he walked nearly as much as he struck out and was one of the team leaders in making contact. He got a Bill Mueller comp from A’s scouting director Erik Kubota, via Athletics Farm. Even the 1st round of the MLB draft is ultimately a crapshoot, and if you find a keeper in the 4th then you really won the lotto. The last A’s 4th-rounder to carve out an extended MLB career was 2004 selection Ryan Webb, and since then only Max Stassi (‘09) and Covey (‘13) have even appeared in the bigs. Our current CPL includes 2012 pick B.J. Boyd and now Toffey, and Bolt will probably make it too. Toffey’s next task toward beating the odds will likely be High-A Stockton — if he’s got any power at all then it’ll show up there. Here is the process: Five candidates will be listed on the ballot. The voting will take place in the comments section. I will start with a comment listing all five players, and then I will respond to that with five new comments in the style of “Vote: Play[...]