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Athletics' Robbie Grossman: Could see time at leadoff
Grossman is a candidate to see time as the Athletics' leadoff hitter this season, Julian McWilliams of The Athletic reports.
Grossman's on-base skills certainly pass the sniff test for a leadoff hitter, as he posted an OBP north of .360 the past three seasons. Batting ahead of players like Matt Chapman, Matt Olson and Khris Davis would help boost Grossman's stock a bit, as well. However, there's a chance that Grossman ends up in a platoon in the outfield with either Nick Martini or Dustin Fowler, which could offset the gains of batting leadoff. Grossman's role will likely become clearer over the curse of spring training.... See More ... See Less
Athletics' Sean Manaea: Remains ahead of initial timeline
Manaea (shoulder) is beginning his throwing program well ahead of his original timeline, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
Manaea underwent shoulder surgery in mid-September and was originally expected to miss all of 2019. Reports in December suggested that he could be back around the All-Star break, and this development lends more credence to that more optimistic timetable.... See More ... See Less
Athletics' Matt Chapman: Sidelined by illness
Chapman is not at practice Wednesday due to illness, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
This doesn't seem like a major issue for the third baseman. Chapman was scheduled to take Thursday off, but with this development, the Athletics will simply switch their plans and have Chapman take Wednesday off. Once he gets past this issue, the 25-year-old will be able to shift his focus back to preparing for the season opener March 20 in Tokyo.... See More ... See Less
Athletics' James Kaprielian: Feels improvement in lat
Kaprielian (shoulder) said that he isn't having any issues with his injured lat as of Wednesday, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
This is certainly encouraging news, though it should still be taken with caution given the prospect's injury history. Keprielian will be re-evaluated over the weekend with the hope of returning to throwing soon, which is roughly on track with the original two-week shutdown timetable issued last week.... See More ... See Less
Athletics' Paul Blackburn: Tabbed to start spring opener
Blackburn will start the Athletics' first Cactus League game Thursday against the Mariners, Jane Lee of MLB.com reports.
There's a decent chance the game gets rained out, but if it goes on as planned, Blackburn will toe the rubber first for Oakland. This is encouraging given that the right-hander missed the second half of the 2018 season due to elbow tendinitis. With his health woes seemingly behind him, Blackburn can focus on trying to win a major-league rotation spot. He would seems like a bit of a long shot given his 4.48 career ERA.... See More ... See Less
Athletics' Joakim Soria: Battling hip discomfort
Soria is dealing with right hip discomfort, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
The Athletics don't appear to be overly concerned about the issue, but the cold weather has encouraged them to take things slowly with any pitchers suffering any sort of tightness. Soria should be in line for a setup role in front of Blake Treinen this season provided the hip issue doesn't linger.... See More ... See Less
Athletics' Logan Verrett: Latches on with A's
Verrett signed a minor-league contract with Oakland on Monday, Athletics Farm reports.
Verrett played in South Korea during the 2018 campaign, but he'll return to the United States and has been assigned to Double-A Midland to begin spring training. He appeared in four games for the Orioles during the 2017 season, allowing five runs on 11 hits and three walks while fanning nine across 10.2 frames. Verrett figures to serve as organizational depth for the Athletics.... See More ... See Less
Athletics' Matt Chapman: Cleared for all activity
Chapman (shoulder) was cleared for all baseball activities Monday, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
Chapman started camp slowly after undergoing thumb surgery and shoulder surgery over the offseason, but he won't end up being set back for long. He'll have over a month of full practice before the Athletics head to Tokyo for an early-season opener against the Mariners on March 20.... See More ... See Less
Athletics' Franklin Barreto: Arrives in camp
Barreto's visa issues are settled and he is in camp Saturday, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
Barreto was expected to be delayed for a few more days by the same visa issues which have affected many other Venezuelan players, but the problem evidently got sorted out fairly quickly. He's ready to go for the team's first full-squad workout and shouldn't be meaningfully set back in his preseason preparation.... See More ... See Less
Athletics' Matt Chapman: Takes 20 swings Friday
Chapman (shoulder) completed a 20-swing batting practice session Friday, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
Chapman returned to facing live pitching Thursday with a 10-swing session and continued his progression Friday with no issues. A return for the March 20 season opener in Tokyo against the Mariners remains a distinct possibility for the 25-year-old.... See More ... See Less
Athletics' Wei-Chung Wang: Suffers leg strain
Wang has a minor leg strain and won't participate in Friday's throwing session, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
Wang signed a minor-league deal with the Athletics at the start of February but will have to wait to get his first throws in at spring training. The injury doesn't appear overly concerning as the 26-year-old attempts to earn a roster spot with Oakland.... See More ... See Less
Athletics' Cliff Pennington: Rejoins Athletics
Pennington signed a minor-league deal with the Athletics on Friday that includes an invitation to major-league spring training, Jane Lee of MLB.com reports.
Pennington played in 16 games with the Reds in 2018 and slashed .138/.265/.138 as he now returns to the team he was with for his first five major-league seasons. The 34-year-old has a .242/.309/.339 slash line across his 11-year career, as he is likely to serve as an utility infielder should he stick around with the Athletics.... See More ... See Less
Athletics' Grant Holmes: Entering camp healthy
Holmes (shoulder) is fully healthy heading into spring training, Jane Lee of MLB.com reports.
Holmes is finally healthy after a nagging shoulder injury limited him to just two starts with High-A Stockton in 2018. The young right-hander will likely report to Double-A Midland to open the 2019 campaign.... See More ... See Less
Athletics' Matt Chapman: Set to face live pitching
Chapman (shoulder/thumb) will progress to taking batting practice Thursday, Jane Lee of MLB.com reports.
Chapman is moving quickly in his swinging progression, as he managed to take 50 hacks in the batting cage as recently as Tuesday. For Thursday's workout, the third baseman is scheduled to take 10 swings against live pitching after going through tee and flip work in the batting cages. No official word has come forth, but this progress gives even more optimism that he'll be ready by the Athletics' season opener in Tokyo on Mar. 20.... See More ... See Less
Athletics' Tyler Alexander: Lands NRI deal with Oakland
Alexander agreed to a minor-league contract with the Athletics on Thursday that includes an invitation to spring training, Jane Lee of MLB.com reports.
The 24-year-old lefty split 2018 between Double-A and Triple-A in the Tigers' organization, producing a 4.44 ERA in 140 combined innings. Alexander will get some exposure to the major-league coaching staff to start camp, though it's unlikely that he breaks camp in the majors given that he has yet to pitch above Double-A in his professional career.... See More ... See Less
Athletics' James Kaprielian: Shut down for two weeks
Kaprielian was diagnosed with a lat strain Wednesday and will be shut down for two weeks, Jane Lee of MLB.com reports.
Injuries are nothing new for Kaprielian, who hasn't thrown a pitch in a game since 2016. Compared to his previous issues, this one appears relatively minor, but it's still hard to be optimistic, given his history.... See More ... See Less
Athletics' Robbie Grossman: Lands one-year deal with Oakland
Grossman signed a one-year contract with the Athletics on Wednesday, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports.
The 29-year-old had a solid but unspectacular season with the Twins last season, slashing .273/.367/.384 with five homers and 48 RBI. With an .859 OPS against southpaws since 2016, Grossman seems like a good platoon candidate with players like Nick Martini and Dustin Fowler. Grossman's exact role will likely become clearer as the 25-man roster takes shape this spring.... See More ... See Less
Athletics' Sean Manaea: Shifts to injured list
The Athletics placed Manaea (shoulder) on the 60-day injured list Wednesday, Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports.
The southpaw's move to the IL opens up a spot on the 40-man roster for fellow starting pitcher Brett Anderson, who officially re-signed with Oakland on a one-year, $1.5 million contract. After undergoing surgery Sept. 19, Manaea is in danger of missing the entire 2019 season, though executive vice president of baseball operations Billy Beane noted earlier in the offseason that the 27-year-old could be ready to rejoin the Athletics shortly after the All-Star break if he hits no significant snags in his recovery.... See More ... See Less