The Oakland Athletics had four days off during the All-Star Break, and hopefully, that will be more than enough time to recharge and come back ready to reclaim the division. In the meantime, catcher Stephen Vogt made an appearance in the Midsummer Classic, although he went 0-for-1 with a strikeout. Sonny Gray also received All-Star honors, but did not pitch.
In Case You Missed It
Andrew Dambrauskas wrote about four changes the A’s can make as they begin the second half that will make them contenders instead of sellers, and Katrina Putnam argued that Billy Burns was deserving of an All-Star nod, despite being overlooked in the voting process.
Rumors, Transactions and Trades:
Jesse Hahn was placed on the disabled list before the break, but the A’s announced that they expect him to miss significant amounts of time as he recovers from a flexor tendon injury. He felt elbow tightness, leading to an MRI that diagnosed the problem and put him out of commission for quite a while.
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The A’s will go with Chris Bassitt when they finally need a starter, which won’t be until July 25th. Bassitt is 0-2 with a 2.93 ERA in three starts. He walked 11 and hit five batters in limited appearances prior to the All-Star break , so it will be important for him to prove he can limit the traffic going forward.
Around the Minors
The Nashville Sounds returned from the All-Star break with an extra-innings loss on Thursday, as Barry Zito made his first start of the second half. Zito has a 3.57 ERA in 19 starts. Joey Wendle went 3-for-5, and Carson Blair continued to hit well after his call up from Double-A Midland. He’s now batting .320 over his last seven games.
Midland Rockhounds pitchers Jonathan Joseph was named the Texas League Player of the week last week, when he allowed just one run between his two starts, earning two wins. Three other Rockhounds players have also won Player of the Week honors this year: Blair, Chris Jensen and Tim Atherton.
Elsewhere in Baseball
The FanSided crew put together a list of the biggest Franchise Four snubs. Check out what they think A’s fans got wrong in the voting.
Nolan Writin’ broke down all aspects of the Texas Rangers’ club, including which areas Texas is most likely to seek trades in.
This week will be intense, as the Oakland Athletics kick off what will either be an amazing second-half run, or the finish to a long and miserable season. Stay tuned.