Matt Chapman Continues to Impress With His Fourth Home Run of the Spring
Oakland Athletics Roundup: Tuesday, March 22
Bassitt was hit by a comebacker during the game, but he appeared to be okay. After a few practice tosses, he was able to stay in the game. This is the second time in less than a week that an A’s pitcher has been struck by a comebacker, after Felix Doubront took a line drive to the back of the knee on Saturday.
Aside from that brief injury scare, here are the top three takeaways from Monday’s game:
- Matt Chapman has quickly put himself in the spotlight with an outstanding Spring Training performance. Monday’s homer was his fourth of the spring, despite having just 30 at-bats. While most of the A’s other prospects have been sent over to minor league camp already, Chapman has survived the first few rounds of reassignments. Of course, this has no bearing on his ability to make the major league club – he’s still quite a distance from making his big league debut, because he spent last year at the High-A level and still has plenty of development time left. However, he has drawn attention to himself with an outstanding display of power and defensive ability, and that will earn him a considerable amount of interest going forward, from both fans and the front office alike.
- Starter Chris Bassitt had what would be considered a rough outing in a regular season game, but after his outing, he spoke to Chris Haft of MLB.com about where he’s at in his preparations for the season:
"“I feel like I’m just tweaking stuff at this point, where in the past I was so worried about throwing strikes. I feel way ahead of where I used to be at this point, and I feel great going into the season."
- The bullpen looked especially sharp on Monday. Fernando Rodriguez pitched 1.2 innings, allowing just one hit. Patrick Schuster, a 25-year-old lefty, has been unexpectedly good this spring. The A’s signed him to a minor league deal over the winter, and so far, he’s impressed with 4.2 innings of scoreless baseball, including six strikeouts. Expect to see him in an A’s uniform at some point later this season, even if only briefly. Finally, Daniel Coulombe had a fairly clean inning – just one walk, as he picked up his first save of camp.
In Case You Missed It
Have A’s Fans Seen the Last of Coco Crisp? – Coco Crisp might be owed a lot of money, but should that matter to the Athletics? Rich Paloma analyzes the roster crunch and why Crisp may be the odd man out on Opening Day.
Injury Updates: Sam Fuld, Sean Doolittle, Jarrod Parker – For those who didn’t see it yesteday, Sam Fuld is hurt, Sean Doolittle is improving, and Jarrod Parker is scheduled for surgery. Read more here.
Ryan Madson Can Fix the A’s Bullpen Woes – Can reliever Ryan Madson match his 2015 results? One might argue that he’s the perfect candidate to fix the Athletics’ bullpen issues, given his consistent history of success.
The Best Center Fielder in A’s History – Mark Sigmon takes a look at three of the all-time greatest center fielders in Athletics history. But which one is the best? Be sure to check out his pick.
Around the Web
Bleacher Report: Win-Loss Predictions for Every Team – On Monday, Bleacher Report featured-columnist Joel Reuter shared his predictions for the final win-loss record of every MLB team in 2016, and the Athletics were ranked with a surprisingly high winning percentage. No, they weren’t division winners, or even above .500 – but it was a major improvement over last season.
Reuter suggested that while other teams might be better overall, the Athletics did a nice job of adding pieces to fix their 2015 shortcomings. He also named a few specific pickups take them from the bottom of the pack to somewhere in the middle. Whether you think the team is playoff-bound or have already given up hope, this is a good guide to each team’s off-season improvements. Be sure to check it out!