Joe Boyle and Joey Estes look sharp in Athletics spring opener

Pitchers Joe Boyle and Joey Estes are longshots to make the opening day roster, but both put up strong performances in the spring opener
Oakland Athletics v Minnesota Twins
Oakland Athletics v Minnesota Twins / Stephen Maturen/GettyImages
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The Oakland Athletics kicked off spring training with a 5-1 loss to the Rockies. Despite the scoreboard, there are a number of positive takeaways from today's game.

Righty Joe Boyle started the game for the Athletics and looked as sharp as he did in September of last season. Boyle was throwing his fastball between 99-101 mph all afternoon and was able to notch 3 strikeouts in his 2 inning outing.

Boyle's primary issue in the minors was his inability to control his pitches. Prior to last year's call-up, he was walking nearly 20% of batters in the Reds' minor league system. He cut that number drastically during his cup of coffee in Oakland and didn't walk a single batter this afternoon.

This will be a common theme throughout the spring but if Boyle is truly able to reign it in and control his pitches, he has the chance for a massive breakout season. He has electric stuff, with a fastball that touches triple digits and a wipeout slider to match. He's a big name to keep an eye on this spring.

Prospect Joey Estes took the mound today as well, touching 96 with the fastball while tabbing a pair of strikeouts in 2 innings and giving up no hits, no walks, and no runs.

The 22 year old pitched 10 innings in Oakland last year and though he's an unlikely bet to make the opening day roster, he should be one of the first guys to get a crack in the rotation when the injury bug inevitably hits.

The newly acquired Osvaldo Bido got his first appearance today as well. Bido struck out two and gave up a home run to Rockies prospect Michael Toglia in the fifth inning. The additions of Alex Wood and Ross Stripling essentially eliminated any chance of Bido making the team out of camp, but the righty looked solid outside of the homer.

Esteury Ruiz scored the Athletics only run of the day on an opposite field home run in the third inning off lefty Ty Blach. It's a good sign to see Ruiz hitting the ball hard on the first day of spring. He's expected to be a big part of this roster for the foreseeable future.

Overall, the Athletics mustered just three hits on the day. Zack Gelof and JJ Bleday each drew a walk but the team wasn't able to kick the offense into gear.

The Athletics return tomorrow at 12:05pm PST to face off against the Dodgers at Camelback Ranch.

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