Miguel Andujar and the Athletics look to keep the runs coming in Arizona

The Oakland Athletics are set to take on the Arizona Diamondbacks this afternoon
Oakland Athletics v Los Angeles Dodgers
Oakland Athletics v Los Angeles Dodgers / Masterpress/GettyImages

The Oakland Athletics are gearing up to take on the reigning NL champion Diamondbacks this afternoon. First pitch is scheduled for 1:05 pm PST, with Joe Boyle set to take the mound.

Boyle will look to keep his hot streak alive, having posted a 2.16 ERA so far this spring across 3 appearances. Boyle is proving that he's the best option for the 5th and final rotation spot in Oakland to start the year.

We dove into Boyle's recent success earlier this morning and feel strongly that he's the best candidate for the open job. He'll look to keep that forward momentum against a good Diamondbacks lineup this afternoon.

The Athletics follow yesterday's MLB replica lineup with a softer group today. Miguel Andujar will try to keep up his torrid pace. He has 4 home runs already this spring and is looking like he could be back to being the best version of himself.

In 2018, Andujar put up a 3.7 fWAR season, hitting .297/.328/.527 with 27 home runs and 92 RBI. Between bad luck and injury, his career basically fell apart after that. He recaptured a bit of success in 2023 with the Pirates but during the four years from 2019-2022, Andujar was a well below average hitter and couldn't play passable defense anywhere on the diamond.

Whether he's able to put together a strong season in 2024 remains to be seen but it's good to see him on the right track to start the year.

Tyler Soderstrom gets the start behind the plate. The young catcher needs to pick up the pace, as he's hit just .158 with a .438 OPS this spring. His brief time in Oakland last year did not go well. His plate discipline has left a lot to be desired and he isn't hitting for enough power to make up for the lack of contact.

Soderstrom has a leg up on the other guys in the backup catcher competition but time is running thin for him to prove himself worthy of an opening day roster spot.

Hoy Park is having a strong spring and he'll look to keep that run going, earning the start in right field today. Zack Gelof gets a day as DH, while prospect Max Schuemann gets the start at the keystone.

The Athletics will face Diamondbacks right-hander Ryne Nelson who stuck in Arizona's rotation nearly all of 2023 despite putting up a 5.31 ERA. He's looked sharp in limited time this spring but we'll see if the A's bats can get to him early.