The bar from last week’s Green and Gold Report was too high for this week’s to meet. A 13-game winning streak is never easy to replicate. But the A’s saw a series of changes. After Tuesday’s game, the A’s were riding with the best record in baseball. Only the last two losses may have eluded the A’s success from the fans’ view. The team’s bullpen, which has been a strength all season, surrendered 11 earned runs in these past two games. The starting rotation also remains a big question mark for the team.
The A’s still stand atop the AL West, and as has happened all season, new names emerged and came up big for the team this week. Meanwhile, some of the team’s top performers going into the week reminded us that every long season comes with a set of struggles. Here is this week’s Green And Gold Report.
News of the Week
Marcus Semien Makes First Return to the Bay
A’s fans had to face the bitter reality of longtime shortstop Marcus Semien departing for free agency. Semien had been a big clubhouse leader and everyday player for the A’s since 2015 and made his first return to the bay on Monday night. This is the place where it all got started for him. A graduate of nearby St. Mary’s High School and the University of California Berkeley, Semien was greeted with a warm welcome of applause from the fans. Former coaches and teammates were also happy to see him. Semien had a fairly productive series against his former team. He went 7-for-19 with a home run in the four game series.
A’s Re-acquire Prospect Outfielder Skye Bolt
On Wednesday, Bolt was traded from the San Francisco Giants in exchange for cash considerations, according to CBS Sports. The speedy switch-hitting outfielder will get another crack at joining the A’s outfield depth. This comes just after the A’s released rule 5 draft pick outfielder Ka’ai Tom a couple of weeks ago.
LHP Jesus Luzardo (finger): Following a rough Saturday outing on the mound, Luzardo landed on the injured list on Sunday. He reportedly hit his hand against a desk while playing a video game prior to his start. The X-Ray revealed a hairline fracture in his pinkie finger according to Matt Kawahara via twitter. He is expected to be out until at least June 1 according to CBS Sports. Thankfully another piece of the A’s rotation in Mike Fiers returned this week so the team still has a five man rotation. But some inconsistencies from their starters and recent bullpen woes remain a concern for the team.
RHP J.B. Wendelken (Oblique): On May 2nd the team placed reliever Wendelken on the injured list with a strained left oblique strain. They called up reliever Jordan Weems from the alternate site as Wendelken is expected to be out till at least May 11 according to CBS Sports.
Players of the Week
OF Ramon Laureano (.364/.447/.788): Laureano has done it all this season. He’s made game changing plays with both his explosive speed and laser arm in the field, as well as with his aggressive base stealing. This week he went on a hitting tear, ushering in his power threat. He homered in 4-of-5 games between Saturday and Wednesday while making game changing catches as if they were routine fly balls. It seems the A’s have yet another power hitting bat at the top of their order.
LHP Cole Irvin (14 innings pitched, 17 strikeouts, 1.93 ERA, 0.86 WHIP): Irvin had his best outing of the season, allowing just one earned run through eight scoreless innings of work against an always threatening Toronto Blue Jays lineup. In his two outings this week, Irvin has struck out 10.93 strikeouts through nine. While Irvin is limited in his velocity compared to many other starters, he has found ways to effectively locate his pitches and throw batters off with some of the other pitches in his repertoire. So far, Irvin has been one bright breakout in the A’s starting rotation. He leads starters with a 3.09 ERA. The starting pitching role was far from anything he expected to have when the team acquired him this offseason, but he’s stepped up early.
Down The Farm
The minor league baseball seasons finally got underway on Tuesday for the first time since 2019. The entirely of last season was canceled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. While the A’s do not have as exciting of a class of prospects, it’s great to see the future of the team finally return to regular competition. Here are the A’s top performer’s for the Triple A Las Vegas Aviators;
INF Pete Kozma (.333/.600/.333): This infielder showed a lot of promise in spring training. Yet he was unable to crack the opening day roster. As a hitter with limited power but proven fielding potential at the professional level, Kozma could be a safe, experienced choice for the A’s to call-up further down the line this season.
RHP James Kaprielian (4.2 innings pitched, 5 strikeouts, 3.86 ERA, 1.93 WHIP): Kaprielian showed off some nasty breaking stuff for the A’s during spring training. With his command potentially being an issue and a stacked bullpen going into the season, the team assigned the 27-year-old to their minor league site. But anything can happen throughout this long 162-game season, especially with the team’s recent bullpen struggles.
Wednesday April 28: Athletics 0 Rays 2
Thursday April 29: Athletics 3 Rays 2
Friday April 30: Athletics 2 Orioles 3
Saturday May 1: Athletics 4 Orioles 8
Sunday May 2: Athletics 7 Orioles 5
Monday May 3: Athletics 5 Blue Jays 4
Tuesday May 4: Athletics 4 Blue Jays 1
Wednesday May 5: Athletics 4 Blue Jays 9
Thursday May 6: Athletics 4 Blue Jays 10
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