Yoenis CespedesCespedes, who was eligible to return from the disabled list on Tuesday, hit in the indoor batting cage again. All reports about his injured left hand are positive. Friday, manager Bob Melvin said Cespedes will likely have to go on a rehab assignment before being activated. "He hit live in the cage today, and felt good no problems there," Melvin said. "He will hit live on the field tomorrow. If that's the case, and he feels good, then we'll probably target a date for him to go out and get a few at-bats."According to the A's, Cespedes has an extreme work ethic, and lives, sleeps, and eats baseball. Their biggest concern is protecting him from himself. "I think it all depends on how he feels," Melvin says. "He is a guy that likes to feel comfortable. The other day when he was in the cage it was more about swinging and making sure he didn't feel his hand. Today they said he was a little frustrated with some of his swings, that he wanted his mechanics to be perfect."ETA: Could return on this road trip.Brandon IngeAs we first reported: Inge has been sent to Triple-A Sacramento.ETA: May 28Graham GodfreyGodfrey hasn't been ruled out of making his next start. He was called up to take Brandon McCarthy's spot in the rotation on Tuesday, but injured the middle finger on his pitching hand before his start. "I heard he feels better," Melvin said. "We'll see how he is again tomorrow. Whether or not we are throwing a bullpen and where we are, but I am not sure yet." ETA: Could make next startBrandon McCarthy I watched McCarthy play catch in the outfield on Friday before the game. He was smiling as he walked off the field. "McCarthy just played catch today," Melvin said. "So we'll probably talk about that a bit later." On Tuesday Brandon McCarthy sat down with pitching coach Curt Young and began to map out some plans for his return. He remains on pace to return from the 15-day disabled list when eligible to return on June 2. Hes doing some strengthening stuff, stabilization stuff with us and will probably look to pick up a ball hopefully at the latter half of the week," Paparesta said on Tuesday. "And we are targeting obviously his return date of June 2."ETA: June 2Brett AndersonAnderson experienced some forearm soreness during his throwing program. According to the A's he is still ahead of schedule in his recovery from Tommy John surgery. Because of the severity of the type of surgery Anderson had, the A's don't want to rush him. "What you don't want to do is start him up and then stop him, then start him up and stop him again," Paparesta said on Tuesday. "We've got a pretty good process with him and he hasn't had an issue so far."ETA: TBDDallas BradenBraden spent the weekend with the team in San Francisco and has been at the Coliseum this home stand. Braden is not near returning at this point. "I want to say it was about two and a half weeks ago, three weeks that he started playing some catch 45, 60 feet, " Paparesta said. "Dallas wasnt having any pain at that point in time, but he felt like he just wasnt as strong as he needs to be, so we decided hey, lets pull the reigns back. Lets get you as strong as you need to be."ETA: TBD
OAKLAND — Some 10-9 records are better than others, and so it is that the A’s can hit the road for a nine-game trip feeling pretty good about themselves.
Their just-completed homestand began with Opening Night starter Kendall Graveman leaving a game early and landing on the disabled list. That was coupled with news that shortstop Marcus Semien would be lost for two months or more with a fractured wrist.
The A’s responded to those developments with a five-game winning streak that was halted by Sunday’s 11-1 rout at the hands of the Seattle Mariners.
The A’s went 5-4 on the homestand, holding their ground after a heavy dose of injury misfortune, and now the outlook changes just a bit. The focus shifts from the players joining the D.L. to those that could soon return to provide a boost.
Graveman, who has a strained right shoulder, is scheduled to throw off the mound Monday. If that goes well, expect him to be activated sometime in the early portion of the upcoming trip. Sonny Gray, who has been out since injuring a side muscle early in Cactus League games, is set to throw Thursday for Triple-A Nashville after an encouraging rehab outing Saturday for Single-A Stockton.
If Gray comes out of Thursday’s start well, look for the 2015 All-Star to join the active roster and pitch sometime against Minnesota in the final series of this road trip. Nothing can be taken for granted until both pitchers actually return healthy, but it’s a promising scenario to possibly add two starters of their caliber as April turns to May.
“I think any time you look up and you’re over .500 and you’ve had a great homestand and you’re missing your best two pitchers, that’s something to be pleased about,” catcher Stephen Vogt said. “Getting Kendall back is huge. And Sonny obviously did great last night, and felt great, which is more important than the results.
“We’re excited to get those two guys back but in the meantime, we’re gonna continue to keep playing the way we are because we’re playing really good baseball and we’ll just keep things rolling.”
It was clear early on Sunday that a five-game winning streak wouldn’t reach six. The Mariners led 2-0 in the third when Andrew Triggs missed location on a 1-0 sinker and Taylor Motter launched a grand slam over the wall in left-center.
Triggs, who excelled at missing the fat part of bats over his first three starts, didn’t have the feel for his cutter Sunday. When he fell behind to Motter, the cutter is normally a pitch he would have gone to had it been working for him.
“I wasn’t commanding well,” he said. “I didn’t wanna go 1-0 to 2-0. I felt better going with the sinker. I got it down, but missed location in and out. In a perfect world, the cutter would have been great to get a groundout.”
But to this point, the A’s rotation has held firm without Gray and with the short-term absence of Graveman. Perhaps the biggest test moving forward is whether an offense that is tied for the American League lead in extra-base hits can continue to produce consistently with Semien’s absence, particularly without anyone having established themselves as the regular leadoff man.
A’s manager Bob Melvin likes what he’s seen from his team in light of the injuries.
“Every game we go out there there’s an expectation to win,” Melvin said, “and when you win multiple games in a row, you get that feeling and it’s a little more significant. So hopefully we can carry that on to the road trip. As a group, we’ve been able to manage these injuries here recently, and once we start getting guys back it’s gonna be a good thing for us.”
OAKLAND – That pristine ERA wasn’t going to last forever for Andrew Triggs, and it was no secret why things took a wayward turn for the A’s right-hander Sunday.
His command deserted him in the top of the third against Seattle, and that led to a disastrous inning that told the story in an 11-1 loss that halted the A’s five-game winning streak.
Triggs, who hadn’t allowed a single earned run in winning his first three starts of 2017, walked Robinson Cano to load the bases in the third, then issued another free pass to Nelson Cruz that forced in a run and put the Mariners up 2-0. After striking out Daniel Vogelbach, Triggs caught too much plate with a 1-0 pitch and Taylor Motter drilled it for a grand slam that made it 6-0 and put this one out of reach with the way Yovani Gallardo was pitching.
Gallardo (1-2) gave up just four hits over 6 1/3 innings as the Mariners prevented the A’s from completing their first home sweep of a four-game series since July 3-6, 2014, when they took four from Toronto.
Seattle turned it into a rout as Nelson Cruz belted a three-run homer in the seventh off Raul Alcantara, who was left in to eat up innings and surrendered two***more runs in the ninth.
Triggs (3-1), in a season-opening rotation for the first time in his major league career, opened the year by throwing 17 2/3 innings without allowing an earned run. That was the longest such season-opening streak by a starting pitcher in Oakland history. His ERA went from 0.00 to 2.42 with Sunday’s outing.
The A’s (10-9) finished 5-4 on their nine-game homestand that was shortened by one game due to a rainout Easter Sunday.
Starting pitching report
The first batter of the game was a bad omen for Triggs as he hit Jarrod Dyson to put the speedster on base. Dyson stole second and Cano knocked a run-scoring single to right field that quickly brought Triggs’ earned-run streak to an end. The right-hander was charged with six earned runs over 4 2/3 innings. He gave up five hits with four strikeouts and the two walks.
Daniel Coulombe entered in relief of Triggs in the fifth and provided 1 1/3 scoreless innings. Then Alcantara, who was replaced in the rotation by Jesse Hahn on the last road trip, was left in to soak up three innings to save the bullpen any more wear and tear in a lopsided game. He gave up five runs in three innings and walked two.
At the plate
The A’s, after falling behind early, couldn’t muster anything against Gallardo, who the Mariners acquired in an offseason trade from the Orioles. Their only run came in the seventh, when Ryon Healy led off with a double, moved to third on Trevor Plouffe’s single and scored on Matt Joyce’s sacrifice fly off reliever Tony Zych.
In the field
Neither team committed an error, making it five games in a row that the A’s have gone errorless. Gallardo was aided by an outstanding diving snag by third baseman Mike Freeman in the sixth. Matt Olson, drawing a start in right field for the A’s, made a sliding catch that turned into a double play when Daniel Vogelbach wandered too far off first base.
The homestand finale drew 24,165 fans.
The A’s take Monday off and then begin a nine-game road trip against the Angels on Tuesday. The opener pits Jesse Hahn (1-1, 3.00) against J.C. Ramirez (2-2, 6.46). On Wednesday, it’s Sean Manaea (1-1, 4.43) against Matt Shoemaker (0-1, 4.98). Then Jharel Cotton (2-2, 4.76) matches up against Ricky Nolasco (1-2, 4.76) in Thursday’s finale. All three games begin at 7:05 p.m. and air on NBC Sports California.