A's Lineup: Should Seth Smith bat second?


A's Lineup: Should Seth Smith bat second?

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Oakland Athletics (37-39) lineup1. Coco Crisp (S) CF
2. Jemile Weeks (S) 2B
3. Josh Reddick (L) RF
4. Yoenis Cespedes (R) DH
5. Seth Smith (L) LF
6. Brandon Inge (R) 3B
7. Brandon Moss (L) 1B
8. Derek Norris (R) C
9. Cliff Pennington (S) SS
Instant AnalysisYoenis Cespedes plays his second consecutive game as the designated hitter after playing nine innings in center field on Tuesday. This is the standard lineup A's manager Bob Melvin likes to go with. At some point I wonder if Melvin will explore batting Seth Smith second and moving Jemile Weeks down. Weeks is hitting .216 in the two-spot of the A's lineup. He does have the highest walk rate (20) in the AL since June 15 though. Smith has a .380 on-base percentage, which ranks him ninth in the AL. Smith is also hitting .333 against left-handed pitchers since June 4. Smith, who bats lefty, was previously used as a platoon hitter. Top of the OrderCoco Crisp continued his torrid stretch at the plate, hitting a leadoff homer for the A's on Wednesday. It was his fifth career leadoff home run. He is now batting .333 (15 for 45) with eight runs, seven walks, and six stolen bases in 12 games atop the A's lineup. Heart of the OrderCespedes is hitting .583 (7-for-12) with one homer, two doubles, one triple, and four RBIs against the Rangers. He hit his ninth home run on Wednesday. He is tied for first in the AL in home runs by a rookie -- even though he has missed 31 games with injury. Brandon Inge is batting .444 (4-for-9), with a homer and two walks in his career against Rangers' starting pitcher Scott Feldman. That might be what he needs to get back on track. He is 6-for-41 with 15 strikeouts over his last 12 gamesBottom of the OrderCliff Pennington is 2-for-28 in his last nine games. He is currently hitless in his last 17 at-bats. Derek Norris is back in the lineup as his timeshare with Kurt Suzuki continues. Suzuki has actually had some success against Feldman, hitting .294 (5-for-17).Texas Rangers (47-29) lineup
1. Ian Kinsler (R) 2B
2. Elvis Andrus (R) SS
3. Josh Hamilton (L) LF
4. Adrian Beltre (R) 3B
5. Michael Young (R) 1B
6. Nelson Cruz (R) DH
7. David Murphy (L) RF
8. Yorvit Torrealba (R) C
9. Leonys Martin (L) CF

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from A's first road sweep of 2017

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from A's first road sweep of 2017


The A’s sprung to life offensively in the late innings Sunday and polished off their first road sweep of 2017.

They scored all five of their runs over the final three innings to beat the Chicago White Sox 5-3, continuing an odd stretch of streakiness. The A’s swept the New York Yankees in four at the Coliseum, then turned around and dropped four in a row to the Houston Astros before arriving in Chicago and taking all three from the Sox. It’s their first sweep on the road since they won four in Kansas City from Sept. 12-15 of last season.

The weekend’s events provided a morale boost for a team that began the series an American League-worst 9-25 away from home. The sweep also featured numerous contributions from a pack of recently promoted young players fresh from the minors.

The A’s had no answer for left-hander Derek Holland through six-plus innings, mustering just four hits off the veteran. But trailing 2-0, they got on the board with Jed Lowrie’s pinch-hit RBI double in the seventh. The next inning, Khris Davis singled home the tying run and Yonder Alonso followed with a go-ahead single down the left-field line to put the A’s up 3-2.

They tacked on two insurance runs in the ninth on back-to-back homers from Adam Rosales and Matt Joyce.

Sonny rebounds: Sonny Gray (3-3) avoided the early trouble that plagued his last start, working seven innings and being rewarded with a victory thanks to the A’s eighth-inning rally. He struck out seven and walked just one. That was a key as Gray had issued seven free passes combined in his previous two starts. Adam Engel hit a 2-1 fastball for a homer in the third, then Jose Abreu scored on a passed ball in the fourth to give Chicago a 2-0 lead. But Gray held the Sox to just four hits over his seven innings.

Sign of things to come? Franklin Barreto got a look as the No. 2 hitter in the order Sunday, a spot that some scouts feel he’ll be well suited for as his career unfolds. He singled to the opposite field in his first at-bat, then struck out looking in his next two trips to the plate. In the eighth, his broken-bat single to left jumpstarted Oakland’s two-run go-ahead rally. Barreto is 4-for-10 in his first two games with the big club.

Joyce provides a lift off the bench: Joyce entered as a pinch runner in the seventh and connected for his 10th homer, right after Rosales had gone deep himself. Joyce became the fourth Athletic to crack double figures in homers, and the A’s improved to 31-26 when they hit at least one home run (they’re 3-16 when they don’t).

Doo does it again: Lefty reliever Sean Doolittle continued to deal since coming off the disabled list. He threw a scoreless eighth with two strikeouts and has allowed just one hit over five innings in six appearances since his return.

An unwanted milestone: The Sox scored their second run on a passed ball by Josh Phegley, which accounted for Oakland’s 50th unearned run, most in the majors. They had just 43 unearned runs all of last season.

Former A's catcher Stephen Vogt claimed by NL Central team

Former A's catcher Stephen Vogt claimed by NL Central team

A new team believes in Stephen Vogt.

The former A's catcher, who was designated for assignment on Thursday, was claimed by the Milwaukee Brewers on Sunday.

The A's announced the transaction shortly before their game against the White Sox.

News of the Brewers making the waiver claim was first reported by ESPN.

The Brewers were the only team to place a waiver claim on Vogt, according to The San Francisco Chronicle.

Vogt, a clubhouse leader and one of the longest tenured A's, hit just .217 with four home runs and 20 RBI in 54 games this season.