The A's called up top prospect Franklin Barreto on Saturday morning, giving the middle infielder his first major league call-up with Chad Pinder hitting the 10-day disabled list with a strained left hamstring.
In the span of just over a week, the A's have promoted both of their highest rated position player prospects in Barreto and third baseman Matt Chapman, though Chapman himself is on the DL with a knee infection.
Barreto, 21, is hitting .281 with eight home runs and 32 RBI for Triple-A Nashville. He ascended to the top of Oakland's prospect rankings shortly after being acquired from Toronto in the Josh Donaldson trade of November 2014. His bat is the strength of his game, and the A's believe he has the potential to be an excellent hitter near the top of the batting order.
Pinder injured his hamstring in the A's 3-0 win over the White Sox on Friday night.
The A’s six-game road trip got off to a promising start Friday as they try to reverse their fortunes away from Oakland.
Jharel Cotton shined over five innings before leaving because of a blister on his right hand, and the bullpen took care of things from there to complete a 3-0 victory over the Chicago White Sox.
Considering the A’s came in just 9-25 on the road so far, this was the rare occurrence of them taking control early and staying in control while wearing the road grays. Now the A’s just hope the victory didn’t come with a steep price.
In addition to Cotton (5-7) leaving after a blister opened up on his right thumb, shortstop Chad Pinder left with a strained left hamstring. The severity of that injury wasn’t immediately known.
Here’s five things you need to know from the opener of this three-game series at Guaranteed Rate Field:
-- Davis hits No. 19: Khris Davis gave Cotton some early cushion with a two-run homer off Mike Pelfrey (3-6) to center field in the first. It was Davis’ team-leading 19th long ball, but just his third in 22 games this month.
-- Another solid outing for rookie: Coming off a strong 6 1/3-inning outing against the New York Yankees, Cotton again looked in control Friday before having to leave. The right-hander held the Sox to three hits over his five innings, striking out three and walking one. It’s unknown whether the blister will affect his availability for his next start, but the A’s learned with Rich Hill last season how nagging a blister can be for a starter.
-- Ninth-inning nerves: The final score didn’t indicate how tense things got for Oakland in the ninth. Closer Santiago Casilla gave up two singles to start the inning. After Avisail Garcia flied out, Todd Frazier hit a pop up behind first. Yonder Alonso couldn’t haul it in and the ball dropped, but Alonso alertly threw to second to get a force out. Then Matt Davidson sent a deep fly ball to center that Jaycob Brugman hauled in at the warning track.
--- Joyce powers up: In the fifth, Matt Joyce lit into a 3-2 pitch from Pelfrey and homered to center field to put the A’s ahead 3-0. It was the ninth homer for Joyce, who continues to provide some of the spark the A’s are looking for in the leadoff spot.
-- A double ejection: : White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson and manager Rick Renteria both were ejected for arguing a fifth-inning play after Anderson hit a dribbler near home plate that surprised him by being called fair.