A's Mailbag: Will Grant Green make the jump?

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A's Mailbag: Will Grant Green make the jump?

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OAKLAND -- Every Friday I will be answering your questions here. Please tweet me @CaseyPrattCSN or email me at cpratt@comcastsportsnet.com throughout the week if you would like to see your questions answered. Twitter@CaseyPrattCSN Last night felt like a playoff win to me. Is that a bad thing? v (@foursixthreeDP) July 20, 2012CP: I can't say that is ever a bad thing. The playoffs have eluded the A's since 2006. Right now they are playing elite caliber baseball. They are 11-2 in the month of July which makes them hottest team in Major League baseball. They have proven they can hang with the American League West-leading Texas Rangers on the field, now they have a chance to prove they should be considered a playoff contender against the New York Yankees. Why shouldn't it feel like a playoff win? They beat the best team in baseball on Friday. A team that had clobbered them nine-straight times in Oakland. The A's are half a game out of the second Wild Card spot and 1.5 games behind the Angels for the first Wild Card spot. @CaseyPrattCSN Will the A's success in 2012 influence the process for a new stadium? Bob Kotur (@RKotur) July 20, 2012CP: At this rate I don't think anything will influence the A's stadium decision. It has been 1,223 days since the MLB started looking into the stadium issue. At this point they better have done every piece of research they can. If anything, strong play from the A's hurts their cause on this front. It proves to MLB that the Oakland franchise can still compete in their current setting. Commissioner Bud Selig surely already knows what he wants to do. I think it is a matter of appeasing the Giants for potentially losing their territorial rights. Why else would it be taking this long? If Selig wanted the A's to stay in Oakland he could have just make that ruling already and been done with it. @CaseyPrattCSN Who is the next player in the farm system you think could be a big help for the A's down the stretch! Will MacNeil (@RFWill149) July 20, 2012CP: Dan Straily comes to mind immediately. He leads all of professional baseball with 162 strikeouts and has a minuscule 1.10 ERA with Sacramento in his six games there. I think Straily could be the biggest farm player to influence the A's down the stretch even if he doesn't get called up. Say he gets traded for a quality hitter for example, then he would be helping the A's down the stretch that way. If the A's feel they can trade one of their starting pitchers, then he could get the call. The A's have a great problem right now -- too much pitching. They say you can never have enough good pitching, well the A's are putting that theory to the test. Brett Anderson is on the mend as is Brandon McCarthy. It is also starting to look like Dallas Braden is getting closer to a rehab starts as well. As far as offensive players in Triple-A, look for Michael Taylor, Collin Cowgill, Grant Green, and Eric Sogard to come into play if anyone gets injured. You'll also see them when rosters expand.@CaseyPrattCSN Do you see either Michael Choice or Grant Green getting called up at any point this season? Jamal Mohsin (@JamalM_510) July 20, 2012CP: I don't see any chance Michael Choice gets called up to Oakland. He hit his 10th homer last night for Midland though. Choice is batting .285 and has 87 strikeouts in 89 games. Last season in Stockton he struck out 134 times in 118 games. He has to continue to cut down his strikeout numbers. By the end of the year he might get bumped up to Triple-A. Grant Green will be on the A's by the end of this season. It will probably come as a September call up though. A's manager Bob Melvin told me that there are a couple guys ahead of Green at this point. He is doing a fine job offensively but he is still a man without a true position. Green took the time to explain his development process with me and you can hear from him what he thinks of his chances to find a permanent positionhere. @CaseyPrattCSN Is trading Coco ONLY way to get Smith AND Gomes into lineup every day? If so, do you support it? What can we get in return? Christopher Ady (@MrChris80) July 20, 2012CP: Trading Coco Crisp will be the only way to get Seth Smith and Jonny Gomes in the lineup. It will also be the only way to get Chris Carter and Brandon Moss in the same lineup as well. I'd rather see Carter and Moss get the priority over a SmithGomes tandem. Could trading Crisp make sense? Yes. Because I think it gives the A's more flexibility. Yoenis Cespedes can then play center field again, left field can go to SmithGomes. Carter and Moss can alternate at 1BDH. Seems like the A's don't lose too much offense or defense in that scenario. As far as what Crisp would fetch at the deadline, I don't think it's too much. He is a solid player but he is owed 7M next year and has a 1M buyout option for 2014. I'd expect some Single-A or Double-A level prospects if the A's aren't eating that salary as part of the trade. This is all just one man's opinion however.@CaseyPrattCSN why does Josh Reddick where a mouth piece? Steve Bettencourt (@babranch05) July 20, 2012CP: Josh Reddick started wearing the mouth piece to protect a loose filling. I can't imagine he hasn't had a chance to see a dentist yet but it is possible he hasn't. Baseball players are superstitious types. Maybe he found success with it in and has since decided to keep it going. I'll try and remember to ask him next time I talk to him and give you an update. EMAIL:We've heard a lot about the high temperatures and humidity hitting parts of the country this summer. Other than staying hydrated, how else do A's players modify their routines before, during and after the games to withstand the heat since they're not as used to it as teams from Texas, for example? --JeanneCP: Remember that a lot of A's players weren't born and raised in our comfortable East Bay climate. I am sure many of them dealt with the humidity and heat their whole lives and thus know how to handle it. As far as combating the elements go, the team provides them with everything imaginable and they have trainers to make sure they are on the right track.

A's spring training Day 14: A one-sided Cactus League rivalry

A's spring training Day 14: A one-sided Cactus League rivalry

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Debate the significance of an A’s exhibition win over the Giants if you will, but don’t question its significance to Bob Melvin.

Beating the team in black and orange means a lot to Oakland’s manager no matter what the calendar reads. On Monday, the teams played a late-February game under an overcast sky and occasional light rain at Scottsdale Stadium.

Not exactly regular-season like conditions. And with both teams’ everyday players having exited the game early, the A’s held on for a 5-4 victory that ran their Cactus League winning streak to seven over the Giants.

Counting exhibitions in the Bay Area too, the A’s are 18-6 against their Bay Area rival in their past 24 spring games.

“Look, when the Giants and A’s play, there’s a little more to it,” said Melvin, who grew up in the Bay Area and played three seasons for the Giants. “You play your spring games and you’re excited about getting to play these guys. And, especially, our youngsters should be. They know the way I feel about it. The whole Bay Area is watching when we play each other.”

Matt Joyce homered deep to right off Jeff Samardzija in the top of the first, giving the first-year Athletic two home runs in two games with his new club. Stephen Vogt blooped an RBI single in the first and Ryon Healy doubled home two runs in the second.

The Giants rallied to tie it 4-4 in the seventh with three runs off minor league reliever Trey Cochran-Gill. But Adam Rosales drew a bases-loaded walk in the eighth to give the A’s the lead back as they posted their first victory in three Cactus League games this spring.

NOTEWORTHY: Starters Kendall Graveman and Sean Manaea both threw for the A’s, with Manaea in particular earning strong praise for his two scoreless innings.

The lefty felt very good about his slider and changeup, and according to Healy, when he went to the plate for his third at-bat, Giants catcher Buster Posey commented on how good Manaea’s changeup looked. Manaea got both Posey and Kelby Tomlinson swinging on the pitch in the third.

It was the slider, his third-best pitch, that Manaea is trying to hone.

“I was really, really happy with how my slider was,” he said. “It was probably the best one I’ve thrown in a couple years. It just felt really good out of my hand and had some good movement.”

Added Melvin: “If he gets that one to (the) back foot of a rightie, now he’s going to have three plus-pitches.”

Graveman escaped his one and only inning of work unscored upon when he stranded runners on second and third.

NEW GUYS: Joyce, likely to platoon in right field with Mark Canha, has played in two exhibitions, and twice he’s gone deep on 1-2 fastballs that caught the inner half of the plate. On Monday, Melvin batted him second and Joyce went deep off Samardzija.

“I can’t even talk to that guy,” Healy said with a smile. “He says he’s just trying to put the bat on the ball, and he has two homers.”

As for another first-year Athletic, there’s still no concrete word on when reliever Santiago Casilla will report to camp. He remains held up in the Dominican Republic as the visa process plays out. Melvin admitted a bit of concern just because Casilla is slated to play for his national team in the World Baseball Classic, and Melvin would like to get Casilla in camp for a stretch before he departs for that.

The Dominican Republic plays its first game March 9 in Miami.

“I’d like to get him here — I’d like to meet him,” Melvin said. “It’s not his fault.”

Melvin said a typical schedule would have relievers appearing in nine or 10 exhibitions before the team heads north, but that he didn’t think that would be necessary for Casilla. It’s also worth noting that none of the A’s other front-line relievers have pitched in their first game yet.

ODDS AND ENDS: Vogt, getting his first start behind the plate, and Rajai Davis each had two hits. … Shortstop Franklin Barreto, the A’s top prospect, played the final four innings at second base. Yairo Munoz, another highly touted infield prospect who’s in his first big league camp, entered in the same inning at third base. … Melvin praised reliever Kyle Finnegan, who came over from minor league camp for the day and handled the ninth for the save.

 

Despite uncertain role in 2017, Healy will be 'happy camper'

Despite uncertain role in 2017, Healy will be 'happy camper'

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — For a player who impressed so much in the second half last season, Ryon Healy’s role remains a bit hazy entering 2017.

The A’s insist he’ll get consistent at-bats — the question is where. As the roster shapes up, Healy will bounce between first base, designated hitter and occasional time at third base when newcomer Trevor Plouffe isn’t in the lineup.

Healy sounds game for whatever might be in store, when asked if he’d rather be guaranteed to play in the field every day.

“I think that’s any player,” Healy said. “But as long as I’m on the big league roster and I’m playing every day in the lineup and contributing to the A’s winning ballgames, I’m going to be a happy camper, that’s for sure.”

Healy earned his first big league promotion as the A’s came out of the All-Star break last summer. He hit .305 in 73 games as Oakland’s everyday third baseman, and he led American League rookies in hits (82) and extra-base hits (33) in the second half.

But when the A’s signed Plouffe in the offseason to man third base, it complicated Healy’s situation because Yonder Alonso remains as the presumed first baseman against right-handed pitchers. Healy, 25, was primarily a first baseman until last season, and he’ll spend this spring getting ready at both corner spots, though A’s Bob Melvin said first base will be more of a priority.

Melvin has talked with Healy already to make sure they’re on the same page about how he’s likely to be used.

“We’ve had conversations with that,” Melvin said. “Shoot, everybody wants to get into a routine and have one spot to play and hit one place in the lineup. That’s just not how we do things here. You try to communicate that to him ahead of time and prepare him for the role he will have. And he’ll prepare very well for it.” Healy, bothered by some quadriceps soreness early in camp, started at first in his exhibition debut Monday and lined a two-run double to left-center off Giants reliever Kraig Sitton.

There are similarities between first and third in that they’re both corner infield spots. But there are also differences that he’s gone over with infield coach Chip Hale.

“They’re both very reactionary positions, but we’ve discussed how to attack ground balls because third base you need to be a little more aggressive because of the throw across the diamond,” Healy said. “First base, you can drop-step a little bit, let the hops get to you. … I just gotta make sure I get quality reps at both and I’ll be OK.”