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

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

Programing note: Yankees-A's coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. with A's Pregame Live, and baseball follows at 7 p.m. from Oakland, only on Comcast SportsNet California!
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 lineup: Alonso returns for opener against Marlins

A's lineup: Alonso returns for opener against Marlins

PROGRAMMING NOTE: Marlins-A's coverage begins at 6pm with Pregame Live on NBC Sports California and streaming right here.

After missing four games, Yonder Alonso is back in the lineup as the A's begin a series against the Marlins Tuesday night.

Miami Marlins:
1. Dee Gordon (L) 2B
2. Giancarlo Stanton (R) RF
3. Christian Yelich (L) CF
4. Marcell Ozuna (R) DH
5. Justin Bour (L) 1B
6. J.T. Realmuto (R) C
7. Derek Dietrich (L) 3B
8. J.T. Riddle (L) SS
9. Ichiro Suzuki (L) LF
Jose Urena -- RHP

Oakland A's:
1. Matt Joyce (L) RF
2. Mark Canha (R) CF
3. Jed Lowrie (S) 2B
4. Khris Davis (R) LF
5. Yonder Alonso (L) 1B
6. Ryon Healy (R) DH
7. Stephen Vogt (L) C
8. Trevor Plouffe (R) 3B
9. Adam Rosales (R) SS
Jesse Hahn -- RHP

Pinder's potential 'coming to fruition' in chance with A's

Pinder's potential 'coming to fruition' in chance with A's

OAKLAND — With so much attention focused on who might be the next wave of A’s infielders coming up from the minors, Chad Pinder is making quite a statement in the present.

Pinder enjoyed another big day at the plate Sunday with a two-run homer and a double in the A’s 12-3 loss to Boston. That came on the heels of Saturday’s 460-foot home run that made him just the fifth player to reach the second deck just above the Coliseum’s first level of luxury suites.

For fans around the country who might have seen that mammoth blast on highlight shows, it likely was their first introduction to the 25-year-old Virginia native. However, those within the organization witnessed Pinder’s steady rise through the farm system since he was drafted as a sandwich pick between the second and third rounds of the 2013 draft out of Virginia Tech.

“I don’t think it’s a shock what he’s doing,” said A’s designated hitter Ryon Healy, who was part of that same draft class. “I think he’s always been that caliber of player. He’s always had that potential and it’s coming to fruition right now and it’s really fun to watch.”

Pinder, who made his big league debut in September but began this season with Triple-A Nashville, is hitting .286 over 21 games with Oakland. He’s homered in four of his past eight, and he provided a boost over the weekend as the A’s took three of four from the Red Sox.

The right-handed hitting Pinder was in the lineup all four games — with the Red Sox starting lefties on the mound for the final three contests, the A’s stacked their lineup with righties, giving Pinder a stretch of consistent playing time.

He’s provided enough of a spark that he warrants consideration to remain in the lineup even though the A’s are scheduled to face right-handers during their two-game series with the Miami Marlins that begins Tuesday at the Coliseum.

Granted, it’s not the biggest sample size either way, but Pinder is actually hitting better against righties (.348, 8-for-23) than he is against lefties (.231, 6-for-26). Four of his five home runs also have come against right-handers.

Asked whether Pinder could draw more starts against right-handers, A’s manager Bob Melvin replied: “Potentially, yeah. You want to try to stay consistent with the lineups you have, but if you have a hot hand, you look for ways to get him in there.”

Working in Pinder’s advantage is the versatility he’s shown since being recalled from Nashville on April 16. The A’s always knew Pinder could handle second, shortstop or third as needed, but he’s also shown to be a capable option in right field with a strong arm for the outfield.

Pinder was the Texas League (Double-A) Player of the Year in 2015 and ranked No. 7 on Baseball America’s preseason list of A’s prospects. He’s making the most of his time in the majors.

On the minds of many Oakland fans is when a couple more infield prospects who are impressing at Triple-A — middle infielder Franklin Barreto and third baseman Matt Chapman — might get their first crack in the bigs.

Barreto, ranked as the No. 25 overall prospect in the majors in Baseball America’s most recent ratings, is hitting .311 with six homers and is tied with Matt Olson for Nashville’s RBI lead at 27. Chapman, ranked the 95th overall prospect, missed two weeks earlier this season with a wrist injury but has shown signs of heating up offensively. He’s hitting just .237 but has eight homers and 15 RBI.

Two other Nashville players, who have both seen time with the A’s, are putting up noteworthy numbers: Olson, a first baseman/outfielder, is hitting .276 with 10 homers and 27 RBI, and corner infielder/outfielder Renato Nunez is tied for the Pacific Coast League lead with 12 homers to go with a .245 average and 25 RBI.

The A’s are working with Barreto and Chapman to hone their approach at the plate and control the strike zone. General manager David Forst maintains the A’s will be patient with both, noting that Pinder benefited last year from a full season at Triple-A before his promotion.

“The calendar needs to turn over,” Forst said. “They need at-bats. Matt missed a couple weeks with the injury, but they just need more days and more at-bats. We don’t have an ‘X’ on the calendar anywhere where this is the day. We’ll know when it’s time.”