Manny set to join A's Friday


Manny set to join A's Friday

PHOENIX -- Slugger Manny Ramirez is set to join the A's at spring training on Friday, the full-squad reporting deadline, manager Bob Melvin said in his morning conversation with the media.

Melvin said it's logical to assume Ramirez will be penciled into the lineup as the starting DH as soon as he's eligible.

"I dont know why he wouldnt," Melvin said. "I mean, he's been a dominant hitter for years, now we want to see what's still there and that's part of the evaluation process. But if everything went smoothily, and he swings the bat the way he has in the past, it would make sense."

First, Ramirez must serve a 50-game suspension for violating Major League Baseballs drug policy.

Because of the suspension, Melvin said it doesn't make sense to give Ramirez the majority of spring at-bats as Oakland's DH. They will be rotated among a number of players, he said.

"Really it's one more guy because it's not like he's going to come in and get every DH at-bat. To get him ready for a 50-game layoff doesn't make sense to give him all the at-bats," Melvin said. "He'll go through the regular batting practice, hit off pitchers like everybody else will, and we'll get him into games enough where we feel we can evaluate him.

"But, I don't feel like it's wise to give him every DH at-bat. You know, he's a guy that over the course of his career, is one of those guys who can jump out of his bed in December and hit. We'll have plenty of reps for him before we get to games, and then once we get to games, it's one more guy we have to add into the mix."

Notably, he didn't rule out Ramirez also making some occasional starts in left field.

Melvin said he likes the though of the veteran presence and work ethic that Ramirez will bring to the young roster, and respects the veteran's decision to return to baseball.

Asked if he was concerned Ramirez could be a distraction, Melvin said it's more an "excitement" for players, fans and media.

Ramirez will likely have a 10-game minor league assignment at some point. Melvin said he hasn't been informed of any specifics but that it would likely be with Triple A Sacramento.

Asked whether Ramirez is more attractive to the A's as a home run hitter or a guy with a high on-base percentage, Melvin said "all of the above."

"Whether or not he hits the amount of home runs -- and I think in our ballpark it would suggest they'd go down some -- but it's hitting the ball in the gaps, and driving in some runs. And you don't have to hit home runs to drive in runs.

"If we get all the way to that point, and he's DHing for us over the course of the season, he's certainly stability in the middle of the lineup, expereince-wise that we don't seem to have right now."

Bob Melvin provides update on Bruce Maxwell after 'pretty good shot' to face


Bob Melvin provides update on Bruce Maxwell after 'pretty good shot' to face

A's catcher Bruce Maxwell has a history with foul tips and concussion concerns, so there was cause for concern after he took a direct shot during Wednesday's game against the Tigers.

With one out in the ninth inning, Tigers shortstop fouled a ball square into Maxwell's facemask. The A's catcher immediately fell backwards. As manager Bob Melvin and the team trainer checked on him, he appeared dazed and rubbed his eyes. In an attempt to try to stay in the game, reliever Liam Hendriks tossed two warmup pitches. Maxwell missed the first one, but even after he caught the second one, it was clear he wasn't right and was removed from the game.

Afterwards, Melvin was asked about Maxwell's status.

"He went through all the protocol. It doesn't look like a concussion at this point. We'll probably know more in the next couple of days," Melvin told reporters in Detroit. "Took a pretty good shot. More sore on his face because of where the impact was, which was right in the middle of his face."

Josh Phegley replaced Maxwell for the final two outs of the game. Hendriks managed to close out the 3-2 win for the A's.


Olson's home run streak ends, but Mengden dazzles as A's sweep Tigers


Olson's home run streak ends, but Mengden dazzles as A's sweep Tigers


DETROIT -- Daniel Mengden pitched seven scoreless innings, and Marcus Semien homered and drove in three runs, leading the Oakland Athletics to a 3-2 win and three-game sweep of the Detroit Tigers on Wednesday.

Mengden (2-1) allowed seven hits and struck out four, extending his scoreless streak to 16 1/3 innings and helping the A's to their fourth consecutive win. The 24-year-old right-hander missed the first two months of the season after undergoing offseason foot surgery and was making his fifth major league start this year.

Liam Hendriks got the final two outs in the ninth to earn his first save.

Anibal Sanchez (3-5) pitched well in a losing effort, allowing three hits and one run in six innings. He struck out eight and walked three.

Semien's double in the third inning brought home Bruce Maxwell, who led off with a double. His two-run homer in the seventh put the A's up 3-0.

Mengden worked out of a few jams. He got Nick Castellanos to fly out to deep right center with two out and runners on the corners in the third.

In the fifth, after allowing two-out singles to Alex Presley and Jeimer Candelario, Mengden induced another deep flyout from Miguel Cabrera.

Castellanos led off the sixth with a single and advanced on a wild pitch. Mengden got a strikeout and two popouts to leave him stranded.

The Tigers threatened in the ninth off Ryan Dull, who allowed a one-out, two-run single to Andrew Romine. Hendriks relieved Dull and got Jose Iglesias to ground into a fielder's choice before striking out Presley.

Athletics: C Bruce Maxwell left in the ninth after taking a foul ball to the mask from Iglesias. Maxwell stayed down for a few minutes and was replaced by Josh Phegley.

Castellanos extended his career-best hitting streak to 17 games with his single in the sixth. ... Oakland 1B Matt Olson went 0-for-3 with three strikeouts and a walk. He had homered in five straight games entering Wednesday, setting an A's rookie record.

Athletics: RHP Kendall Graveman (5-4, 4.39 ERA) faces Texas on Friday. The Rangers have not announced their starter.

Tigers: RHP Jordan Zimmermann (8-12, 6.18) takes on Minnesota LHP Adalberto Mejia (4-6, 4.62) on Thursday in Detroit.