A's notes: Bring on the Giants, etc.


A's notes: Bring on the Giants, etc.


OAKLAND -- Jarrod Parker's first start against the San Francisco Giants did not go as planned. He lasted just two innings after six earned runs. So is he looking for revenge?

"Not revenge," Parker said. "But I'd like to rebound from that tough outing."

It was one of only two of Parker's 10 starts with the A's in which he allowed more than two runs. But A's manager Bob Melvin had a litany of excuses for his young right hander.

"That was a tough outing for him," Melvin said. "He was sick, he had thrown a bunch of pitches the time before, he had a little knot in the back of his shoulder where the ball wasn't coming out of his hand as well, so there were a lot of things playing against him in that game. Whereas he will be plenty rested for this one."

The Giants did the damage back on May 18 without Pablo Sandoval or Buster Posey in the lineup. Things will be different this time as the Giants are coming off a day of rest and are finding some roster consistency. They've trotted out the same lineup one-through-seven the past three games.

Whoever the Giants play, Parker isn't concerned.

"Nothing changes," he said. "We're going to stick with our gameplan and pitch to my strengths."

Matchups between the A's and Giants are major events in the Bay Area, often times more so for the fans. But Melvin admitted Wednesday he's into it.

"I really enjoyed last year," Melvin said. "The back and forth between the fans I thought was pretty cool. I almost got too caught up in watching that. My guess is it will be well attended again and a lot of A's and Giants fans here going at it, and I think that's good for baseball in the area.

"Certainly for me, I'm excited about it."

The Giants claimed the series in San Francisco two games to one. Bay Area baseball bragging rights will be once again on the line this weekend in Oakland.

Walk-off wonder:

Brandon Inge hit a walk-off grand slam for the A's on May 9. A day later he was impressed with the celebration.

"These guys can really beat you up," Inge said of his new teammates.

So when Yoenis Cespedes, who is still nursing a strained left hamstring, ended the A's three-game series against the Dodgers with a three-run blast to left field, Inge was sure to get his revenge.

Do you go easy on a guy who's injured?

"Injuries are out the window at that point," Inge said with a smile. "Be ready."

Cespedes was, sort of. He acknowledged Kendrys Morales' home plate celebration, and the broken leg that ended his 2010 season and forced him to miss all of 2011. But was he going to take it easy?

"No chance," Cespedes said in English.

When his walk-off home run trot approached home plate -- where a bevy of teammates waited to maul him -- manager Bob Melvin admitted he was nervous.

But Cespedes looked healthy in the clubhouse, and instead of complaining about being hammered at the plate, he credited his teammates for believing in him and encouraging him as he battles back from injury.

"They told me I've hit big home runs, driven in big runs, now I needed to get that walk-off," he said through a translator. "I was thinking about it."

Give me a year:

Andrew Carignan was in the A's clubhouse with a cast that went up past his right elbow after Thursday's win. He had "Tommy John" surgery to replace the ulnar collateral ligament in his pitching elbow on Tuesday.

In good spirits? "As good as the situation will allow," Carignan said.

He won't pitch again this season after landing on the 60-day DL.

"This is the most intrusive thing I've had done," Carignan said of the reconstructive surgery. "Had a scope a while back, but that just set me back a few weeks. I hope to be throwing in games this time next year."

More on McCarthy Friday:

The team is actively monitoring Brandon McCarthy's troubled shoulder after a highly efficient outing in a 3-0 win over the Dodgers Tuesday.

"Nothing to this point would suggest that he'll miss his start," Melvin said.

Pitchers typically throw a bullpen two days prior to their upcoming start. With McCarthy slated to pitch the finale of the Bay Bridge Series Sunday against Matt Cain, he'll test his shoulder in a bullpen Friday.

Back in the saddle:

Josh Reddick has played in 67 of the A's 70 games this year. He got a day off Thursday after failing to record a hit in his last 19 at-bats.

He is expected to be back in the lineup against the Giants.

Batting first, and playing center field...:

This season, Coco Crisp was displaced in center field by Yoenis Cespedes and dropped to two in the lineup so Jemile Weeks could lead off.

The 11-year veteran authored another productive day atop the lineup playing center field Thursday.

Crisp finished the game 1-for-3, but his most important plate appearance came led off the bottom of the ninth when he drew a walk from Dodgers reliever Josh Lindblom.

"You get a guy like Coco on," Melvin said. "A lot of the focus is on him."

Lindblom's wild pitch and defensive lapse led to Yoenis Cespedes' walk-off home run, and Crisp scored the winning run.

Crisp is 11-for-26 (.423) with five stolen bases over the last eight games, of which the A's have won seven.

A's lineup: Young faces throughout as Athletics start series vs White Sox

A's lineup: Young faces throughout as Athletics start series vs White Sox

PROGRAMMING NOTE: Astros-A's coverage begins at 4 p.m. with Pregame Live on NBC Sports California and streaming right here.

The latest A's youth movement embarks on its first road trip when they visit the south side of Chicago and the White Sox. Manager Bob Melvin has issued his lineup for Game 1 of the series.

Chicago White Sox:
1. Melky Cabrera (S) LF
2. Jose Abreu (R) 1B
3. Avisail Garcia (R) RF
4. Todd Frazier (R) 3B
5. Matt Davidson (R) DH
6. Tim Anderson (R) SS
7. Yolmer Sanchez (S) 2B
8. Kevan Smith (R) C
9. Adam Engel (R) CF
RHP -- Mike Pelfrey 

Oakland A's:
1. Matt Joyce (L) LF
2. Matt Olson (L) RF
3. Jed Lowrie (S) 2B
4. Khris Davis (R) DH
5. Yonder Alonso (L) 1B
6. Ryon Healy (R) 3B
7. Chad Pinder (R) SS
8. Bruce Maxwell (L) C
9. Jaycob Brugman (L) CF
RHP -- Jharel Cotton


New-look A's continue the youth movement with Maxwell's arrival

New-look A's continue the youth movement with Maxwell's arrival

OAKLAND — The A’s set off for Chicago on Thursday evening to begin their next road trip, and how their dynamic has changed over the course of one week.

They began their most recent homestand by cutting ties with veteran third baseman Trevor Plouffe to make room for hotshot prospect Matt Chapman. On Thursday, catcher Stephen Vogt suffered the same fate as Plouffe, getting designated for assignment to make room for another young player in Bruce Maxwell.

The calendar may still read June, with more than half of the season remaining, but the A’s are cleaning house, undergoing a reboot and playing the rest of 2017 with an emphasis on what lies ahead.

Five of the nine position players in their starting lineup for Thursday’s 12-9 loss to the Houston Astros are what you would consider “future” guys — center fielder Jaycob Brugman, third baseman Ryon Healy, second baseman Chad Pinder, Maxwell and right fielder Matt Olson.

They will shuffle around the diamond a bit, and Olson may only stay with the big club until Chapman comes off the disabled list (though Olson’s full-time status in the bigs doesn’t seem far off). Regardless, the plan is crystal clear — the A’s are hitching their wagon to their young core and are prepared to let them develop at the major league level, with whatever successes and failures may come with the growth process.

“We do get excited about giving these guys playing time,” A’s general manager David Forst said before Thursday’s game.

The Astros finished off a four-game sweep of Oakland with their 12-9 victory, jumping out to a 10-0 lead and then holding on after the A’s mounted a late charge. Glance up and down the box score, and those key young players were instrumental in so much that went right for the A’s.

Maxwell went 3-for-4 with an RBI. Olson drove in two runs. Pinder had two hits and an RBI. Brugman chipped in an RBI single and walked twice. That was the silver lining on a day that starting pitcher Jesse Hahn struggled mightily, allowing nine earned runs in just two innings.

“These guys are gonna be important,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. “The last thing you want to see when you’re down 10-0 is guys just cash it in, and that wasn’t the case. These guys all have something to play for. They’re playing for jobs. And in the future, starting jobs.”

Sometime in the not-too-distant future, middle infielder Franklin Barreto will join the mix from Triple-A Nashville. For now, an immediate storyline is the health of Chapman, who joined the 10-day disabled list with a case of cellulitis (bacterial infection) in his left knee. The A’s checked him into a hospital Wednesday night to get an intravenous antibiotic, after his condition “plateaued” with oral antibiotics, according to Forst.

He said Chapman is likely to leave the hospital Friday, and the A’s are hopeful the rookie third baseman will be able to return when he’s eligible to come off the D.L. His stint can be backdated to Monday, meaning Chapman is eligible to return next Thursday at Houston.

He’s part of the youth movement that resulted in Vogt getting shown the exit. Maxwell sent Vogt a text message wishing him the best Thursday morning, and Vogt quickly responded, wishing him the best. That meant a lot to Maxwell, who didn’t learn until Thursday morning that his roster spot was coming at Vogt’s expense.

But Maxwell said he’s excited to be surrounded by so many players that he’s advanced through the minors with.

“Once we get everybody acclimated to each other and the game up here,” he said, “I feel like we could potentially set up a turning point for this organization for years to come.”