Oakland mayor Libby Schaaf joins A's in 2017 team commercials

Oakland mayor Libby Schaaf joins A's in 2017 team commercials

MESA, Ariz. — The A’s gave the media a sneak peek at their 2017 commercials, with all the spots shot in and around downtown Oakland.

It goes hand-in-hand with the A’s new “Rooted In Oakland” theme, and blends with the team’s effort to embrace the city that it plans to build its new ballpark in.

Among some of the highlights from the commercials that will be unveiled bit by bit over the course of the season:

—Oakland mayor Libby Schaaf envisioning A’s manager Bob Melvin taking over mayoral duties. Melvin signals for a left-hander while sitting in Schaaf’s chair and throws his hat down in disgust while arguing with a city official.

—Third base coach Chip Hale waving players through the turnstiles during “BART Training Camp.”

—Ryon Healy, Sonny Gray and Kendall Graveman giving mascot Stomper dating advice while visiting the Oakland Zoo.

This year's commercials can be viewed here.

In the past, the A’s made all of their commercials in Arizona shortly before spring training. Transferring the shoots to Oakland created some challenges but also came with a big payoff according to D.J. O’Neil, the creative director of Hub Strategy & Communication.

“It was really cool to see fans just wandering up to what was going on and talking to the players,” O’Neil said. “They’re really respectful, and the players were great with fans. It added a layer to it. Everything just felt warm.”

It also made for spontaneity. Some BART riders making their daily commute were surprised to find A’s players in full uniform on their train. One fan stepped off a train to find players forming a high-five tunnel for him. The fan went along with it perfectly, and O’Neil and the A’s got him to sign a release on the spot for him to be used in the commercial.

Jim Leahey, the A’s vice president of sales and marketing, and Travis LoDolce, their senior manager of marketing, also unveiled new billboard ads and light pole banners that will be displayed all around Oakland. One of the better ones — a Bart sign of A’s home run leader Khris Davis that boasts, “More Round Trips than the Oakland Airport.”

An 80-foot high A’s mural -- created by the local artists' group Illuminaries -- will get underway at the intersection of 19th Street and Webster by the end of the month.

With the Warriors planning a move to San Francisco, and the Raiders trying to leave for Las Vegas, Leahey acknowledged “the organization is in a good opportunity to get a lot of mindshare in Oakland and in the areas around Oakland.

“There’s a (long-)term plan, ‘Let’s announce a site we’re going to focus on and let’s build a ballpark for the fans.’ And there’s the short-term plan, which is, ‘Let’s create 2,500 projects in three months … and show the fans we’re really gonna do everything we can to make the experience good while we’re where we are.’”

A's option catcher Bruce Maxwell to Triple-A; 37 players remain in camp

A's option catcher Bruce Maxwell to Triple-A; 37 players remain in camp

The A's optioned catcher Bruce Maxwell to Triple-A Nashville Sunday, the club announced

Maxwell, 26, went 3-for-4 with two home runs and four RBI in the A's 11-1 win over the Brewers Sunday. Both home runs were his lone of the spring. 

In 2016, Maxwell played in 26 games with the A's after his promotion from Triple-A. He hit .283 with one homer. 

The 2012 second-round draft pick is a career .266/.346/.370 hitter in the minors with 25 home runs. Maxwell is the A's No. 10 prospect by Baseball America. 

The A’s now have 37 players in big league camp. 

A's option RHP Hahn to Triple-A; LHP Detwiler opts out of deal

A's option RHP Hahn to Triple-A; LHP Detwiler opts out of deal

MESA, Ariz. —The A's optioned starter Jesse Hahn to Triple-Nashville on Sunday and announced that lefty Ross Detwiler has opted out of his minor league contract to become a free agent.

Hahn’s demotion brings Oakland's rotation into focus, with Andrew Triggs and Raul Alcantara lined up as the fourth and fifth starters, respectively, behind Kendall Graveman, Sean Manaea and Jharel Cotton. Sonny Gray will begin the season on the disabled list.

Hahn got off to a strong start this spring but struggled mightily in his last two starts, giving up 12 earned runs combined. It’s the second spring in a row that he’s entered camp looking to lock down a rotation spot before getting sent down, but the right-hander believes he’s better equipped to handle this setback.

“It’s disappointing for sure, because I set a goal this spring and that was to make the rotation,” Hahn said. “I didn’t do that, but I can’t get down on myself. I have to stay positive. I think I did a lot of positive things this spring. … I’m not going to let this one get me down. I’ve been through that situation last year. I learned from it. So I’m not going to make the same mistakes that I did last year.”

Gray’s injury, a strained lat muscle that’s expected to sideline him most of April, left two spots at the back of the rotation. The A’s are turning to right-handers Triggs and Alcantara, who have combined for just 11 big league starts between them.

Certainly with Triggs, this scenario had been developing for a while. Front office officials had talked him up since the beginning of the offseason as a rotation possibility. He's posted a 5.06 ERA in five exhibitions (three starts), but he looked very sharp in his last outing Wednesday against the White Sox.

Alcantara is out of minor league options, and the A’s wanted to keep him whether it was in a starting or relief role. His ERA is 4.50 over six appearances (three starts), but like Triggs, his most recent start was his most effective.

“Both of these guys will get an opportunity they haven’t had before,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said.

Sunday’s developments could have a trickle-down effect with other parts of the roster. The A’s are in a better position now to keep five outfielders if they want and go with the standard seven relievers. Going with eight relievers and four outfielders seemed more likely when Alcantara was still a bullpen consideration just to keep him from hitting the waiver wire.

Non-roster invitees Alejandro De Aza and Jaff Decker, who is slated to return Monday from an oblique injury, are the primary candidates to be the fifth outfielder, although Chris Parmelee, another non-roster player, has quietly had a good spring.

The seventh bullpen spot could go to Daniel Coulombe if the A’s deem it important to have a second lefty, or they could go with impressive right-handed prospect Frankie Montas, who would be more of a multi-inning reliever asked to get both lefties and righties out. Of course, they could still opt for an eight-man ‘pen if they want a second lefty and think it’s necessary to keep Montas as a length guy.

Detwiler was on the fringe of the rotation competition and also could have been a bullpen consideration. But he posted an 11.88 ERA over eight appearances. The lefty is now free to sign with any club, though Melvin didn’t rule out the chance of Detwiler returning at some point.

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Khris Davis, out recently with right quad soreness, will play in a minor league game Sunday along with Decker. If Davis comes out of it well, Melvin said he will DH on Monday.

In another injury update, third baseman Trevor Plouffe is doing OK after tweaking an abductor muscle in his groin. Melvin is aiming to get him in one more game before the A’s fly north Wednesday, and then Plouffe will have the Bay Bridge Series to make sure he’s ready.