A's-Tigers stat pack

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A's-Tigers stat pack

Programming note: A's-Tigers coverage gets underway today at 3:30 p.m. with A's Pregame Live on Comcast SportsNet California!

A's rookies have thrown 641.2 inning this season - the most in baseball by far. With 4 rookies in the rotation the A's could set a record for most innings pitch by rookies on a team that advances to the postseason:

Most Innings Pitched by Rookies
Teams that advanced to Postseason 1952 Brooklyn Dodgers 720.1 2012 Oakland Athletics 641.2 1944 St. Louis Browns 569.2 1984 Kansas City Royals 534.2 1947 New York Yankees 468 1949 Brooklyn Dodgers 457.1
But not only that, the A's have 4 rookie everyday players (Cespedes, Carter, Norris, Donaldson). Only one team in history ever started 4 rookies in a postseason game - the 2007 Arizona Diamondbacks did that 3 times - and who was the manager of the 2007 D-Backs? Bob Melvin.

The A's are starting a totally different infield and catcher compared to what they started for the first 2 months of the season:

A's Regular Lineup

April-May September
C Suzuki, Recker Norris, Kottaras 1B Barton, Ka'aihue Carter, Moss 2B Weeks Pennington, Rosales SS Pennington Drew
3B Inge Donaldson

Most Home Runs by First Basemen American League
Angels 33
White Sox 32
Athletics 30
Blue Jays 30
Orioles 27
Tigers 26
Last Season: A's 1B hit 7 HR - Fewest in Majors

Most Home Runs

First Season with New Team
Josh Willingham MIN 34 Albert Pujols LAA 30 Josh Reddick OAK 29 Carlos Beltran STL 29 Jason Kubel ARI 29 Prince Fielde DET 26 Ryan Ludwick CIN 26
Most Batter Strikeouts
A.L. History
2007 Tampa Bay 1,324
2010 Tampa Bay 1,292
2011 Seattle 1,280
2011 Cleveland 1,269
1996 Detroit 1,268
2009 Texas 1,253
2012 Oakland 1,232

The A's will take their league-leading road winning pct into the 3 cities whose teams have the 3 best home winning pcts:

Best Road Winning Pct in A.L.
Oakland 40-31 .563 Baltimore 40-32 .556 Texas 40-32 .556 New York 40-34 .541 Los Angeles 40-35 .533
Best Home Winning Pct in A.L. Texas 47-27 .635 Detroit 43-28 .606 New York 43-29 .597 Oakland 44-31 .587 Chicago 43-31 .581
A.J. Griffin is 6-0 with a 1.94 ERA in his first 11 big-league starts. Since the major leagues began recording earned runs in 1912, the only other pitcher who was undefeated in his first 11 big-league appearances, all of which were starts, while maintaining an earned run average under 2.00, was Jered Weaver in 2006 (12 GS, 9-0, 1.95).

Lowest WHIP This Season
Min 10 Starts

A.J. Griffin OAK 0.91 Brandon Beachy ATL 0.96 Jered Weaver LAA 1.00 Clayton Kershaw LAD 1.02 R.A. Dickey NYM 1.04 Matt Cain SF 1.05 Justin Verlander DET 1.05
Max Scherzer
Since June 28th
Starts 14
Rec 10-1
ERA 2.53
Opp Avg .221
IP 92.1
K's 113
Leads Majors

Max Scherzer
Last 3 Starts: 1 Walk, 25 Strikeouts

A.L. MVP Candidates

Miguel Cabrera Mike Trout Josh Hamilton Games 145 124 137 Avg .330 .329 .287 HR 38 27 42 RBI 123 77 123 Runs 97 116 98 OPS .993 .957 .947
Detroit Tigers
Since August 8
Record 17-19 1-Runs Games 2-13 AVG .256 RGM 4.0 ERA 3.45 SavesOpps 912
Lost Last 10 Games Decided by 1 Run

A's designate Stephen Vogt for assignment

A's designate Stephen Vogt for assignment

The A's designated for assignment two-time All-Star catcher Stephen Vogt, possibly ending the Oakland career of one of their most tenured players.

Also Thursday morning, the A's placed third baseman Matt Chapman on the 10-day disabled list with left knee cellulitis and recalled catcher Bruce Maxwell and first baseman Matt Olson.

"Talking with (GM) David (Forst) and Bob (Melvin) yesterday, it's just one of those things I kind of felt coming for a while but obviously it's never easy," Vogt said on a media conference call. " It's something I understand. I don't like it, but I understand how the game works."

The A's have 10 days to trade or release Vogt or send him to the minors, though it's possible he gets claimed on waivers too.

Vogt is one of the A's most popular players and a clubhouse leader, but has lost playing time recently to Josh Phegley.

Vogt's defensive cameo comes straight out of left field

Vogt's defensive cameo comes straight out of left field

OAKLAND — Stephen Vogt made an unexpected appearance in left field Wednesday night, and his performance got approval from a pretty good outfield authority.

Former A’s teammate Josh Reddick was watching from the Houston Astros’ dugout and thought the catcher-by-trade handled himself very well.

“I was talking to (Houston manager) A.J. (Hinch) and I said, ‘It’s gonna be interesting because you know at least one ball’s gonna get to him,’” Reddick said. “You start laughing because four of the five that were hit that inning were hit to him.”

With the A’s bench short-handed, manager Bob Melvin sent Vogt to left after he pinch-hit for Rajai Davis, and indeed Vogt got a workout throughout the top of the eighth. That added a bit of levity to a 5-1 loss that otherwise provided the A’s very little to cheer about.

They were bottled up by Astros right-hander Mike Fiers and four relievers as the Astros won their ninth in a row at the Coliseum and their third straight in this four-game series. A’s starter Sean Manaea was rolling through five scoreless innings before Houston blitzed him for three runs in the sixth. The Astros tacked on a couple more late runs against Oakland’s bullpen and that was enough on a night the A’s mustered just four hits total.

After Vogt delivered an RBI groundout that scored the A’s only run in the seventh, Melvin wanted to keep Vogt’s left-handed bat in the lineup, so he asked the veteran catcher if he could handle left.

“I said yeah, absolutely,” Vogt said.

It’s easy to forget that Vogt came up through the Tampa Bay Rays’ system playing a lot of outfield, and he played more than a dozen games in the outfield in 2014 for the A’s, mostly in right.

He sure got tested. The Astros’ first four hitters of the eighth all hit balls in Vogt’s direction. He got a routine fly from Brian McCann, a difficult low liner off the bat of Yuli Gurriel that he smothered for a single, a double from Alex Bregman that he did a good job cutting off and a sacrifice fly to the warning track from Jake Marisnick.

“I had the adrenaline shot run up and I was loose and ready to go,” Vogt said. “Obviously I was a little more focused than probably your average outfielder out there. I’m glad the first one came to me, otherwise I would have been sweatin’ it for a while.”

Vogt has lost time recently behind the plate against right-handers to Josh Phegley, who has done an effective job controlling the running game. And though you shouldn’t by any means expect to see Melvin running Vogt to the outfield often, you also shouldn’t assume it won’t happen at all.

At some point, the A’s figure to call up catcher Bruce Maxwell as part of the crop of young players they’re trying to give more time too. If the left-handed hitting Maxwell were to share catching duties with Phegley, and if the A’s were to trade Yonder Alonso (again, we’re talking ‘ifs’ here), it’s conceivable Vogt’s left-handed bat could be put to use at spots other than catcher, perhaps at first base or, in a pinch, even the outfield.

His old teammate thinks he could pull it off.

“I remember him playing in right in ’14 when I was (injured),” Reddick said. “He did a pretty good job out there, it’s not like he’s foreign to it. He knows what he’s doing.”