Athletics

A's tweak the lineup - Should Carter start vs. RHP?

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A's tweak the lineup - Should Carter start vs. RHP?

At 7-1 the Oakland Athletics have the best record in MLB in July. They are over .500 at 44-43 and currently 1.5 games behind for the second Wild Card spot. As the trade deadline approaches, the A's players have to prove they can continue to play at this level or risk being slapped with the dreaded label of "sellers." A's 44-43 lineupJemile Weeks, 2B
Seth Smith, LF
Josh Reddick, CF
Yoenis Cespedes, DH
Brandon Moss, RF
Chris Carter, 1B
Brandon Inge, 3B
Cliff Pennington, SS
Kurt Suzuki, C
Instant AnalysisChris Carter and Brandon Moss are in the starting lineup together for the first time. This is something that I have been lobbying for on Twitter, TV and Radio. Up until now Carter and Moss have been platooned, but two of Carter's three homers have come off right-handed pitchers. He is 4 for 6 (.667) with two home runs and four RBI against righties this year. Seems silly to start him exclusively against lefties. With Carter and Moss in the lineup I'd like to see one of them used as DH. Right now Yoenis Cespedes is occupying that spot because he is recovering from a left thumb sprain. Moss is capable of playing the outfield and has played 122 Major League games in right field. Keep an eye on the A's outfield defense though because Josh Reddick has had some struggles in center field this year. Top of the orderJemile Weeks moves up to the leadoff spot with Coco Crisp nursing a sore shoulder. Seth Smith takes over the second spot in the order. Smith is a great fit in that part of the lineup. He is seventh in the AL with a 13.6 walk percentage. He is a patient hitter that averaged 4.04 pitchers per plate appearance. Heart of the orderCespedes' swing looked good on Friday, even after spraining his left thumb on Sunday. He went 2-for-3, and reached base and scored after Denard Span dropped a fly ball that he hit to center field. Bottom of the orderBrandon Inge, Cliff Pennington, and Kurt Suzuki are all under pressure to perform. Maybe batting them 7-8-9 will defer some of the attention they are getting for their recent struggles. Inge has 28 strikeouts in his last 23 games. Suzuki is hitting .211 and Pennington is hitting .206. Minnesota Twins (36-50) lineupDenard Span, CF
Ben Revere, RF
Joe Mauer, C
Josh Willingham, LF
Justin Morneau, 1B
Trevor Plouffe, 3B
Ryan Doumit, DH
Brian Dozier, SS
Jamey Carroll, 2B
Twins analysisFormer A's outfielder Josh Willingham has four home runs with 10 RBI in four games against the A's this season.

The young A's player that could be biggest beneficiary of Rajai Davis trade

The young A's player that could be biggest beneficiary of Rajai Davis trade

The A's traded veteran center fielder Rajai Davis to the Red Sox on Wednesday afternoon, clearing yet another veteran from their roster.

In return they receive 18-year-old outfielder Rafael Rincones, a Venezuela native currently playing in the Dominican Summer League.

The move doesn't come as a shock in the grand scheme of things. Davis, 36, is signed only through this season and didn't fit in the plans of Oakland's current youth movement. He did, however, have to clear waivers before this move could happen. And he joins Yonder Alonso as the second veteran the A's have shipped off after the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.

The move opens up the possibility of Chad Pinder getting some playing time in center field against left-handers, as manager Bob Melvin has said he'd like to get Pinder some starts out there.

With recently promoted Boog Powell playing well in center, there's the chance he could draw some starts against lefties too, so it may not be a straight platoon. Pinder also sees playing time in right field, shortstop and second base.

A's trade Rajai Davis to Red Sox for minor league outfielder

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USATSI

A's trade Rajai Davis to Red Sox for minor league outfielder

Rajai Davis' second tenure with the A's is up.

Davis has been traded to the Red Sox for 18-year-old minor league outfielder Rafael Roncones.

The teams announced the trade shortly after the A's lost to the Orioles in Baltimore on Wednesday.

News of the pending deal was first reported by CSN New England.

Rincones has spent the 2017 season with the Red Sox affiliate in the Domincan Summer League. In 57 games, he's hitting .258 with 13 doubles, three triples, one homer and 19 RBI.

Boston are in need of an outfielder after placing Jackie Bradley Jr. on the disabled list with a thumb injury.

Davis signed a one-year, $6 million deal with the A's in the offseason. In 100 games this season, the 36-year-old is hitting .233/.294/.353 with 17 doubles, two triples, five home runs, 18 RBI and 26 stolen bases.

Boston will be Davis' seventh team. In addition to the A's, he has suited up for the Blue Jays, Giants, Pirates, Tigers and Indians.