A's Lineup: How the Brandons revitalized the A's

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A's Lineup: How the Brandons revitalized the A's

Oakland A's (34-36) lineupCrisp CF
Weeks 2B
Reddick RF
Cespedes DH
Smith LF
Inge 3B
Moss 1B
Suzuki C
Pennington SS
Instant AnalysisThis is the best possible incarnation of the A's lineup. Speed at the top, power in the middle, and another pseudo leadoff hitter batting ninth. An A's lineup without Cespedes, Inge, Crisp and Moss was able to defeat Friday's starter Tim Lincecum on May 20. That day, the A's scored four runs on him, and knocked him out after four innings. Cespedes is still the DH. On Wednesday he said his strained left hamstring is 80-percent and will only return to the outfield when he deems it 100-percent ready. He seems to have taken kindly to the DH role though. He is 3 for 8, with two doubles, one homer, and four RBIs since returning to the A's lineup two games ago.Also notable, is that Kurt Suzuki is back in the lineup after catching prospect Derek Norris made his Major League debut on Thursday. A's manager Bob Melvin insists they are in a time share, and that Norris is here to play. The pressure is on the veteran catcher to force Melvin to keep him in the lineup now. Suzuki is a workhorse who hates not being in the lineup, but being the class act that he is, he is helping Norris learn the A's ways. Top of the OrderCoco Crisp has been performing as the team's table-setter. He has gotten on base in his last eight games. He has scored a run in five of those games, and stolen four bases over that span. He is batting .423 (11 for 26) in his last eight games as well. He was still on the DL the last time the A's played the Giants. Heart of the OrderJosh Reddick has started to level out. He is hitless in his last 19 at-bats, and is one at-bat away from potentially tying a career-worst mark of 20 at-bats without a hit. The three-hitter who got a day off Thursday is batting .211 (16 for 76) with one home run and 29 strikeouts over his last 20 games. In his previous 21 contests, he hit .291with 10 homers, and 19 strikeouts.Bottom of the OrderThe Brandons -- Inge and Moss -- make a nice power-hitting tandem in the six and seven spots of the order. Moss is out slugging all of the Giants first basemen combined with seven homers in just 14 games. Inge is proving his value to the team both offensively and defensively. The play he made in the ninth inning on Thursday to get Matt Traenor at second on Dee Gordon's bunt swung the momentum in the game firmly in the A's favor. The A's may finally have a viable solution to their power starved corner infield spots.

Report: A's bring back lefty Detwiler on minor league deal

Report: A's bring back lefty Detwiler on minor league deal

Left-handed pitcher Ross Detwiler is staying with the A's.

The 30-year-old has reportedly agreed to a minor league deal with Oakland, according to Yahoo Sports' Jeff Passan.

The deal includes an invitation to spring training.

The A's purchased Detwiler's contract from the Indians on July 17 and he went on to make nine appearances for the club, including seven starts.

In his time with the A's, Detwiler posted a 6.14 ERA and 23 strikeouts in 44 innings.

Plouffe will push Healy away from third base, but not combative situation

Plouffe will push Healy away from third base, but not combative situation

Trevor Plouffe and Ryon Healy have some history to fall back on before they even start playing together as A’s teammates.

No doubt, their futures are intertwined as well.

Plouffe officially joined Oakland on Wednesday when the team announced his one-year deal that’s worth $5.25 million, plus incentives based on various numbers of plate appearances. General manager David Forst said on a media conference call that he envisions Plouffe as the primary third baseman. That means Healy — coming off an impressive rookie campaign at third — will see the majority of his innings at first base and designated hitter.

Plouffe and Healy grew up in Southern California and both went to Crespi Carmelite High School, though Plouffe, 30, is five years older. But it wasn’t until this winter that they’ve gotten to know each other better, as the rainfall in Southern California drew them both to the same indoor training facility.

They played for the same high school coach, Scott Muckey, which is how Plouffe first heard of Healy.

“I remember hearing about him when he was in high school,” Plouffe said Wednesday. (Muckey) told me about Healy and the kind of player he was. He didn’t give players a lot of credit, so when he did, I took notice.”

Healy works out in the offseason at the Hit Factory in Newberry Park. Earlier this winter, Plouffe popped in with Kansas City Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas.

“It’s kind of coming full circle,” Healy said. “We never thought, being (five) years apart, that we would be teammates. We haven’t had (much of a) prior relationship, but he’s always reached out to me when appropriate. I’ve heard nothing but nice things about the guy. We worked out , chatted and exchanged numbers, and we’re starting that relationship early.”

Plouffe was limited to 84 games last year with Minnesota due to rib and oblique injuries, hitting .260 with 12 homers and 47 RBI. Before that, he averaged 18 homers and 68 RBI from 2012-15, twice topping the 20-HR mark. The Twins non-tendered Plouffe in December rather than pay him the roughly $8 million he was likely to receive in arbitration. That made Plouffe a free agent.

He and Healy make compelling workout partners, as Plouffe’s arrival in green and gold is likely to push Healy over to first, where he played in college and early in his minor league career. But it’s not a combative situation, and the offseason workouts help to build chemistry.

“I was kind of taking my reps at third and first, continuing doing that routine to be prepared for that possiblity,” Healy said. “It doesn’t seem like anything is set in stone. I still have to prove to them I’m ready to play major league baseball come spring time.”

The right-handed hitting Healy will form a platoon at first with Yonder Alonso, Forst said, and see time in a DH rotation that figures to also include Khris Davis, Stephen Vogt, Matt Joyce and possibly others. But Forst noted that Healy also needs to stay sharp at third base.

“It’s easy to envision a scenario where (Plouffe) gets the bulk of time at third base and we still have 500 plate appearances for other guys like Ryon. We have every intention of getting at-bats for Ryon. Trevor is not gonna be out there 162 times, we know that. Ryon is going to have to continue to be ready at third base.”

Forst said the A’s are still scanning the free agent and trade market for potential additions, both on the position-player and pitching side.

Oakland reportedly has agreed to a two-year contract with reliever Santiago Casilla that has yet to be finalized.