A's Insider notes: DeJesus muscles up

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A's Insider notes: DeJesus muscles up

May 24, 2011BOX SCORE A'S POSTGAME VIDEOMLB PAGE MLB SCOREBOARD
Paul GutierrezCSNCalifornia.com

DeJesus is DaBomb - Coming into Tuesday night's game, David DeJesus was batting a sickly .111 in his career against Dan Haren, going two for 18 with five strikeouts. So who was the guy muscling up for the Athletics against the Angels? In his first two at-bats, DeJesus crushed a pair of Haren pitches for a solo home run in the second inning and a two-run shot in the fourth inning. It was the second multi-homer game of May for DeJesus, the second such power surge of his career. He did it against Cleveland at Overstock.com Coliseum on May 4. He also lined out hard to right field on a ball he absolutely smoked in the sixth before doubling off Trevor Bell into the right-field corner in the ninth to drive in Kurt Suzuki for his fourth RBI of the night.

Moscoso does his part - When he's been on for triple-A Sacramento, Guillermo Moscoso has been fabulous, as evidenced by his 0.32 ERA in his three wins with 32 strikeouts and five walks. But when he's been off, he's been bad. Real bad. To the tune of a 12.41 ERA in going 0-2 in three outings. So which Moscoso did the A's get in the Venezuelan right-hander's first-ever big league start? The former. He threw five scoreless innings at the Angels and gave up three hits (two were in his last inning) and three walks with three strikeouts. And according to former A's Spanish radio announcer Manolo Hernandez, Moscoso was the first Venezuelan-born pitcher to start for the A's since Pablo Torrealba on Sept. 30, 1977.Coco to the rescue - It begs the question - would Coco Crisp have made the highlight reel catch in right-center if he was still rocking the Oscar Gamble-esque afro he brought out earlier this season, what with the significant added wind drag? Crisp, who has taken to Twitter to ask fans if he should let his hair fly or keep it braided, robbed Maicer Izturis of potential extra bases and, possibly, the Angels of a run when he went vertical to snare the liner to end the fifth inning. Moscoso made sure he met Crisp coming off the field to congratulate his center fielder. And, potentially, to thank him.Fool's gold? - Yes, the six runs the A's scored represented their highest offensive output in a week, since the 14-0 drubbing of the Angels in the rain at the Coliseum on May 17. But after taking that 5-0 lead Tuesday night, the A's saw 13 straight batters retired. Until consecutive doubles by Kurt Suzuki and DeJesus to lead off the ninth.New closer - Oh, and in case you missed it, with Brian Fuentes' issues and Andrew Bailey still rehabbing his strained forearm suffered in spring training in Sacramento, A's manager Bob Geren said Grant Balfour is the closerfor now. He even started warming up in the ninth inning, when the A's had a 5-1 lead, a non-save situation, but sat back down in favor of Brad Ziegler.

A's spring training Day 8: Top pick AJ Puk attracts a crowd

A's spring training Day 8: Top pick AJ Puk attracts a crowd

MESA, Ariz. — The A’s are excited about 2016 top pick A.J. Puk, that much was apparent by the crowd the lefty attracted for his first “live” bullpen session Tuesday.

Among those watching closely were executive vice president of baseball operations Billy Beane, general manager David Forst, manager Bob Melvin and pitching coach Curt Young.

Puk, who shaved about 20 pounds off his 6-foot-7 frame over the winter, looked strong against a group of hitters that included touted infield prospects Franklin Barreto and Yairo Munoz.

Melvin in particular liked the way Puk, the No. 6 overall pick out of the University of Florida, worked his curve ball into the mix. That’s a pitch he hadn’t used since high school, but he dusted it off back in the fall instructional league with some encouragement from minor league pitching coordinator Gil Patterson, and he’s working to sharpen it this spring as a complement to his fastball, slider and changeup.

“It’s just nice to have another pitch that’s slower than my other three pitches,” Puk said before Tuesday’s workout.

“It’s a four-pitch mix,” Melvin said. “He’s really starting to distinguish between this slider and curve ball. It was quite a crowd around his cage too. When you’re a young kid you tend to notice that, but I thought he responded really well.”

Puk, 21, is rooming with shortstop Richie Martin, a teammate at Florida whom the A’s made their top pick in 2015. They also lived near each other in Tampa this offseason and worked out together.

Puk comes off very quiet upon meeting him, but Martin warns against being fooled.

“It takes him a while, but once he feels comfortable he’ll break out. You’ll see.”

Melvin was impressed with Puk’s physical shape, saying he’s fielded his position well in pitchers’ fielding drills.

CAMP BATTLE Jesse Hahn will start the A’s Cactus League opener Saturday against the defending World Series champion Chicago Cubs. It’ll be a chance for Hahn to make an early impression in his bid for the fifth starter spot.

“After the year he had (in 2016), it’s important for him this year. We have to show some faith in him,” Melvin said. “He performed well for us the year before. Last year wasn’t really consistent. We’ll try to get him out there and get him off to a good start.”

Kendall Graveman will take the ball in Sunday’s spring home opener against the Angels. Sonny Gray and Sean Manaea both will pitch Monday against the Giants and Jharel Cotton and Andrew Triggs will be among the group throwing Tuesday against the Indians.

PROSPECT WATCH: Sean Murphy, the A’s third-round pick in June, has shown a very strong throwing arm early in camp. Is it any wonder Melvin, an ex-catcher, was impressed?

“The kid can throw, it’s special,” Melvin said. “We really like him.”

NOTEWORTHY: Still no word on when reliever Santiago Casilla will arrive at camp from the Dominican Republic. Melvin said he isn’t concerned at this stage, and noted that Casilla has been working out at the team’s complex in the Dominican Republic and gave a motivational talk to the younger players there.

Cousins thanks Sacramento: 'Wouldn't trade it for anything'

Cousins thanks Sacramento: 'Wouldn't trade it for anything'

The Kings traded DeMarcus Cousins to the New Orleans Pelicans on Monday, prompting the All-Star big man to post a heartfelt message on his Instagram account.

Words can't even express how hard it is for me to have to leave the city of Sacramento and all of the amazing people that I have met while out here. I gave it my all for you and you gave it right back. The most amazing fans on the planet and I just want you to know that your support has meant everything to me. It's hard to believe that it was seven years ago that this young kid from Alabama showed up in Sacramento scared and not knowing a soul. As I look back upon my time here, I wouldn't trade it for anything. I have met so many amazing people, many of whom went out of their way to make me feel right at home from day one. Each and every one of you have played such an important part in my life and helping me become the person I am today. I don't just consider you all as fans, you all are my family...and a couple thousand miles aren't going to change a thing. Thank you Sacramento. 
#LoyaltyisLove #sactownkingforever

Cousins, 26, averaged 27.8 points, 10.7 rebounds, 4.9 assists, 1.4 steals, 1.3 blocks and 34.4 minutes per game for the Kings this year.

Words can't even express how hard it is for me to have to leave the city of Sacramento and all of the amazing people that I have met while out here. I gave it my all for you and you gave it right back. The most amazing fans on the planet and I just want you to know that your support has meant everything to me. It's hard to believe that it was seven years ago that this young kid from Alabama showed up in Sacramento scared and not knowing a soul. As I look back upon my time here, I wouldn't trade it for anything. I have met so many amazing people, many of whom went out of their way to make me feel right at home from day one. Each and every one of you have played such an important part in my life and helping me become the person I am today. I don't just consider you all as fans, you all are my family...and a couple thousand miles aren't going to change a thing. Thank you Sacramento. #LoyaltyisLove

A post shared by DeMarcus Cousins (@boogiecousins) on