A's-Red Sox stat pack

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A's-Red Sox stat pack

The A's took 2 of 3 from the Red Sox in Boston back in AprilMay:

April 30 -- Red Sox win 11-6
Sox Slug 4 HR (Ortiz (2), McDonald & Aviles
May 1 -- A's win 5-3
A's Rookie Firsts: Parker 1st win, Norberto 1st Save
May 2 -- A's win 4-2
McCarthy in Command (6.2 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 4 K's)

The A's have found success vs the Red Sox in Oakland
Last 26 Games vs Boston at home BOS OAK
Wins 8 18
AVG .222 .247
RGM 2.7 4.2
HR 18 24
Starters ERA 4.95 2.44

The Red Sox offense really struggles in the Coliseum:
Red Sox Offense vs Athletics Since 7262006
in Oakland in Boston
Games 26 26
Rec 8-18 18-8
AVG .222 .308
Runs 69 167
RGM 2.7 6.4HR 18 28
Slug .331 .509

Jarrod ParkerMay 1st at Boston(1st Career Win)
6.2 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 K's - 98 Pitches

As been reported, Jarrod Parker is just the 2nd pitcher since 1918 to allow 1 run or less in 9 of his first 13 career starts. The other being Dwight Gooden. Let's compare the first 13 career starts for the two pitchers:
Dwight Gooden Jarrod Parker
Year 1984 2011-12
Rec 6-3 4-3
ERA 2.61 2.38
Opp Avg .191 .206
Innings 82.2 79.1
K's 96 59
in start 14: CG, 2 Runs, 11 K's

Jarrod Parker this season has thrown only 2 stinkers:May 18 at SF (2 IP, 6 ER) & June 9 at AZ (5 IP, 6 ER)

In the 10 starts when Parker had thrown more than 5 innings:
4-1 Record
1.22 ERA
.181 Opp Avg
2 Home Runs
7.3 K 9 IP
9 Quality Starts

No Starting Pitcher has dominated American League teams like Jarrod Parker:Lowest ERA vs A.L. Teams
(min 8 Starts)
Jarrod Parker OAK 1.34
Chris Sale CWS 2.32
C.J. Wilson LAA 2.39
Jered Weaver LAA 2.49
David Price TB 2.52
A.L. All-Star

The A's lead the A.L. with a 3.52 ERA and it has been the work of the starters since mid-June that has been the best in the Majors:Lowest ERA by Starters since June 14th
Oakland Athletics 1.97
New York Mets 2.89
New York Yankees 3.09
Houston Astros 3.09
Cincinnati Reds 3.31
Season: 3.78 Starter's ERA - 7th Lowest in MLB

Both Chris Carter and Brandon Moss have brought much needed power to the A's 1st Base PositionOakland AthleticsHome Runs by 1st Basemen
HR A.L. Rank
2008 11 Last
2009 16 Last
2010 12 13th
2011 7 Last
2012 14 t-4th

Oakland Rookie All-Stars
1977 Wayne Gross
1978 Matt Keough
1986 Jose Canseco
1987 Mark McGwire
1998 Ben Grieve
2009 Andrew Bailey
2012 Ryan Cook

Will Middlebrooks and Yoenis Cespedes are 1-2 in HR & RBI among A.L. Rookies:Rookie Comparison Will Middlebrooks Yoenis Cespedes
Games 48 48
AVG .298 .282
HR 10 9
RBI 37 35
SLG .538 .508
BBK's 944 1444

Red Sox have had an up-and-down season and are currently on the upswing:
First 31 Games 12-19 Record
Next 22 Games 16-6
Next 8 Games 1-7
Last 18 Games 13-5
Daisuke Matsuzaka will make his 5th start since returning from right elbow surgery. IP H R BBK Pitches
69 vs Wash 5.0 5 4 18 80 Loss
615 at CHC 6.0 4 3 33 93 Loss
621 vs MIA 5.1 4 4 14 101 ND
626 vs TOR 5.2 6 1 15 100 ND

Daisuke MatsuzakaCareer vs Athletics
7 Starts
4-1 Record
3.69 ERA
.221 Opp Avg
6 Home Runs
Last Start vs A's: July 19, 2010 at Oak (W)

This will be Bobby Valentine's first game managing at the Coliseum since June 14, 1992. Career at the Coliseum Valentine has a 25-24 record (all with the Rangers).

David Ortiz comes to Oakland sitting on 399 career Home Runs. Earlier this season (425) Paul Konerko hit his 400th Home Run at the Coliseum.
David OrtizLast 5 Seasons Avg HR ABHR
2008 .264 23 18.1
2009 .238 28 19.3
2010 .270 32 16.2
2011 .309 29 18.1
2012 .302 21 13.6
Lowest since 2006 (10.3 -Hit 54 HR)

Adrian Gonzalez has had a much different 1st half then he had last year
Adrian Gonzalez
Before the All-Star Break 2011 2012
Avg .354 .272
HR 17 6
RBI 77 43
OB .414 .323
Slug .591 .407
Led A.L.

A's position outlook: Will three catchers make Opening Day roster?

A's position outlook: Will three catchers make Opening Day roster?

The A’s have options at the catcher position, and with those options come decisions to make.

Figure that manager Bob Melvin and the rest of Oakland’s front office will use the length of spring training to evaluate their catching corps, and the decisions that eventually come down will impact the rest of the roster.

Stephen Vogt and Josh Phegley could form a natural left-right platoon, as they did to begin last season. But Phegley is coming off right knee surgery that ended his 2016 season in July and proved more problematic than anticipated as he recovered. His status can’t be adequately judged until camp begins and he’s behind the plate testing his mobility.

Adding intrigue to the catching puzzle was last season’s emergence of Bruce Maxwell, who hit .283 after making his major league debut in July and shows defensive upside.

Might the A’s keep three catchers to begin the season? Melvin acknowledged that possibility when asked about it during the winter meetings. Vogt has played first base and the outfield in the past, so he provides a little flexibility. But keeping him, Phegley and Maxwell would short the A’s roster elsewhere.

There are decisions to make, but a full Cactus League exhibition season should influence how things shake out at catcher.

STARRING CAST: Maxwell’s emergence, and the fact he hits left-handed, made the 32-year-old Vogt a potential trade piece this winter. But the veteran is still an Athletic and has been an All-Star in back-to-back seasons, though his 2016 stats didn’t jump off the page. He hit .251 with 14 home runs and 56 RBI, delivering a much better first half than second half offensively. But Vogt’s biggest value comes with his clubhouse leadership and ability to connect with his pitchers. He’s the unofficial team spokesman, always willing to stand in front of the cameras after a tough loss. His steadying presence is even more important on a team that annually undergoes such heavy roster turnover.

CAMP COMPETITION: Phegley, 28, missed time in May with a strained right knee, then underwent surgery in July to remove a cyst from the knee. That seemed a rather minor procedure, but Phegley was hospitalized in August after developing a case of synovitis, or inflammation in the knee joints. A’s general manager David Forst said recently that Phegley’s offseason rehab has gone well, but Phegley will remain a question mark until he shows he’s full strength throughout camp.

Maxwell, 26, hadn’t played above Double-A before last season. But he impressed at Triple-A Nashville both with his bat and overall defensive skills. After a slow start in the majors, Maxwell hit .367 over his final 20 games. He began showing flashes of the potential the A’s saw when they made him a second-round pick in 2012 out of tiny Birmingham Southern College.

“Bruce is a guy that maybe in the season you didn't expect to see (before) September, and he’s a guy that came in and made an impact defensively and offensively,” Melvin said during the winter meetings. “It's exciting to have a young catcher like that, especially that hits from the left side of the plate to give Stephen some days off. Stephen is a versatile guy where you can DH him some too, maybe even play him at first base on a day that Yonder (Alonso) gets a day off.”

Could the A’s simply go with Vogt and Maxwell at catcher, though both hit left-handed? Again, Phegley’s health could factor prominently.

PAY ATTENTION TO: A catcher the A’s drafted in the third round last summer, Sean Murphy. He’s a non-roster invitee to big league camp. Murphy, who attended Wright State, is said to be a gifted catcher defensively, with mlb.com’s Jim Callis saying last June that Murphy had the strongest arm of any catcher in the 2016 draft.

Royals ace Yordano Ventura dies in car crash at 25 years old

Royals ace Yordano Ventura dies in car crash at 25 years old

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura, whose electric arm and confident demeanor helped lead his long-suffering team to the 2015 World Series title, died in a car crash in his native Dominican Republic early Sunday. He was 25.

With the fitting nickname of "Ace," Ventura burst onto the baseball scene with a 100 mph fastball and an explosive attitude to match. He was a fierce competitor always willing to challenge hitters inside, then deal with the ramifications when they decided to charge the mound.

Not surprisingly, he quickly became a fan favorite as Kansas City embraced baseball once again.

"Our prayers right now are with Yordano's family as we mourn this young man's passing," Royals general manager Dayton Moore said in a statement. "He was so young and so talented, full of youthful exuberance and always brought a smile to everyone he interacted with. We will get through this as an organization, but right now is a time to mourn and celebrate the life of Yordano."

Highway patrol spokesman Jacobo Mateo said Ventura died on a highway leading to the town of Juan Adrian, about 40 miles northwest of Santo Domingo. Mateo did not say whether Ventura was driving.

Also Sunday, former major league infielder Andy Marte died in a separate car accident in the Dominican Republic. Metropolitan traffic authorities said he died about 95 miles north of the capital.

"We are deeply saddened to learn of the tragic passing of Andy Marte and Yordano Ventura," players union executive Tony Clark said. "It's never easy to lose a member of our fraternity, and there are no words to describe the feeling of losing two young men in the prime of their lives. Our thoughts and prayers go out to their families, friends, teammates and fans throughout the United States and Latin America."

Ventura is the second young pitching star to die in past four months. Marlins ace Jose Fernandez was among three men killed in a boating accident in late September, when the 24-year-old pitcher's boat crashed into a jetty off Miami Beach in the early morning hours.

Ventura went 14-10 with a 3.20 ERA in 2014, his first full season in the big leagues, and helped the long-downtrodden Royals reach the World Series for the first time since 1985. He proceeded to dominate San Francisco in both of his starts, though the Royals would ultimately lose in seven games.

In an eerie coincidence, Ventura paid tribute to his friend and countryman, Cardinals outfielder Oscar Taveras, with a handwritten message on his cap during Game 6. Taveras also was killed in a car accident in the Dominican Republic, and his funeral occurred just hours before Ventura stepped on the mound.

The following year, now firmly entrenched in the rotation, Ventura helped lead Kansas City back to the World Series, pitching well in two starts against Toronto in the AL championship Series. The Royals went on to beat the New York Mets in five games to win their second championship.

Not surprisingly, the Royals moved quickly to sign their burgeoning young ace to a five-year contract through the 2019 season that included two more options that could have kept him in Kansas City.

He wound up pitching his entire career for the Royals, going 38-31 with a 3.89 ERA.

Born June 3, 1991, in Samana, Dominican Republic, Ventura represented a true rags-to-riches story. He quit school at 14 and was laboring on a construction crew to support his family when Ventura heard about a tryout, which led to a spot in the Royals' academy located on his picturesque island home.

Still, the odds were long that Ventura would ever make it to the big leagues. Very few players from the Dominican academies reached the pinnacle of the sport.

But over time, Ventura was able to harness one of the most electric fastballs that scouts had seen in years, and his headstrong and confident nature was essential in his rapid rise. He made his big league debut to great fanfare in 2013, allowing just one run again Cleveland in a sign of things to come.

He eventually became a cornerstone of a youth movement that included young stars such as first baseman Eric Hosmer and third baseman Mike Moustakas, one that carried the Royals first to respectability, then to the top of the American League — rare heights the organization had not experienced in decades.

Hosmer took to Twitter upon hearing the news of Ventura's death, saying: "I love you my brother. I'm in disbelief and don't know what to say. I love you ACE."

Moustakas also expressed disbelief, tweeting: "I love you Ace. I don't know what to say other than I'm going to miss you a lot. RIP ACE."