Vogt and Hahn are important part of 2016 for Athletics
Two players who the A’s need to make an impact in 2016, both proved that they could on Monday. The A’s are going to need both Stephen Vogt and Jesse Hahn to stay healthy and productive in both the first and second half of the 2016 season in order to compete in the American League West, something the Athletics believe is a strong possibility.
All-Star catcher Vogt, who is recovering from a sub-par second half and an offseason elbow surgery, homered twice for the Oakland Athletics in their 6-4 split-squad win over the World Champion Kansas City Royals.
Starting pitcher Jesse Hahn, who also had what you could call a “bad” second half in 2015 given that an elbow issue kept the right-hander out since July 1 of last year, allowed just one hit over his two innings of work.
Unfortunately for Hahn, that one hit was a monster two-run home run by Mike Moustakas. It ended up being a non-issue as Hahn, Ryan Madson and five other relievers held the Royals to just four total hits in their 6-4 win. Regarding his pitch to Moustakas Hahn simply said,
“It was a slidestep change. I threw a fastball on the previous pitch and noticed he was a little late on it. I think I ran into his timing.”
Hahn was more than excited to be back on the mound in a game, saying while it had been just nine months his time away had felt more like three years.
As noted, Hahn hadn’t pitched in a game since July 1, 2015. While the A’s may not have had the best season in 2015 the wins they did get, at least in the first half, were in large part due to Hahn’s exceptional pitching.
In what would have been Hahn’s first full season as a big league starter, the then 25-year-old, started 16 games for Oakland in the first half. He went 6-6 with a 3.35 ERA, which included him throwing a complete game shutout in the process. He was on pace to start at least 32 games and throw 200 innings for Oakland when he was sidelined with an elbow issue.
There’s no doubt that having Hahn in the second half of the season would have added more than a few games to the A’s 2015 win column.
For more on Vogt and Hahn follow the link below to read the rest of my column on Today’s Knuckleball: