Cactus League

A’s prospect Matt Chapman proving himself this spring

Where should Matt Chapma end up after spring training? Oakland A’s prospect Matt Chapman is having a good spring. Actually, he’s having what some might call an incredible spring, and it’s not going unnoticed. Everyone has noticed the sixth-ranked prospect in the A’s organization. It started with the fans and even his teammates, who line up to watch his batting practice everyday, to manager Bob Melvin, who is now giving Chapman quite a lot of playing time this March. “He’s impressed us beyond what we expected at this point. I didn’t expect him to get this many at-bats,” Melvin said. […]

Matt Chapman

Vogt and Hahn, pitching depth

Vogt and Hahn both need strong season for A’s to succeed in ’16

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 […]

Top prospect Sean Manaea impressive in first start for Athletics

One of the only discernible truths surrounding the Oakland Athletics right now, as you may or may not have noticed things can change dramatically from minute to minute under this club’s current ownership and management, is that they have quite a bit of pitching depth. While it’s mostly starting pitching depth, starting pitchers can easily be made in to long relievers and vice-versa. So technically the A’s have all around depth, especially when it comes to pitching. The starting rotation, in theory, will begin the season consisting of ace Sonny Gray, Kendall Graveman, Jesse Hahn, Chris Bassitt and veteran Rich […]

Manaea, pitching depth, surkamp


A’s catching prospect Maxwell getting his chance this spring

With Vogt and Phegley currently out, A’s prospect Bruce Maxwell is getting his shot In baseball things can change and change quickly. Just about two weeks ago I assessed the Oakland Athletics’ catching situation after they traded their top catching prospect Jacob Nottingham to the Milwaukee Brewers for slugger Khris Davis. It appeared, at the time, that the A’s would have the same four options at catcher as they did in 2015 and those four players did quite well as a group throughout the season. Things with the A’s catching situation haven’t changed dramatically, but some things have changed, putting […]

Mark Kotsay and Mark Ellis together again at A’s camp 1

Mark Ellis will join former teammate Mark Kotsay, now the A’s bench coach, to instruct the A’s infield this spring This is exciting news! My favorite Marks are back together again, for spring training at least and that is good enough for me because it means I will likely be able to catch a glimpse or two or more of both Mark Kotsay the A’s new bench coach and Mark Ellis who will be a guest instructor for the team during the spring. Ellis and Kotsay’s careers with the Athletics overlapped from 2004 (although Ellis was injured for the entire […]

Mark Ellis


3 fun lessons we learned during the first week of spring ’16

With one week of spring training in the books, here are the top three things we learned It’s’ the beginning of a new season. Spring Training began as pitchers and catchers reported late last week and position players started to arrive early on this week.  Of course there are going to be at least a few interesting situations that will go down in this first week or two of Spring Training. It happens every year beginning with almost every player declaring “I’m in the best shape of my life” to there being so many new faces on some of the […]

In Houston it’s a case of Gregerson vs. Giles for closer

Who will A.J. Hinch name as the Astros closer, Gregerson or Giles? By now we’ve all heard the story. Houston Astros’ reliever Luke Gregerson believes he deserves to keep the job as the team’s closer. This is despite the fact that the  Astros traded five pitchers,  including former number one overall draft pick Mark Appel, to acquire 25-year-old flamethrower Ken Giles from the Philadelphia Phillies to shore up their bullpen. The assumption, by most, being that he would act as the team’s closer in 2016. On Thursday, however, Gregerson had this to say to Astros’ beat writer for the Houston Chronicle […]


utility player, Chris Taylor

A position battle for utility player? You don’t see that everyday!

Who will be the Mariners’ utility player in 2016? Seattle Mariners’ new general manager Jerry Dipoto has done well at improving his team under some difficult circumstances. He was given limited funds, with most of the team’s money invested into just four players, a low-ranking farm system (meaning no viable prospects) and the task to turn the team into “win now” contenders in the American League. He turned over more than 40% of the team’s roster in his attempt to successfully complete his task. He’s also done so without making too many positions overcrowded. There will be a question of […]

Will the A’s have a position battle for first base this spring?

With five first basemen going into big league camp, who will play first base for the A’s in 2016? The Oakland Athletics are doing their own version of rebuilding. They are looking to bring back a fifth World Series trophy to Oakland and a tenth MLB Championship to the franchise in the near future. So far this season, vice president of baseball operations Billy Beane has rebuilt the bullpen – the A’s greatest source of woes last season – and brought in some new guys in the infield and for the starting rotation. However, the A’s are still going to […]

top draft pick, Taylor Ward

Angels’ top draft pick from 2015 gets invite to big league camp

Angels’ top draft pick Taylor Ward is making a name for himself, gets invite to big league camp It isn’t exactly unheard of for a first-round draft pick to be invited to big league spring training camp. It gives coaches a chance to get an up-close and personal look at their newest top prospect. However, in the case of the Los Angeles Angels’ top draft pick in the 2015 amateur draft Taylor Ward, he has certainly earned his spot with the team in Tempe this spring. Ward was, at first an unpopular pick by the Angels, at least according to both […]