Hey folks, I must apologize for the inconsistency in updates lately, I’m in the middle of moving so my life has been extremely hectic the past couple of weeks. Thankfully, I’ll finally be done tomorrow so I should be able to get back on a regular schedule. With the A’s in the thick of a heated divisional race with the Rangers and just 25 games left in the regular season, you can be sure I’ll be here to document the nail-biting ride to October. Things are certainly getting intense after yesterday’s suspenseful 4-2 victory against Texas that lifted the A’s into a tie for first place in the AL West.
After an up-and-down August that saw the A’s post their worst monthly record of the year at 14-13, they are making their struggles of a few weeks ago seem like ancient history by winning seven of their last eight games against some of the premier clubs of the American League.
The turnaround is thanks in large part to Coco Crisp, who has flexed his muscles unlike ever before in his career with a barrage of home runs in the past week and a half to establish a new single season career-high of 17 with more than three weeks to play. Crisp has hit a mind-boggling seven homers in the past 12 games, including one in each of the last three contests.
The power surge came at the perfect time as Crisp was mired in a prolonged slump in June and July that essentially made people forget about his blazing hot start to the season. After hitting .283 in both April and May and getting on base at a robust .378 clip, Crisp cooled off considerably, hitting .259 in June and an anemic .186 in July. The renewed patience he had shown early on vanished as he began to flail away early and often.
Now, Crisp once again looks absolutely locked in and the rest of the A’s offense seems to be following suit. It’s been often said that as Crisp goes, so do the A’s. When he produces with the bat the A’s are a serious force to be reckoned with.
In other news…
- Lefty reliever Mike Zagurski opted out of his contract yesterday, according to MLB Trade Rumors. Zagurski, who has spent time in the big leagues with the Phillies, Diamondbacks and Pirates, made six appearances for the Sacramento River Cats, pitching six innings and compiling a 6.00 ERA with eight strikeouts. He has a 3.04 ERA in 53 1/3 total Triple-A innings on the season, and has posted an impressive 14.0 K/9 against 4.0 BB/9 between three different organizations. He struggled in a brief stint with the Pirates earlier this year, posting a 15.00 ERA in six innings with eight walks and three wild pitches. The 30-year-old had signed with Oakland on August 18 after opting out of his previous deal with the Yankees three days earlier.
- Derek Norris (broken toe) is scheduled to come off the disabled list on Thursday when he is eligible. Norris suffered the injury August 20 in a 7-4 loss to the Mariners when Nick Franklin slid into home on a close play at the plate. Norris has gone 6-for-14 with two homers and four RBIs in three games with the River Cats. With Jaso nowhere close to returning, Stephen Vogt getting regular playing time, and Kurt Suzuki back in the fold, it’ll be interesting to see if the A’s will carry three catchers in the playoffs should they make it that far.
- Jeff Passan recently penned an interesting and informative story that examines the efforts to make MLB contracts non-guaranteed deals in a variety of circumstances, much like NFL contracts. It’s a lengthy read with a bit of legal mumbo jumbo, but it’s worth your time if you’re interested in learning about how guarantee language works in MLB contracts.