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  • Paul Blackburn Will Start Season On Injured List

    Oakland Athletics starting pitcher Paul Blackburn (finger) will begin the 2023 regular season on the injured list due to a cracked fingernail, according to manager Mark Kotsay. Blackburn had a nice season with the A's in 2022, but he also made only 21 starts due to another finger injury. The A's haven't given a timetable on his return, but the 29-year-old right-hander shouldn't miss too much time to begin the season. He went 6-2 with a 2.26 ERA and 1.07 WHIP in his first 13 starts last year before his finger injury cropped up, and fantasy managers will be hoping he can return to that level once he gets past his latest finger injury. Blackburn is worth a late-round flier in deep mixed leagues in a great home pitching park.

    Mar 17 · Source via Athletics Paul Blackburn
  • Esteury Ruiz Battling For Outfield Spot With A's

    Oakland A's outfielderEsteury Ruizis in a battle for an outfield spot this spring as he looks to show off his elite speed with the big club in 2023. Ruiz is hitting a decent .241 with a solid .738 OPS alongside a homer, 10 RBI, and three stolen bases across 29 Cactus League at-bats to this point. WithRamon Laureanoset as the everyday right fielder in Oakland, Ruiz is aiming for reps in both left and center field, with the former looking like his best option, withJJ Bledaybeing optioned to Triple-A. Ruiz made his MLB debut in 2022, hitting just .171 with one SB across a small 36 plate-appearance sample between the Padres and Brewers before being acquired by the A's in December. The speedster swiped a whopping 85 bases in the minors between Double-A and Triple-A a season ago, and his speed will certainly earn him a solid look in the rebuilding A's outfield in 2023.

    Mar 14 · Source via Athletics JJ Bleday Ramon Laureano Esteury Ruiz
  • Paul Blackburn, Manny Piña Questionable For Opening Day

    Athletics manager Mark Kotsay provided reporters with some injury updates on a few players today, with Matt Kawahara of the San Francisco Chronicle relaying the information. Right-hander Paul Blackburn and catcher Manny Piña have each been slowed down by injuries recently and it’s now unclear if either player will be available to the A’s when…

    Mar 14 · MLB Trade Rumors Athletics Paul Blackburn Manny Pina
  • Paul Blackburn May Not Be Ready For Opening Day

    Oakland Athletics starting pitcher Paul Blackburn (finger) has a right middle fingernail avulsion (torn nail) that will cause him to be scratched from his Cactus League outing on Wednesday. Manager Mark Kotsay said it could jeopardize Blackburn's availability to begin the regular season as well. It's disappointing for the 29-year-old right-hander, who had a chance to be the team's Opening Day starter in 2023 after one of his best performances last year. He made only 21 starts due to injury, but he posted a 4.28 ERA (4.21 FIP), 1.26 WHIP and career-high 19.1 percent strikeout rate in 111 1/3 innings. Blackburn also dealt with a middle finger injury in 2022, but this injury appears unrelated. If he does start the year on the injured list, he shouldn't need to miss much time.

    Mar 14 · Source via Athletics Paul Blackburn
  • Cristian Pache Having Big Spring For A's

    Oakland A's center fielder Cristian Pache has come out of the gates hot this spring as he chases down a full-time role for the A's in 2023. Through 10 Cactus League contests, Pache is hitting .417 with a double, two triples and a 1.065 OPS across 24 at-bats. To his credit, the 24-year-old has yet to strike out in that time, albeit with just one walk to his credit. Nonetheless, Pache has already put his excellent defense on display at the big-league level but has scuffled to a .156 batting average with four home runs, two stolen bases and a .439 OPS across 332 career trips to the plate. Pache even scuffled to a .248 average with four homers and one steal alongside a .687 OPS in 41 games at Triple-A in 2022. His chances for increased playing time improved with newcomer JJ Bleday being optioned to the minors, but Pache will likely need to carry his hot spring start into the regular season for everyday reps in 2023.

    Mar 13 · Source via Athletics Cristian Pache
  • A's Option JJ Bleday To Triple-A

    The Oakland Athletics optioned outfielder JJ Bleday to Triple-A Las Vegas on Sunday. Bleday is headed for some more minor-league seasoning to begin the 2023 season, but he'll surely be up with the A's at some point this year. He was acquired from the Miami Marlins in the offseason in the deal that sent left-hander A.J. Puk to the Marlins. In 11 Cactus League games with Oakland, Bleday hit .286 with a home run and a stolen base. The 25-year-old former fourth overall pick in 2019 hit a disappointing .167/.277/.309 with a .586 OPS, five home runs, 16 RBI, 21 runs scored and four stolen bases in his first 65 major-league games in 2022 with the Fish. Bleday's prospect status has surely taken a hit, but he'll eventually get another chance in Oakland.

    Mar 13 · Source via Athletics JJ Bleday
  • James Kaprielian Makes Spring Debut

    Oakland Athletics starting pitcher James Kaprielian (shoulder) took the mound for the first time this spring on Sunday against the San Diego Padres. The right-hander struck out five batters over one 2/3 innings of work. However, he also walked three batters and allowed one hit as well. Kaprielian looked good as his fastball got up to 97 mph during this outing. The hope is that he feels good after this game and can continue on schedule for the rest of the spring. It sounds like Kaprielian should be able to be part of the Opening Day roster. Kaprielian has the potential to be a consistent option, but is more of a deep league target in fantasy leagues right now.

    Mar 12 · Source via Athletics James Kaprielian
  • Ernie Clement Released By The A's

    Utility fielderErnie Clementwas released by the Oakland Athletics on Sunday. He was re-assigned to minor league camp on March 5th and sought to fill a role as organizational depth. In 2022, Clement played 63 games with the Cleveland Guardians and posted an appalling .485 OPS through 161 plate appearances. He was then claimed off waivers by the A's, who employed him for the remaining six regular season games. The 26-year-old is a top-tier defender and played various positions this past season. He has smooth hands and can play a fair game anywhere on the diamond. Clement will likely start in the minors if he is signed, and he could be an under-the-radar option in very deep-leagues if injuries pile up.

    Mar 12 · Source via Athletics Ernie Clement
  • Paul Blackburn Wants To Use Changeup More

    Oakland Athletics right-hander Paul Blackburn, who is entering a season with a secure rotation spot in 2023 for the first time in his career, is utilizing that luxury by treating spring games as a testing ground for a more versatile repertoire of pitches. He wants to increase the usage of his changeup against right-handers after not being able to do so in 2022 due to a finger injury that ended his season in August. Blackburn's changeup plan is still a work in progress this spring, but the 29-year-old is coming off his first All-Star campaign in which he had a 4.28 ERA (4.21 FIP), 1.26 WHIP and career-high 19.1% strikeout rate in 21 starts. He isn't a big strikeout guy and doesn't overpower hitters, but he could create more weak contact with his six-pitch mix in a pitcher-friendly home park.

    Mar 7 · Source via Athletics Paul Blackburn
  • Nick Allen Not Guaranteed To Start At Shortstop

    Oakland Athletics infielder Nick Allen isn't a lock to open the 2023 season as the team's starting shortstop, according to general manager David Forst. Allen is probably still the favorite for the 6 to open the regular season, but Aledmys Diaz could also be pushing him for playing time at the position. The 24-year-old Allen is solid defensively, but his bat is lagging behind. In his first 100 big-league games for the A's in 2022, he slashed .207/.256/.291 with a .547 OPS, four home runs, 19 RBI, 31 runs scored and three stolen bases in 326 plate appearances. Allen should only be a middle infield option for those in AL-only leagues in 2023.

    Mar 7 · Source via Athletics Nick Allen
  • Dany Jimenez Struggling With Velocity In Camp

    Oakland Athletics relief pitcher Dany Jimenez has been struggling with his velocity so far in spring training. The 29-year-old Dominican right-hander got up to the low-90s on the radar gun in his most recent Cactus League outing, but before that he topped out in the upper-80s with his fastball. It's something to keep an eye on after Jimenez ended the 2022 campaign with right shoulder issues. Jimenez is still one to watch for saves in Oakland, but hopefully he'll show more life with his pitches as we near Opening Day at the end of March. In his rookie season in 2022, he had a 3.41 ERA (3.46 FIP), 1.19 WHIP, his first 11 saves (a team high) and 34 strikeouts in 34 1/3 relief innings. Walks could also be an issue again, so Jimenez is merely an option for save speculators in deeper leagues.

    Mar 7 · Source via Athletics Dany Jimenez closers
  • Ken Waldichuk Off To Slow Start This Spring

    Oakland Athletics starting pitcher Ken Waldichuk didn't fare much better in his second outing this spring than he did in his first. One of the top left-handed pitching prospects in the game, Waldichuk allowed three hits, two runs, one walk and one strikeout in 1 2/3 innings on Sunday versus the San Diego Padres. The lefty has been off to a slow start thus far and in total has allowed five hits, five runs, four walks and struck out three in 2 2/3 innings. The lefty was the crown jewel as part of the Frankie Montas deal at last year's trade deadline and went 2-2 with a 4.93 ERA and 33 strikeouts over 34 1/3 innings in seven starts to close out the 2022 season. With his potential and Oakland in a clear youth movement, Waldichuk has a strong shot to make the Opening Day roster. Even if he doesn't break camp with the Athletics, the lefty is still likely to see plenty of big-league action in 2022. As one of the best swing and miss pitchers in the prospect department, the lefty deserves the attention of dynasty league managers. Pending he breaks camp with the Athletics, Waldichuk is worthy of a flier in redraft leagues for his high strikeout rates, but don't expect much in the win department.

    Mar 6 · Source via Athletics Ken Waldichuk prospects
  • AL West Notes: A's, Ragans, Taveras

    The Athletics could deploy a six-man rotation this year, with general manager David Forst discussing the situation with Matt Kawahara of the San Francisco Chronicle. “We've mapped it out a lot of different ways,” Forst said. "Things that look like a six-man (rotation) or an occasional bullpen day or an occasional spot starter. There are…

    Mar 5 · MLB Trade Rumors Rangers Athletics Shintaro Fujinami Cole Ragans Leody Taveras
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