Roberto Alomar, pioneering stat guy to be inducted into Hall of Fame

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No, not the one in Cooperstown, because the people that run and vote for it are too addle-minded to do such manifestly smart things. It’s the Canadian one doing the good work:

Former Toronto Blue Jays second baseman Roberto Alomar will be inducted into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame this summer. Alomar missed out on induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., by eight votes earlier this month. He was selected for the Canadian version on Thursday. The 12-time All-Star will be enshrined in St. Marys, Ontario, along with longtime reliever Paul Quantrill, former Minnesota Twins owner Calvin Griffith and statistical guru Allan Roth.

The thousand injuries of the National Baseball Hall of Fame I have borne the best I could, but now that the one north of the border is wise enough to induct (a) one of the best second basemen of all time; and (b) the first full-time stat guy to ever be employed by a team, I’m just going to give up on Cooperstown and throw my support behind the one in St. Mary’s, Ontario.

And while I’m happy to see Alomar honored, it’s Roth’s induction that really makes me happy. For those who have never heard of him, Roth was hired by Branch Rickey in 1947 to keep stats for the Dodgers’ top farm team, the Montreal Royals, and later went on to Brooklyn and Los Angeles, retiring in the mid 60s. While surely some players and coaches identified and appreciated the importance of OBP and platoon advantages before him, Roth championed them in the Dodgers front office, helping turn a simple observation into an important part of a winning organizational philosophy.

Why couldn’t Alomar make it into Cooperstown in his first year? What are the odds that we’ll ever see Bill James in the National Baseball Hall of Fame? Why shouldn’t I start stumping for Paul Quantrill?  The answers to these questions will probably shape how I feel about the Hall of Fame for some time.

Three A’s rookies hit their first big league home runs on Saturday

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The Athletics followed Friday’s 3-0 shutout with a rookie-led home run derby on Saturday afternoon, watching not one, not two, but three rookies belt their first major league home runs off of the White Sox’ James Shields.

Right fielder Matt Olson was the first to strike, taking Shields deep on a first-pitch, two-run blast in the first inning for his first home run in 49 major league plate appearances:

Fellow outfielder Jaycob Brugman duplicated his teammate’s results in the second inning with a solo home run, his first extra-base hit of any kind since he made his debut on June 9:

In the third, with a comfortable 4-0 lead backing two scoreless frames from Oakland right-hander Daniel Gossett, Franklin Barreto took his shot at Shields. After getting the call several hours prior to Saturday’s game, he became the fastest of the three rookies to record his first big league homer, going yard on a 2-2 changeup and driving in Bruce Maxwell to give the A’s a six-run advantage.

The Athletics currently lead the White Sox 8-2 in the top of the sixth inning.

Athletics call up top prospect Franklin Barreto

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The Athletics called up their top prospect on Saturday, inserting shortstop Franklin Barreto into the lineup for their second game against the White Sox. Barreto was originally scheduled to make his major league debut on Sunday, but got a head start after Jed Lowrie sustained a minor knee sprain in Friday’s 3-0 win and was scratched from Saturday’s lineup.

Barreto, 21, has been rapidly climbing the rungs of the A’s minor league system after getting dealt by the Blue Jays in 2014. He got his first taste of Triple-A action late last year, going 6-for-17 with three RBI and getting caught stealing in two attempts. He fared little better this spring, slashing .281/.326/.428 with eight home runs and a .754 OPS through his first 309 PA in Nashville.

While his minor league production has been solid, if underwhelming for a prospect of his caliber, the A’s are expected to give the rookie infielder a long leash with both Marcus Semien and Chad Pinder sitting on the disabled list. Pinder landed on the 10-day DL after suffering a left hamstring strain on Friday. Semien, meanwhile, is still working his way back from the 60-day DL with a right wrist fracture and likely won’t rejoin the team until he completes a rehab assignment with High-A Stockton.