HBT Weekend Wrapup

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Things you missed while you restrained yourself from killing perspective-free Ohio State football fans who actually had the gall to worry — after a 73-20 victory over some Directional U. — that “the defense just didn’t have the intensity it needs.” Or maybe that was just me. Columbus in the fall is worse than New York in the summer. Sure, some Yankees fans may get bent out of shape if the team doesn’t go 162-0, but at least they don’t expect 162 shutouts:

  • Jeff Francoeur hit his 100th home run. This story reminds me of those “he’s determined to finish what he started stories” about the guy who takes a week to complete the New York Marathon or something, only far, far less inspiring.
  • Baseball’s second-in-command is being forced out. I’m pretty sure DuPuy is part of, like, six different “blue ribbon panels” and “independent commissions” and what have you that Selig set up years ago in order to punt tough decisions he didn’t want to make. This either means that we may, for example, hear something about the A’s future sometime soon. Or it may mean that new commission members have to be appointed and 18 more months added to the studies so that they may get up to speed.
  • The Phillies and Mets got all snippy at each other. It’s cute how they think these games matter for something.
  • Tim Lincecum rejected a baseball in the Giants-Rockies game he perceived had not been subjected to the Coors Field humidor. And they say drugs dull the senses.
  • The Rangers clinched the right to lose in the first round of the playoffs to the AL East champion.
  • If effing with people was an Olympic sport, Ozzie Guillen would have medal-laden pictures of himself on the cover of Sports Illustrated like he was Mark Spitz or something.
  • Bob Brenly takes himself out of the running for the Cubs gig. A gig that I figure he’d have about a 0.02% chance of getting in the first place. He probably knew that, and rightfully figured that it would be better to “take himself out of the running” than to be seen as being passed over for the job.

And now, let us begin the last week of the regular season.

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.