Brandon Allen went from Opening Day first baseman to designated for assignment in the span of four games, as the A’s dropped him from the 40-man roster today to make room for Daric Barton’s return from the disabled list.
Now that he’s recovered from September shoulder surgery Barton figures to be Oakland’s primary first baseman and the A’s somewhat surprisingly decided to keep Kila Ka’aihue rather than Allen.
Allen is too old to be considered a prospect and high strikeout totals make him unlike to post good batting averages, but he’s hit .286 with 59 homers and a .959 OPS in 253 games at Triple-A.
Oakland has 10 days to either trade him or waive him, and Allen would seemingly be a worthwhile flier for a handful of teams.
Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal has not had a good postseason. Entering Monday night’s NLCS Game 3, he was batting .111/.238/.278 in 21 trips to the plate across the NLDS and the first two games of the NLCS.
Defense has also been an issue for Grandal. In Game 1 of the NLCS, Grandal was on the hook for two passed balls. In the sixth inning of Game 3 Monday night, he couldn’t corral a curve in the dirt, which allowed Travis Shaw to score the Brewers’ second run of the night. Starter Walker Buehler was charged with a wild pitch. In the eighth, with Ryan Braun on first base and Shaw at the plate, Grandal again couldn’t corral a pitch in the dirt, allowing Braun to move to second base. Fortunately for the Dodgers, Alex Wood was able to escape the inning with no damage.
Manager Dave Roberts said that Austin Barnes, not Grandal, will start behind the plate for Game 4 on Tuesday night, Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times reports. That comes as no surprise at all. When Grandal struck out with the bases loaded in the ninth inning, Dodger fans regaled him with boos.
Barnes will be an upgrade defensively, but he’s lacking with the bat. He had an 0-for-3 performance in Game 2, though with an RBI, bringing his career slash line in the playoffs to .200/.281/.300 across 57 plate appearances. During the regular season, his career 100 adjusted OPS is a fair bit behind Grandal’s 115. Roberts is trading offense for defense in Game 4. Rich Hill will get the start opposite the Brewers’ Gio González.