In an effort to keep Coco Crisp healthier after missing at least 25 games in each of the past four seasons, the A’s announced that the longtime center fielder is moving to left field.
Crisp is 35 years old, which is past the point when most center fielders shift to corner spots. He graded out very poorly in advanced defensive metrics last year, rating -14 runs in Ultimate Zone Rating and -17 runs in Defensive Runs Saved. So there’s more to the move than health considerations.
The move leaves Craig Gentry and Sam Fuld to platoon in center field, which figures to be a large upgrade defensively but ensures the A’s will have a lineup spot with very little pop offensively. In the short term it doesn’t change much, since Gentry and Fuld were going to play in left field anyway, but it does cut down on potential lineup options later.
2019 has not been kind to the Seattle Mariners. After starting the year 13-2, the club has gone 41-71 since, earning last place in the AL West. To give credit where credit is due, however, the Mariners were on something of a roll, entering Wednesday afternoon’s series road trip finale against the Rays on a four-game winning streak. However, the M’s lost Wednesday’s contest in very depressing fashion.
Entering the top of the ninth inning, the Mariners trailed the Rays 5-3, but a solo homer by Daniel Vogelbach and a two-run triple by Mallex Smith sent them into the bottom half of the ninth leading 6-5. Manager Scott Servais sent Matt Magill — acquired from the Twins exactly one month ago — to the mound to close out the game.
Kevin Kiermaier greeted Magill rudely, starting the inning by swatting a game-tying solo home run to center field. Magill would then allow a single to Willy Adames and a double to Michael Brosseau before intentionally walking Ji-Man Choi to load the bases with no outs. Tommy Pham worked the count to 1-2 when Magill spiked a breaking ball in the dirt that catcher Omar Narváez had little hope of corralling. The ball skipped away and the Rays walked off 7-6 winners on a wild pitch, a very on-brand sentence for the 2019 Mariners.