Bay Area Baseball

Follow the latest news and notes on the San Francisco Giants and the Oakland Athletics

July 26, 2013
A's, Angels lineups: Colon can play stopper again

OAKLAND -- John Jaso has made 42 of his 55 starts this season batting either leadoff or second for the A's, despite the fact that Jaso -- though not your stereotypical slow-footed catcher -- isn't exactly Coco Crisp on the bases. A main reason: Jaso, who has attempted just three stolen bases this season, has the top on-base percentage on the team at .387.

It may seem logical -- the more the A's have runners on ahead of their middle-of-the-order hitters, the more chances those guys have to drive in runs. But putting a hitter at the top of the lineup just because he gets on base was a progressive idea to Bob Melvin back when he was a bench coach in Milwaukee in 1999 under then-manager Phil Garner.

"Phil was really the first guy ... who would put the on-base guys up at the top of the lineup even if they didn't run very well," Melvin said. "I'd ask, why would you put him there? He doesn't run very well. (Garner) goes, 'What's the difference? He gets on base.'

"I think he was kind of ahead of his time as far as looking at on-base and certain numbers that you see nowadays looked at more so than when he was doing it."

Garner, now a special advisor for the A's, is in town this weekend and was hitting ground balls to the A's infielders during batting practice before they played the Angels on Friday. Melvin said Garner worked a lot with Josh Donaldson on the latter's conversion from catcher to third baseman, a move that has certainly paid dividends for the A's.

Garner also has clearly had a hand in shaping some of Melvin's managing techniques. Jaso is on the 7-day concussion disabled list, so he's not in tonight's lineup. So Melvin has Jed Lowrie batting second -- while Lowrie has attempted one stolen base all season, his .350 on-base percentage ranks third on the team.

Here's the full A's lineup against Angels right-hander Jerome Williams:

CF Crisp
SS Lowrie
3B Donaldson
1B Moss
LF Cespedes
RF Reddick
DH Smith
C Vogt
2B Sogard

And the Angels lineup against Bartolo Colon:

LF Shuck
CF Trout
DH Pujols
RF Hamilton
1B Trumbo
3B Callaspo
SS Aybar
C Conger
2B Field

* With Lowrie shifting up a couple spots in the order, Melvin has Moss hitting cleanup against the right-hander Williams, letting him break up the only two right-handed hitters (Josh Donaldson and Yoenis Cespedes) in his lineup.

* No updates on Jaso's condition, and Melvin said he doesn't expect anything new for the next couple of days. Left-hander Brett Anderson, meanwhile, is still on track to throw a bullpen session Saturday as he continues his recovery from a right foot stress fracture.

* Among the many impressive facets to Bartolo Colon's age 40 season so far, you can add the title of "stopper." Colon is 7-1 following an A's loss this year, including wins in six of his last such starts. He'll try to make it 8-1 tonight after throwing a complete-game shutout against the Angels last weekend in the A's 6-0 win.

-- Matt Kawahara

On October 14, The Sacramento Bee will temporarily remove commenting from While we design the upgrade, we encourage you to tell us what you like and don't like about commenting on and other websites. We've heard from hundreds of you already and we're listening. Please continue to add your thoughts and questions here. We also encourage you to write Letters to the Editor on this and other topics.

About Bay Area Baseball

Matt KawaharaMatt Kawahara was born in Sacramento and attended McClatchy High School and UC Berkeley, where he wrote for the independent student paper The Daily Californian. He graduated from Cal in 2010 and started at The Sacramento Bee as a summer intern. He joined The Bee’s sports staff in fall 2011.
Phone: (916) 321-1015.
On Twitter: @matthewkawahara.

October 2013

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
    1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31