Bay Area Baseball

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

August 15, 2013
A's, Astros lineups: Lowrie at DH; Melvin talks expanded replay

OAKLAND -- Major League Baseball is reportedly looking into expanding instant replay in 2014, giving managers the chance to issue three challenges -- one in the first six innings and two the rest of the game -- with a crew in New York City reviewing the challenged plays and making the final ruling.

According to reports, owners will vote on the changes in November, with a 75 percent vote needed for approval. For that reason, A's manager Bob Melvin said he didn't want to comment until the changes become official. But it sounded as though Melvin, for one, would be on board with the idea of expanding replay for greater accuracy.

"My stance on that has probably changed here in the last year or so," Melvin said. "You want to get it right. And I was a little bit of a traditionalist before, where there's human error involved, but as long as everybody's on the same page with it and the idea is to get it right, then I'm all for that."

The key -- and a hot-button issue for those who argue expanding replay would slow down the pace of the game -- is to make sure reviews are conducted quickly, Melvin said.

"If someone's watching it and is on top of it and has the use of replay very quickly, then that certainly doesn't sound like a bad thing to me," Melvin said.

Coincidentally, Melvin was discussing this a day after being ejected from the A's 2-1 loss Wednesday night for arguing a close call at third base in the eighth inning. While having a replay system in place would probably make an ejection less likely in that situation -- a manager would just challenge the play instead -- Melvin said he regretted letting his emotions get the best of him in a close game.

"I didn't have intent to get thrown out of that game, but I can't get thrown out of that game," Melvin said. "In a close game like that you have to go out there and give your two cents and address what you think is right or wrong. But I can't get thrown out.

"When I'm sitting in there watching it on TV, especially here, where you feel like you're 10 miles away, I don't do my team any good. Even though everybody on our staff is able to handle stuff like that, everybody in the dugout has a job to do and I wasn't there to do mine."

Watching the final few innings on TV, Melvin added, "was really frustrating" -- arguably more so than watching it play out from the dugout. So for all you armchair managers out there -- last night, Bob Melvin shared your pain.

* Here's the A's lineup for today as they try to salvage a game in this series:

CF Young
DH Lowrie
3B Donaldson
LF Cespedes
1B Freiman
2B Callaspo
RF Reddick
C Norris
SS Sogard

And the Astros lineup against A's right-hander Sonny Gray, making his second start with the A's and first in Oakland:

LF Grossman
1B Wallace
2B Altuve
C Corporan
DH Carter
RF Krauss
3B Dominguez
CF Barnes
SS Villar

* Lowrie starts at DH today because his knee is still a sore where it was hit by a pickoff throw two nights ago. Melvin said he's hoping Lowrie will be able to play in the field by Friday, when the A's start a weekend series against Cleveland.

* Coco Crisp (wrist) will be re-evaluated tomorrow after receiving a cortisone shot on Tuesday night. Melvin had no updates on John Jaso (concussion), who is back with the team today after seeing a specialist in Pittsburgh but isn't doing baseball activity yet.

* Gray allowed four runs (two earned) on four hits in six innings in his first big-league start against the Blue Jays last week. Melvin said the rookie's stuff has impressed so far and that Gray is "a guy that's got a chance to be around for quite a while."

-- Matt Kawahara

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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.

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