Butler brings his quest for a World Series title to Bay Area

Butler brings his quest for a World Series title to Bay Area

Last season ended oh so close for Billy Butler, as his Royals team came up 90 feet short of tying the Giants in Game 7 of the World Series.

Now, Butler's ready for a new season in a new place, as he begins his first season in Oakland.

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Cash Kruth is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @cashkruth. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Gray finds trouble against hot-hitting Brewers

A's Opening Day starter allows six runs; Oakland rallies in ninth for tie

Gray finds trouble against hot-hitting Brewers

PHOENIX -- Carlos Gomez hit a leadoff home run and logged RBIs in each of the first three innings as the Brewers knocked around A's Opening Day starter Sonny Gray on Wednesday at Maryvale Baseball Park. The game ended in a 9-9 tie after Oakland rallied for four runs in the ninth.

Gray was touched for six earned runs on eight hits and three walks in only 2 2/3 innings, but he wasn't the only pitcher roughed up in the early going. Brewers starter Jimmy Nelson pitched five innings and surrendered four runs (one earned) on six hits, including Ike Davis' long two-run home run in the third inning. Those runs and one more came in the third after Brewers second baseman Luis Sardinas was charged with a costly error.

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Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brew Beat, and follow him on Twitter at @AdamMcCalvy. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

A's hope Crisp will be ready by Opening Day

Outfielder received cortisone shot to alleviate pain in injured right elbow

A's hope Crisp will be ready by Opening Day

MESA, Ariz. -- The A's aren't so much concerned about Coco Crisp's spring at-bat totals as they are his health, which is why they remain optimistic he'll be regular-season ready even if he continues to be held out of Spring Training games.

Crisp was a late scratch from Tuesday's matchup with the Cubs because of ongoing right elbow soreness, and it was later revealed that he received a cortisone shot to alleviate the pain, which will keep him out of game action through the week.

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Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Bernie Pleskoff

Pleskoff: Slugger Canha offers A's power bat

Pleskoff: Slugger Canha offers A's power bat

Selecting a player in the December Rule 5 Draft at the end of the Winter Meetings is really a low risk/high reward proposition. The price is $50,000 to obtain a player left unprotected by another team. There is a catch, however. The selected player must remain on his new team's Major League roster the entire season or be offered back to his original team for half the purchase price, $25,000, if he clears waivers.

The Miami Marlins did not protect first baseman Mark Canha this past winter. As a result, the Colorado Rockies selected Canha with the second overall pick in the Rule 5 Draft. With his power potential and the perceived lack of first base depth in the organization, Colorado seemed like a perfect place for Canha to play. His bat would find Coors Field a welcome playground. However, the Rockies traded Canha to the Oakland Athletics in exchange for pitcher Austin House and cash. If Canha makes the big leagues in 2015, it will likely be with Oakland and not Miami or Colorado.

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Bernie Pleskoff has served as a professional scout for the Houston Astros and Seattle Mariners. Follow @BerniePleskoff on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

A's not concerned about down start by Gray

Opening Day starter allowed six runs over 2 2/3 innings against Brewers

A's not concerned about down start by Gray

PHOENIX -- Sonny Gray was knocked around by the Brewers on Wednesday, but the A's Opening Day starter was told to forget about the outing as quickly as he left it.

"You know what? Guy's got a lot of energy, he's very serious about what he does," said manager Bob Melvin, "and every now and then he's going to have a bad outing. I've never seen him get hit around, so we'll move on to the next one with him."

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Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Red-hot Ike benefits from consistent approach

A's first baseman hopes to carry performance into regular season

Red-hot Ike benefits from consistent approach

PHOENIX -- Ike Davis has a confession to make.

"I'm not going to hit .700 in the season," he said. "You can write that down."

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Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

While not at full strength, A's happy with bullpen

Oakland expects Clippard, Otero to step up with Doolittle (injured), Cook (optioned) out

While not at full strength, A's happy with bullpen

PHOENIX -- The A's bullpen, though different in makeup, remains a great strength.

The club will begin the regular season without the injured Sean Doolittle and the demoted Ryan Cook, yet top to bottom, the bullpen is loaded with assets, starting with presumed fill-in closer Tyler Clippard. Manager Bob Melvin is expected to make an official announcement on that soon.

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Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

A's option reliever Cook to Triple-A

Melvin expects All-Star righty to sort through mechanical issues

A's option reliever Cook to Triple-A

MESA, Ariz. -- Ryan Cook will look to continue sorting through mechanical issues, just not with the big league club. The struggling A's reliever was optioned to Triple-A Nashville on Tuesday, one day after he endured another rocky outing.

"We just felt like he needed a break from this, to go down and work things out," said manager Bob Melvin. "Sometimes something like that can rejuvenate you. It certainly wasn't fun for anybody, especially him. He was shocked and I don't blame him, but we expect him to be back here. We really do.

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Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Zito proving he belongs back in bigs, if not with A's

Veteran lefty extends scoreless-innings streak to 11 in spring

Zito proving he belongs back in bigs, if not with A's

MESA, Ariz. -- Though the A's likely won't have the room to carry Barry Zito when the regular season opens, the lefty continues to prove that he belongs on a big league roster somewhere.

All he did in the A's 14-2 win over the Cubs on Tuesday was pitch four more scoreless frames, extending his scoreless streak to 11 innings.

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Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Comforts of home benefit Ike this spring

A's first baseman played high school and collegiate baseball in Arizona

Comforts of home benefit Ike this spring

MESA, Ariz. -- New Oakland A's first baseman Ike Davis has always appeared very comfortable at the plate during Spring Training.

In his first six springs with the New York Mets in Port St. Lucie, Fla., Davis smacked 13 home runs and posted an OPS over .900 in 228 at-bats.

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Ari Kaye is a graduate student in the journalism masters program at Arizona State University. This story is part of a Cactus League partnership between MLB.com and ASU's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Mike Bauman

A's emerge from roster churn with tremendous pitching depth

After a busy offseason, Beane has club in prime position once more

A's emerge from roster churn with tremendous pitching depth

MESA, Ariz. -- After all of the roster turnover, the Oakland Athletics have emerged, once again, as usual, with a lot of Major League-quality pitching.

The oft-asked question is, "What were they thinking?" But the answer is evident at Hohokam Stadium. Billy Beane, A's vice president and general manager, was thinking about once more having admirable pitching depth, much of it young, and thus, affordable.

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Mike Bauman is a national columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Vogt, Butler lead offensive barrage over Cubs

Catcher, DH hit two-run homers behind strong Zito in relief

Vogt, Butler lead offensive barrage over Cubs

MESA, Ariz. -- The A's busted out for 10 runs in the first three innings of Tuesday's 14-2 win over the Cubs at Hohokam Stadium, getting two-run home runs from Billy Butler and Stephen Vogt along the way.

Cubs top prospect Kris Bryant belted his Major League-leading ninth spring home run in the third inning, connecting on the first pitch from A's starter Drew Pomeranz, who had struck out Bryant in the first.

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Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Pomeranz labors through hip tightness in shaky start

Lefty fans four, walks four in latest spring start vs. Cubs

Pomeranz labors through hip tightness in shaky start

MESA, Ariz. -- A's rotation candidate Drew Pomeranz, looking to impress the decision-makers in a start against the Cubs on Tuesday, instead labored through just 2 2/3 innings as a result of right hip tightness, he said.

The problem is familiar but not serious for the southpaw, who has dealt with it in the past, particularly during Spring Training. On Tuesday, the tightness crept up during warmups and simply never alleviated, hindering his ability to finish pitches.

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Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Crisp to miss time after receiving cortisone shot

Veteran outfielder a late scratch vs. Cubs with elbow soreness

Crisp to miss time after receiving cortisone shot

MESA, Ariz. -- A's outfielder Coco Crisp was a late scratch from Tuesday's lineup against the Cubs because of soreness in his right elbow, and he's expected to miss several more games after receiving a cortisone shot in the area.

Billy Burns replaced him in the leadoff spot, playing in left field and going 2-for-6 in the A's 14-2 win.

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Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bassitt takes step back in bid for A's rotation

Bassitt takes step back in bid for A's rotation

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- First baseman Carlos Santana launched his third home run of the spring, righty Zach McAllister gave a strong effort on the mound, and the Indians claimed an 8-3 Cactus League victory over the A's on Monday afternoon at Goodyear Ballpark.

Oakland right-hander Chris Bassitt, who headed into his start with a shot at strengthening his case for a rotation spot, labored from the outset. Bassitt slipped into a bases-loaded jam in the first inning, leading to a three-run outburst for the Indians. Santana helped Cleveland pull away with a two-run homer in the third.

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Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Injury updates: Doolittle begins throwing program

Reddick testing oblique strain; Fuld participates in full workout

Injury updates: Doolittle begins throwing program

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- The A's are seeing significant progress from several of their injury-stricken players.

Closer Sean Doolittle, slowly working his way back from a shoulder injury, engaged in sock throws Monday morning -- the first step in the throwing process as he continues his rehab.

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Jane Lee is the Oakland Athletics beat reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rocky spring performance continues for Cook

Reliever allows 3 runs in 2-inning outing; ERA at 16.88 in Cactus League play

Rocky spring performance continues for Cook

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Ryan Cook's struggles were on display again Monday, furthering concern about the A's reliever, whose cumulative spring ERA sits at 16.88 following five outings.

"It's a struggle for him right now, but he's going to work through it," said manager Bob Melvin. "Better today, at least with the command of his pitches. Didn't get the results. Sometimes you get tested. Right now he's getting tested. It's no fun. He's not happy."

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Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bassitt battling fastball location against lefties

Rotation candidate unable to produce consistent results at A's camp

Bassitt battling fastball location against lefties

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- A's right-hander Chris Bassitt appears ticketed for Triple-A Nashville when the regular season begins after another rocky outing Monday, and he's perfectly OK with that, so long as he's able to iron out what he describes as a career-long issue.

Bassitt, who has allowed 12 runs in 12 1/3 innings this spring, including four in 4 1/3 innings against the Indians on Monday, has struggled to throw his fastball in to lefties -- a problem that's obviously magnified at the big league level, where scouting reports are at your fingertips.

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Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Fuld takes part in fantasy mock draft

Fuld takes part in fantasy mock draft

Here at MLB.com, we have plenty of fantasy baseball expertise. But no one can dispute that the Major League players whom we analyze have their own level of knowledge. Knowing this, we decided to solicit advice from them about how to build the perfect fantasy team. The result is the first ever -- that we know of -- players-only fantasy mock draft.

Ten players with an interest in fantasy baseball agreed to take part in a three-round mock draft with the help of MLB.com reporters, who relayed picks across the Grapefruit and Cactus Leagues.

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Zachary Finkelstein is a fantasy editor for MLB.com. Reporting done by Adam McCalvy, Rhett Bollinger, Alden Gonzalez, Mark Bowman, Jane Lee, Brittany Ghiroli, Steve Gilbert, Brian McTaggart and Joe Frisaro. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Graveman stands out in A's crowded rotation race

Righty has allowed one run over 15 innings for 0.60 ERA in spring

Graveman stands out in A's crowded rotation race

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Blink, and you probably missed most of Kendall Graveman's 5 1/3-inning outing against Cincinnati on Sunday.

The A's right-hander continued to cement his place in the starting rotation by making quick work of the Reds, striking out five and notching 11 groundball outs. Not once did he put the ball in the air -- even the lone hit he allowed was a chopper up the middle off the bat of Joey Votto. Graveman's only other base runner boarded via walk.

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Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Doolittle teaches A's coaches about social media

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Doolittle teaches A's coaches about social media

Social media is an ever-expanding internet platform. MySpace gave us online friends when we couldn't make any in real life, AOL Instant Messenger allowed us the opportunity to create screen names like LilR0ckStARgurl23 and Twitter/Facebook have changed the world as we know it. Oh, and GIFs are also pretty great.

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Wendle wows in first spring camp with A's

Prospect acquired in Moss trade lauded for footwork, focus on defense

Wendle wows in first spring camp with A's

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- The infielder the A's acquired in the trade that sent notorious talker Brandon Moss to Cleveland could not be heard as loudly in Oakland's clubhouse this spring, but Joey Wendle let his performance do the talking.

Wendle, ranked by MLB.com as the organization's No. 13 prospect, was reassigned to Minor League camp Sunday, but not before making a strong impression on the big league staff.

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Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Graveman adds shutdown start vs. Reds to stellar spring

A's pitcher, vying for rotation, holds lineup to one hit over 5 1/3 innings

Graveman adds shutdown start vs. Reds to stellar spring

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- In a game that featured strong starting pitchers from both sides, the Reds emerged with a 4-3 comeback win over the A's on Sunday afternoon at Goodyear Ballpark.

A's rotation candidate Kendall Graveman tossed 5 1/3 scoreless innings with one hit, one walk and five strikeouts.

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Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Olson, Wendle reassigned to Minor League camp

Latest A's roster moves leave 42 players in big league camp

Olson, Wendle reassigned to Minor League camp

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- A's infield prospects Matt Olson and Joey Wendle were among seven players reassigned to Minor League camp following Sunday's game.

Right-handers Fernando Rodriguez and Kevin Whelan, lefties Brad Mills and Ryan Verdugo, and catcher Carson Blair were also sent out, leaving 42 players in camp.

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Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Hahn leaves little doubt he's a rotation lock

A's righty adds five scoreless frames to stellar spring

Hahn leaves little doubt he's a rotation lock

MESA, Ariz. -- Jesse Hahn is leaving very little doubt that he'll begin the season in Oakland's rotation.

The right-hander fired five scoreless innings against the Reds on Saturday to continue a strong spring showing, allowing four hits, walking two and striking out two.

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Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Doolittle spot launches new slate of A's 'Green Collar' ads

Vogt, Butler also show funny sides in new commercials

Doolittle spot launches new slate of A's 'Green Collar' ads

MESA, Ariz. -- The A's unveiled a new batch of commercials on Saturday, revealing a bevy of comical spots that will be gradually introduced to fans throughout the season.

Two were unleashed on the A's site Saturday morning, one which shows closer Sean Doolittle teaching several members of the staff, including manager Bob Melvin and pitching coach Curt Young, about social media practices.

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Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Fuld in good spirits, feels 'lucky' after ball strikes jaw

A's outfielder shows no concussion symptoms

Fuld in good spirits, feels 'lucky' after ball strikes jaw

MESA, Ariz. -- A's outfielder Sam Fuld was in good spirits a day after taking a ball to his left jaw as he was running to first base in a split-squad game against the Rockies, which required a trip to the hospital and a CT scan that proved negative.

"Just don't make me laugh too hard," said Fuld, his jaw noticeably swollen.

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Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Tracy Ringolsby

Zito's happy homecoming could result in job elsewhere

Veteran left-hander has been effective with Oakland, but rotation fight is crowded

Zito's happy homecoming could result in job elsewhere

MESA, Ariz. -- After sitting out a year, Barry Zito, who will turn 37 on May 13, has pitched himself into a likely big league opportunity this spring.

The question is which team will give him the opportunity.

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Tracy Ringolsby is a columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.