Athletics infielder Jed Lowrie recognizes that there are plenty of new faces on the roster since a foot injury sidelined him for the remainder of the season back on Aug. 5, writes Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle. The Oakland infielder is no stranger to trades and understands that could be a possibility again, though he’s open to changing positions with the A’s if need be. “There’s always a lot of turnover there,” said Lowrie. “Whatever happens, happens.” Slusser also reports that Lowrie underwent surgery to repair a deviated septum that he wasn’t aware he had until seeing a specialist recently. While it’s not a major procedure, any ailment that significantly impacts an athlete’s sleep — and Lowrie said his sleep has been disrupted for quite some time — can obviously have a significant impact on his on-field performance.
More from the AL West…
- Any improvements made to the Angels’ farm system in the past year have been slight, at best, writes Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register. GM Billy Eppler vowed to turn around what was the game’s worst-rated farm system when he inherited it last year, but as Fletcher notes, things are still bleak on the minor league front. However, the process of reestablishing a farm system is a lengthy one, and Eppler has made multiple changes, as Fletcher explains, focusing on higher-ceiling (but perhaps riskier) high school prospects in the draft and going over the team’s allotted draft pool by the maximum amount allowed without forfeiting a future pick. Eppler tells Fletcher he plans to spend opportunistically on next year’s international market once the Halos are out of the penalty bracket that prevents them from signing players for more than $300K. Fletcher also breaks down several changes throughout the Angels’ minor league system, including the adoption of Trackman software and an increased focus on diet and nutrition for the team’s minor leaguers.
- Mike Zunino has seen his production dip once again after a brilliant 26-game stretch upon his recall from Triple-A, but the Mariners still view him as its long-term catcher, writes Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News Tribune. Zunino did slug a go-ahead homer in last night’s win to help keep Seattle’s postseason hopes alive, but he’s struggled tremendously dating back to Aug. 23, hitting just .159/.266/.293 in that time. Manager Scott Servais raved about Zunino’s defense, though, and the form that the former No. 3 overall pick showed upon his return to the Majors (.280/.393/.707) created some optimism about his ability to hit in the Majors. The question for the organization this offseason, Dutton writes, won’t be one of whether they need to upgrade over Zunino but whether his backup is already in the organization or not.