Mike Minor gets rocked by Padres in A’s debut

Welp, that didn’t go according to plan.

Following a five-day hiatus due to Daniel Mengden’s positive COVID test in Houston, the A’s returned to field on Friday night for a much-anticipated series vs. the Padres. Jesús Luzardo vs. Fernando Tatís Jr. Popcorn emoji. Baseball back at the Coliseum, baby! 

But almost nothing went right for the A’s, who got skunked 7-0, burned by replay again, Luzardo couldn’t make it out of the fifth inning, and new southpaw Mike Minor received a rude Oakland welcome from the Slam Diego Fathers, who are suddenly the coolest team in baseball. UPS uniforms and all.

Changeups used to be Minor’s go-to out pitch but he’s reportedly been struggling with them this year. On the third pitch of his at-bat vs. Tatís, the 21-year-old superstar/demigod belted his 14th dinger of the year. The pitch? An 86 mph “changeup” which is just a few ticks off his fastball speed. A batting practice fastball, really.

OK can we talk about how amazing Tatís is for a second. I’d seen highlights of him here and there because I have eyeballs, Twitter and like baseball, so he’s unavoidable these days. Dude makes electric plays every night. He barely missed another dinger earlier in the night, and proceeded to slide into second base like an absolute champion. So much power and grace. I mean, look at that glide on that slide!

Lol but seriously, Tatís is amazing and it’s too bad he’s not in an A’s uniform because I’d love to watch that guy play every night. Alongside Chappy no less (sorry, Semien, you’re still cool but … ).

*spits out Kool-Aid*

OK, back to Minor’s struggles. Along with his changeup problems, his home-run rate had spiked this year, as he’d given up 1.8 per 9 innings with the Rangers, or 7 in 7 starts. Welp, next, the unforgiving Padres lineup sent Manny Machado to the plate. After working a full count, he, too, went yard on Minor.

Minor went on to retire the next three batters, but that’s not a way to introduce yourself to A’s fans. Another concerning trend to take note of — only 3 of his 14 four-seam fastballs on the night topped 90 mph (barely, with the fastest going 90.2).

Does he have enough juice in the tank to contribute down the stretch? Let’s all overreact during these final few weeks together to find out.