From the time he joined the A’s in mid-July, rookie third baseman Ryon Healy has managed to draw attention to himself.
In a good way.
He’s come through in clutch situations, as his .397 average from the seventh inning on would suggest. His 2-for-4 night in Wednesday’s 8-0 victory over the Royals lifted his average to .302 in 55 games since getting his first big league call-up. He’s done a nice job at third base, taking advantage of all the pregame tutelage that infield coach Ron Washington is willing to offer.
Healy carries himself like a veteran, and Wednesday night, he seemed to handle things well in a semi-heated moment. After Healy got nailed in the ribs by a 96 mile-per-hour fastball from Yordano Ventura in the fifth inning, the Royals seemed to think he had done something wrong.
[INSTANT REPLAY: A's score early, often in shutout win over Royals]
Cameras showed Healy talking to Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer during a pitching change, seemingly explaining himself and trying to clear the air about something.
“There was a lot of miscommunication going on, I think,” Healy told CSN California’s Glen Kuiper and Ray Fosse afterward. “I’m a rookie up here, a no-name playing against a bunch of superstars. I mean no disrespect to any of those players. … They just kind of thought I was glancing and chirping in Ventura’s direction.”
Healy said any reaction he showed after being hit was simply “the pain of wearing a 96 mile-per-hour pitch.”
There wasn’t any apparent carry-over from the incident, if it qualifies as that, the rest of the night. But it demonstrated that Healy can handle himself in such situations, another sign of his veteran presence.
A couple more tidbits on Healy: He entered Wednesday with the second-most homers (nine) by any American League rookie since the All-Star break (Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez had 14). Healy also ranked third among AL rookies in hits since the break (38) and was tied for third in RBI (25).
Melvin had to be happy with what he got from another of his rookies in Wednesday’s victory. Sean Manaea made his first start since Aug. 29 and was very sharp over five scoreless innings. Seeing the lefty finish out the regular season healthy is important for the A’s. If he puts up excellent numbers in the process, it’s icing on the cake. Looking ahead to next season, Manaea shapes up as a very important piece of the starting staff, especially given that Sonny Gray’s struggles leave some question marks about the top of the rotation.
Double-A Midland beat Northwest Arkansas 6-4 to take a 2-0 series lead in the best-of-five Texas League championship. Shortstop Richie Martin, recently promoted from Single-A Stockon, hit a homer and Yairo Munoz had two hits and an RBI. Munoz is scheduled to play in the Arizona Fall League for the A’s and will be a prospect to watch when spring training rolls around. He’s currently playing third base for the Rockhounds but also can play shortstop and second.