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Jun 26, 2024 7:11 am

A’s Joey Estes, evoking memories for manager, to face Angels

roansy contreras, angels

When Joey Estes takes the mound for the Athletics on Wednesday afternoon against the Los Angeles Angels in Anaheim, Calif., Oakland manager Mark Kotsay will be reminded of one of his former teammates.

Estes, a rookie right-hander, makes Kotsay think of Tim Hudson, and not just because they both have similarly slight frames.

Hudson was 6-foot-1, 175 pounds during his playing days, and Estes is 6-2, 190 pounds. For Kotsay, it’s the mentality that both have shown when on the mound.

“The aggressiveness with his fastball and attacking hitters,” Kotsay said of Estes. “Huddy was that style of pitcher.”

It was particularly evident to Kotsay when Estes threw six perfect innings on June 5 against the Seattle Mariners before allowing a hit in the seventh. Still, Kotsay doesn’t want to create unreasonable expectations for Estes, considering Hudson had 222 career major league wins, was a four-time All-Star and finished in the top six in the American League Cy Young Award voting four times.

“You don’t want to jump to a Tim Hudson-type guy, but that literally was on my mind watching him pitch (against the Mariners),” Kotsay said. “Sitting back watching (Estes) reminded me of that.”

A’s catcher Shea Langeliers also is impressed with Estes’ demeanor on the mound.

“He’s got that mentality that he believes in his fastball, and rightfully so,” Langeliers said. “He locates it well. His arm slot allows him to get good vertical movement on it. The metrics are good on his heater. … I love the mentality of him being aggressive with his heater.”

Wednesday will be Estes’ first career appearance against the Angels, who have won the first two games of the three-game series, including 7-5 on Tuesday. The A’s have lost four games in a row.

Roansy Contreras (1-0, 3.90 ERA) will serve as the Angels’ opener in what will be a bullpen game on Wednesday. The right-hander has made 21 appearances this season between the Pittsburgh Pirates and Los Angeles, all out of the bullpen.

The spot in the rotation belonged to Patrick Sandoval, the Angels’ Opening Day starter who was lost for the season when he sustained a high-grade flexor tendon tear and torn ulnar collateral ligament when making a pitch to the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Shohei Ohtani on Friday.

Contreras is 0-1 with a 27.00 ERA in two career appearances against the A’s. The Angels will have other options for the spot moving forward, but the Wednesday game will have to be a collective effort.

“It is tough for everyone, especially (Sandoval), because he was starting to really, really compete, and then something like this happened,” Angels manager Ron Washington said. “You can’t control it. But now we know he’s got to get it fixed. We just got to continue to move on. I just told him the best of luck and that I love him. There’s not much more I can say.”

Angels third baseman/designated hitter Miguel Sano was activated from the injured list Tuesday and grounded out as a pinch hitter. He could be in the starting lineup on Wednesday.

Sano had been out since April 26, first because of inflammation in his surgically repaired left knee, and later during his recovery when he sustained burns on his knee for leaving a heating pad on too long.

–Field Level Media

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