Oakland Athletics outfielder Ramón Laureano made one of the best plays of the season when he dove for a ball while on the ground and made a run-saving catch. Off the bat, it didn’t appear as though a great play would be necessary, but when Laureano fell to the ground, the situation changed.
Perhaps making unnecessarily great catches is contagious in the Oakland clubhouse, because on Tuesday night, it happened again.
A’s pitcher James Kaprielian went to field a ball that was blooped just over the pitcher’s mound. On pop-ups, the standard operating procedure is for the pitcher to get out of the way and direct traffic for the rest of the infield. That was not an option here, though. Kaprielian channeled his inner centerfielder and tracked the ball down to make the catch. But that was only part of the battle. Kaprielian also had to hold onto the ball after being tripped by his shortstop, Vimael Machin.
He made it happen but it wasn’t pretty.
— Dallas Braden (@DALLASBRADEN209) August 10, 2022
At the end of the day, all that matters is that the play was made. This looks just as good on the scorecard as a flawlessly executed flyout.
But for the sake of manager Mark Kotsay’s sanity, the A’s may want to practice on making these routine defensive plays in a smoother manner.
[Dallas Braden on Twitter]