By Jerry Mcdonald
Veronica Alvarez, a coach in the A’s organization, won her first game as manager Wednesday night for the HIgh-A Lansing Lugnuts.
Alvarez is the first woman to hold that position for the Michigan-based team, according to MLB.com. She’s substituting for manager Phil Pohl, who is on vacation.
“It’s awesome to see Veronica living out her dream, getting her opportunity,” Athletics manager Mark Kotsay told reporters Thursday in Arlington, Texas, before Oakland concluded a seven-game road trip with an afternoon game against the Texas Rangers. “This organization has been nothing but supportive of her. To see her in the last week of spring training, you could see her energy and desire to learn as much as possible and to see her replace Phil on his vacation time is great.”
Lansing, the Athletics’ HIgh-A affiliate in the Midwest League, beat Great Lakes 6-3.
Alvarez, 39, has worked at spring training with the Athletics since 2019. She lost her managerial debut Tuesday 2-1 and will remain at the helm for through the current six-game series. She has managed the U.S. national women’s baseball team and has been active in women’s baseball since 2017.
🚨HISTORY IN THE MAKING🚨
— Lansing Lugnuts (@LansingLugnuts) August 18, 2022
“A major part of everything I do and why I do it is the significance of it; the importance of representation and what that could mean to a little girl who sees me in that role,” Alvarez told MLB.com. “At the same time, I feel so comfortable on the field that it feels normal just to be out there and be competing and to be leading, whether it’s men or women.”
A catcher on U.S. Women’s World Cup teams in Japan (2008), Venezuela (2010) and Canada (2012), Alvarez serves as a firefighter-paramedic for the city of Hollywood, Florida.
— Left-handed reliever A.J. Puk has a 1.72 earned run average and opposing batters are 9-for-54 (.167) against him over the last 16 games. What Kotsay finds most encouraging has been Puk’s ability to stay healthy, because there’s never been much question about his talent.
“For A.J., the important thing is getting him through the next five weeks with a clean bill of health,” Kotsay said. “All of these guys (in the bullpen) are going to surpass what they did last year in appearances.”
— Ramon Laureano, who went on the 10-day injured list Tuesday has a Grade 1 oblique strain and is working through the rehab process.
“For Ramon it will be pain tolerance in terms of his workouts and for him as well to start doing rotational stuff,” Kotsay said. “He says he feels a lot better, which is positive.”
Cal Stevenson CF
Tony Kemp LF
Sean Murphy DH
Seth Brown RF
Stephen Vogt 1B
Sheldon Neuse 2B
Vimeal Machin 3B
Shea Langeliers C
Nick Allen SS
Zach Logue P
Source: Paradise Post