MLBbro veteran Josh Harrison, two-time All-Star, has bounced around the league the last few seasons. The two-time All-Star Swiss army knife has played for the Pittsburgh Pirates, Detroit Tigers, Washington Nationals and Oakland Athletics since 2011.
He is in his first year with the Chicago White Sox and this is his fourth team in four seasons. Harrison wants to help this Chicago team make a run to the World Series this year. And his veteran leadership will certainly have a huge impact in the clubhouse.
Harrison has struggled at the plate this season only hitting .156 through 21 games. But the White Sox know his value and know that as the season progresses, he will have numerous opportunities to help the team win ball games.
Our MLBbro could not wait to join the White Sox this season.
“When this opportunity presented itself, it was almost a no-brainer for me,” Harrison said on the “White Sox Talk Podcast” back in March.
Though Harrison has a lot of experience in the majors, he’s not a postseason veteran. During his time with the Pittsburgh Pirates, he played in a total of four postseason games from 2013 to 2015.
Now, he’s on one of the top teams in the American League the past two seasons.
Before joining the team, Harrison already knew how talented the White Sox were and how they were approaching the season as serious title contenders.
“I don’t have to mention the pitching staff,” he said of the team’s bullpen. “You (also) got Eloy [Jiménez], Luis Robert, Andrew Vaughn, I definitely took it as a compliment when they came after me, I was very elated.”
Harrison can pretty much play any position on the infield, as he has already played some third base for Chicago. But having him up the middle with fellow MLBbro Tim Anderson makes so much sense for the White Sox defensively.
With those two anchoring the middle, it makes them that much more secure on the infield.
“When I was presented with the opportunity,” Harrison said, “looking around the infield, second base, I feel like I can blend in with this team, sure-handed up the middle and help any way that I can.”
Through 32 games, the White Sox are in third place in the American League Central, just three games behind the division-leading Twins. This should be an interesting race in that division and once the White Sox (16-17) get healthy, they’ll be a team to reckon with.
Once Harrison gets things going offensively, he’ll present another threat at the plate opposing teams have to deal with.
“We know what we’re capable of on paper, but I’m not really interested in on paper,” Harrison said. “Paper has nothing to do with in between those white lines.
“We know what we have. It’s about us going out there, starting today.”
Be on the lookout for Harrison over there playing on the South Side. Though he signed a one-year contract with the White Sox, how he performs this season will determine his standing with the team going forward.
When Harrison joined the Athletics, he knew he would be in a position to help this team make a playoff push.
Harrison has put together some key at bats in August and going into September. The utility man is on a three-game hitting streak and is looking to build off that as the season nears an end.
He’s had a lot of production at the leadoff spot for the Athletics and has put the team in multiple positions to win games.
“Well, part of it is the team’s looking for you to be a spark,” Harrison told Yahoo Sports. “Whether that’s get on base, having a good at-bat, you get a chance to get things started.”
As a leadoff hitter, the team expects you to do whatever you have to do to get in scoring position during the game.
You set the tone as a leadoff hitter and when you’re having success at the top of the lineup, good things will happen.
“At the end of the day, as long as we’re having good at-bats, one through nine and, as you mentioned, being the leadoff man, top of the order, getting things started, Oly came through a nice clutch double, Marte hit a home run,” Harrison said. “More than anything, it’s going to take one through nine, if we can jump out early and set with hitters up front, I think — I don’t want to say it makes the job easier — you still got to play 27 outs, it’s all about getting to that pitcher and getting to that bullpen.”
Every game is important for the Athletics and there’s no doubt that Harrison will continue to put the Athletics in a position to get into the postseason.
In his 11th season, Harrison still has the skillset to play at high level. There’s a reason why he’s still a hot commodity and why the Athletics sought out to acquire him.
It’s going to be a battle for the final two American League Wild Card spots and the Athletics are going to look for players like Harrison to help them emerge victorious.
The American League Wild Card race is packed with MLBbros looking to make a big impact on this year’s playoffs.
We’ve already told you about the Bros from the Bronx leading the Yankees surge to the top of the Wild Card standings, and they currently hold a one-game lead over the field.
The Boston Red Sox and Yankees are pulling away from the pack and headed on a collision course for a one-game Wild Card playoff. But with at least 25 more games remaining for all teams involved, the final spot is still up for grabs.
The recent marriage of Josh Harrison and the Oakland A’s is an example of a player whose swagger is perfect for the City he represents. Harrison, who was acquired at the deadline, has been “Mr. Do It All” for the A’s.
Harrison has taken the majority of his reps at second base, but he also plays third, shortstop, and left field for Oakland. He’s also efficient at the plate.
Over his last seven games, Harrison has racked up 12 hits, is batting .375 and slugging .469. His latest contributions have been particularly important to the A’s because they’ve come from the leadoff spot.
Harrison has hit leadoff before, and his approach to the process gives you a look into his mindset as a ballplayer.
“I take pride in being leadoff,” Harrison said when asked about his new role with his team.
“More than anything, it’s going to take one through nine, if we can jump out early and set with hitters up front, I think — I don’t want to say makes the job easier — you still got to play 27 outs, it’s all about getting to that pitcher and getting to that bullpen.”
Harrison and the offense will be key to any run the Athletics are able to make, as their pitching staff has certainly done their part.
J.P Crawford and the Seattle Mariners have overcome offensive inconsistencies to end up in the thick of things as we wind down, but one of the major boosts they were expecting for the playoff push, may not be arriving at all. Seattle sits 4.5 games out of the Wild Card slot with 27 games left.
With a healthy 2020 NL Rookie of the Year Kyle Lewis, the Mariner’s had a puncher’s chance. Unfortunately, Lewis, who has been recovering from in-season surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee, suffered a setback in his rehab putting his return this season in doubt.
“He’s not feeling that great,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said when asked about Lewis’ rehab. “He’s had a little setback here the last few days. He really picked up his activity level there, trying to get to the point where he could go out in a rehab.”
What a tough break for a guy who was a popular preseason pick for American League MVP. If he doesn’t return, Lewis would finish this season with a disappointing 130 at-bats. He had 206 at-bats in 2020 in an MLB season shortened to 60 games by COVID-19.
The setback to Lewis puts more pressure on Crawford and the remaining Mariners as they battle for the final playoff spot. The Gold Glover Crawford is slashing .276/.364/.310 over the past seven games but will need to take it to another level if Seattle really stands a chance.
Toronto Blue Jays
Marcus Semien’s Blue Jays were extremely active at the deadline, but they’re still just treading water in the Wild Card race. Despite going 6-4 in their last 10 games, Toronto remains 5 games out of the final playoff spot.
If it’s any small consolation, Semien got a bit of revenge on his former squad with his walk-off 3-run bomb on Saturday, but that stands as one of the lone bright spots for the Toronto second basemen of late.
Hopefully, the return of fellow MLBbro George Springer can provide a spark for Semien and the Blue Jays. An ignited Blue Jays offense would provide the fireworks we want to see heading into this fantastic finish. Playing in the toughest division in the American League doesn’t help either.
October is right around the corner, and the playoff picture is slowly but surely becoming clearer. As we wind down the year, let’s keep an eye on these MLBbros as they make the final push for playoff glory.
The revolution of Black baseball is on blast once again in the Bay Area. Mark Gray highlights The Bay Area Bros: Josh Harrison and Tony Kemp (Oakland A’s), Lamonte Wade Jr. and Jay Jackson (San Fran Giants).