Allen ready for clean slate, optimistic about A's in 2023

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After brief MLB stints in April and May during the 2022 season, Nick Allen remained with the Athletics for the remainder of the season when he was recalled in June.

Now in 2023, Allen is excited for a clean slate, and a full schedule from the start.

“I’m ready just to keep playing every day, keep getting better, keep working,” Allen recently told NBC Sports California.

“I’m excited, I’m looking forward to this season.”

Oakland’s roster looks significantly different than it did last October, overhauled with players who can each field multiple defensive positions.

One of them, Esteury Ruiz, stole 85 bases last year in the minors.

“I played against [Ruiz] coming up, and so I think the A’s are going to be excited with him,” Allen said.

Speed could be a threat for Oakland, even at non-traditional positions.

“Even people don’t think Shea Langeliers,” Allen said about the A’s catcher, who finished in the 85th percentile of MLB ‘sprint speed’ last year. 

“He’s one of the fastest guys on the team.”

Manager Mark Kotsay and his coaches will make decisions on green lights, but Allen will be ready to accept them.

“The main goal is to get on base," Allen said. "From what we’re hearing right now, we want to put a lot of pressure when we get on there. Steal bags, score runs.”

Allen resided in Arizona much of the winter to work with A’s coaches on improving his hitting, but not necessarily in the batters box.

“In the weight room, just build some lower half strength,” Allen said. “And more control in my legs. So when I’m in the box, I’m able to control the moves I want to do. We did a lot of weight room stuff to the cage … make them correlate.”

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Oakland lost 102 games last year, and Allen believes this version of the team already is better.

The only question: How much better?

“I think it will be a team that can play really good defense, get on base, and run,” Allen said. “If we can do that, plus have the pitchers do what they do, we’re going to be in every ballgame.”

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