Austin Nola

Austin Nola

Height/Weight: 6' 0"/197 lbs
Bat: R
Throw: R
Born: Baton Rouge, Louisiana
College: LSU
Draft: 2012 5th round by the
  • California to let Major League Baseball, Disneyland reopen
    The Canadian Press

    California to let Major League Baseball, Disneyland reopen

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Major League Baseball teams in California can welcomea limited number of fans back to ballparks on April 1 under new state rukes announced Friday that will also let Disneyland and other theme parks reopen for the first time in more than a year. The changes allow people to attend other outdoor sporting events and live performances in limited numbers that go into effect on baseball's opening day, when the San Diego Padres, Los Angeles Angels and Oakland A's all have home games. The A's confirmed they will have fans in the stands. Disneyland officials did not say when the park would reopen. But when it does, only people who live in California can buy tickets. The same goes for MLB games and outdoor performances, as public health officials try to limit mixing while continuing to roll out coronavirus vaccinations. Indoor events such as NBA games and concerts are not included in the new rules announced by the adminstration of Gov. Gavin Newsom. The state is acting because the rates of new coronavirus cases and hospitalizations are declining while the number of people receiving vaccines is increasing, said Dr. Mark Ghaly, California’s top public health official. “Today’s announcement is focused on building in some of the compelling science about how the virus behaves, and how activities when done a certain way can reduce risk,” Ghaly said. California divides its counties into four colour-coded tiers based on the spread of the virus. The purple tier is the most restrictive, followed by red, orange and yellow. Attendance limits are based on what tier a county is in. Outdoor sports are limited to 100 people in the purple tier. The limits increase to 20% capacity in the red tier, 33% in the orange tier and 67% in the yellow tier. Teams and event organizers can only sell tickets regionally in the purple tier. In the other tiers, teams and organizers can sell tickets to anyone living in California. No concessions will be allowed in the purple tier, while in others, concession sales will only be available at seats. Enforcing the rules will be left to venues. Ghaly and Dee Dee Myers, director of the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development, said organizers will have to sell tickets in advance and can cross-check to confirm hometowns to help with contact tracing if needed. Myers acknowledged that some people will try to beat the system, but she said officials hope people will respect the guidelines. The Oakland A’s announced rules that give a glimpse of what life will be like for fans during the pandemic. They will be seated in pods of two or four seats, and tickets will only be available on the MLB Ballpark app. Fans can order concessions on their phones and have them delivered to their seats. No tailgating is allowed, and teams will not accept cash inside the stadium. People who don’t have debit cards can purchase one with cash at a limited number of locations inside the venue. “We are excited to safely welcome fans back to our ballpark for the upcoming season,” A’s President Dave Kaval said. Theme parks can open in the red tier at 15% capacity and boost attendance limits as virus rates decrease. Again, only people who live in California can buy tickets. Indoor rides at outdoor parks will be allowed because they are typically short and can allow for proper spacing. “We can’t wait to welcome guests back and look forward to sharing an opening date soon,” Ken Potrock, president of Disneyland Resort, said in a statement. Disneyland employees have been furloughed or out of a job for nearly a year. Andrea Zinder, president of the local United Food and Commercial Workers Union that represents Disney workers, said employees are “excited to go back to work and provide Californians with a bit more magic in their lives." Disney fan Kenny King Jr.said he became an annual Disneyland passholder a decade ago and typically takes his family there five times a year. King, 38, and his family, who live in Pleasant Hill, last went to Disneyland in February 2020 for his birthday. He's excited to return with his 8-year-old daughter, who had just started enjoying rides such as Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and Space Mountain, and to take his 2-year-old son, who was mesmerized by the lights and sounds when he went to the park last year. “We’ll sit there at the house sometimes and we’ll be like man, I just miss Disneyland,” King said. He said he's confident Disney will take appropriate safety measures. “They’ve had plenty of time to game plan on that,” he said. Adam Beam And Kathleen Ronayne, The Associated Press

  • Lesson learned: Padres slugger Tatis can crush fastballs
    The Canadian Press

    Lesson learned: Padres slugger Tatis can crush fastballs

    SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Diamondbacks left-hander Caleb Smith was reflecting on Tuesday's first spring training start when he talked about a valuable lesson he learned when facing the San Diego Padres. “Don't throw Tatis a fastball,” he said with a chuckle. After Smith grooved a fastball, Fernando Tatis Jr. hit a grand slam deep over the left-centre wall for his first homer of the spring. The 22-year-old hit the ball so hard that Arizona's outfielders barely moved and the ball landed among the fans sitting on blankets at Salt River Fields. Tatis is among baseball's best young stars and he finished fourth in the NL MVP voting during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, when he hit .277 with 17 homers and 11 stolen bases. The Padres beefed up their roster in the off-season, adding pitchers like Yu Darvish and Blake Snell to try to snap the Dodgers' streak of eight straight NL West titles. The lineup is expected to revolve around Tatis, who has a .301 average and 39 homers over his first 143 big league games. Here are a few other players who were impressive during the first week of exhibition action. ___ RHP Merrill Kelly, Diamondbacks: Kelly gave up two runs in two innings during his first outing but his stuff looked good, and five of the six outs he recorded were strikeouts. It was an encouraging sign for the 32-year-old, who looked like one of the better pitchers in the National League early in 2020 before a blood clot was found in his shoulder and his season ended. Kelly had thoracic outlet surgery to dissolve the clot. The procedure involved the removal of a rib. 1B/3B Bobby Dalbec, Red Sox: The 25-year-old corner infielder has three homers in his first nine spring at-bats, which has raised expectations even more for his 2021 season. The 6-foot-4, 227-pounder had an impressive debut for the disappointing Red Sox in 2020, batting .263 with eight homers in just 80 at-bats. C Gary Sanchez, Yankees: The 28-year-old is trying to bounce back from a miserable 2020 season when he batted just .147 with a .253 on-base percentage. He hit two homers in his first five spring at-bats, raising hopes that the two-time All-Star will return to his 2019 form when he hit a career-high 34 homers. 3B Ke'Bryan Hayes, Pirates: The Pittsburgh prospect was excellent in his first big league action last season, batting .376 with five homers in 85 at-bats. Now the Pirates are hopeful he can be one of the cornerstones of this season's lineup. He's off to a good start in spring training this week with three hits, including two doubles, in his first seven at-bats. RHP Trevor Bauer, Dodgers: The reigning NL Cy Young Award winner for the Cincinnati Reds joined the Dodgers during the off-season, making the defending World Series champions even more formidable heading into 2021. In his first outing for L.A., he struck out two batters over two scoreless innings and gave up just one hit. SS Wander Franco, Rays: The consensus No. 1 prospect is still just 20 years old but launched his first spring training homer Wednesday. It remains to be seen when he'll actually make his big league debut but there's little doubt the Rays could have a special player. ___ Follow David Brandt on Twitter: ___ More AP baseball: and David Brandt, The Associated Press

  • Phils' Middleton, Royals' Sherman Join MLB Executive Council

    Phils' Middleton, Royals' Sherman Join MLB Executive Council

    Philadelphia Phillies managing partner John Middleton and Kansas City Royals chairman John Sherman have joined Major League Baseballs eightman executive council.