Well, once we hit the third week of the season, the roster shuffling began in earnest. And no affiliate was busier in the past week than the Triple-A Nashville Sounds, who had at least 14 transactions affecting their roster this week. You can check out the latest rosters here – Rosters – and catch up on all the past week’s highlights below. This weekly minor league report by Athletics Farm originally appeared on Athletics Nation…
SEASON’S TOP PERFORMERS:
OF Chad Oberacker (Midland – AA)
2 HR / 8 BB / 11 K / .385 AVG / .459 OBP / .692 SLG / 1.151 OPS
1B Matt Olson (Midland – AA)
5 HR / 16 BB / 18 K / .275 AVG / .448 OBP / .647 SLG / 1.095 OPS
1B-3B Max Muncy (Nashville – AAA)
1 HR / 12 BB / 19 K / .293 AVG / .408 OBP / .466 SLG / .874 OPS
2B Joey Wendle (Nashville – AAA)
3 HR / 2 BB / 13 K / .274 AVG / .324 OBP / .548 SLG / .872 OPS
CF Billy Burns (Nashville – AAA)
0 HR / 9 BB / 14 K / .324 AVG / .398 OBP / .432 SLG / .830 OPS
SP Tim Atherton (Stockton – A+)
23 IP / 10 H / 3 ER / 4 BB / 31 K / 1.17 ERA / 0.61 WHIP
SP Zach Neal (Nashville/Midland – AAA/AA)
21 2/3 IP / 19 H / 6 ER / 4 BB / 12 K / 2.49 ERA / 1.06 WHIP
RP Ryan Dull (Midland – AA)
10 1/3 IP / 7 H / 0 ER / 3 BB / 12 K / 0.00 ERA / 0.97 WHIP
RP Pat Venditte (Nashville – AAA)
10 IP / 3 H / 0 ER / 6 BB / 9 K / 0.00 ERA / 0.90 WHIP
NASHVILLE SOUNDS (8-10)
Pacific Coast League – Triple-A
Well, it was a busy week at Nashville International Airport! RHP Arnold Leon left Music City to make his major league debut for the A’s in Anaheim, and then returned to Nashville. RHP Nate Long arrived from Midland to make one start for Nashville, and then returned to the RockHounds. RHP R.J. Alvarez was sent out to Nashville, while RHP Chris Bassitt shipped out to Oakland, and RHP Zach Neal then arrived from Midland to take Bassitt’s place in Nashville’s starting rotation. Then, just before the Sounds could leave town for a road trip to New Orleans, infielder Max Muncy got a late-night call that he needed to catch a flight to Oakland. And with Muncy’s promotion, LHP Eury De La Rosa was designated for assignment. Then, once the team got to New Orleans this weekend, RHP Ryan Cook was summoned to Oakland, while Kendall Graveman was sent out to join the Sounds, and veteran infielder Ryan Roberts was signed to a minor league contract by the A’s and assigned to Nashville. And, oh, by the way, infielder Tyler Ladendorf was put on the disabled list as catcher Blake Forsythe was activated from the DL for the Sounds. With all this coming and going, the team has managed to lose five of its last six games. But many of the team’s hitters continued to perform well. Before his promotion, Muncy was the team leader in walks with 12 and led all Sounds’ regulars with a .408 on-base percentage. Despite missing a couple of games this weekend with flu-like symptoms, second baseman Joey Wendle still leads the team with 9 extra-base hits and a .548 slugging percentage. And center fielder Billy Burns leads all A’s minor leaguers in hits, triples, runs and stolen bases while boasting a .398 on-base percentage. Before his return to the A’s, Ryan Cook had been unscored upon over 5 2/3 innings, and switch-pitcher Pat Venditte has still yet to allow a run in 10 innings of relief. Zach Neal gave up just 1 run in his first start for Nashville, while LHP Barry Zito allowed just 1 earned run over 7 innings of work in his best start yet for the Sounds on Saturday.
MIDLAND ROCKHOUNDS (8-8)
Texas League – Double-A
After getting off to a good start, top prospect Matt Olson turned it up a notch this week, hitting .350 with 2 home runs, 7 walks and 5 RBIs, and he currently leads the Texas League with 16 walks and is tied for the league lead in home runs with 5. Meanwhile, hot-hitting outfielder Chad Oberacker currently leads all A’s minor leaguers in batting average (.385), on-base percentage (.459) and slugging percentage (.692). Second baseman Colin Walsh leads the team with 7 doubles while boasting a .403 on-base percentage, and shortstop Chad Pinder has 3 home runs while sporting a .456 slugging percentage. Pinder also drove in the winning run in a 12-inning walk-off win for the RockHounds on Sunday. With center fielder Bobby Crocker landing on the disabled list, outfielder Josh Whitaker returned to the RockHounds and went 2 for 15 in his first week back in action. Chris Jensen has been solid over his first 4 starts, posting a 3.09 ERA and a 3-0 record. But Midland’s bullpen has been particularly impressive. RHP Ryan Dull has yet to be scored up over 10 1/3 innings, while RHP Tucker Healy has tossed 7 1/3 scoreless innings in relief, and RHP Seth Frankoff has allowed just 1 run over 9 innings while walking just 1 and striking out 12. RHP Jonathan Joseph joined the RockHounds’ bullpen from Stockton this week and threw 1 scoreless inning in his debut for Midland.
STOCKTON PORTS (7-11)
California League – High-A
This big news for the Ports this week was the appearance of RHP Jarrod Parker for his first rehab start. Parker allowed 3 runs on 4 hits while walking none and striking out 1 in 3 2/3 innings of work against Visalia. The rest of the Ports’ pitching staff has been performing well in the early going. RHP Tim Atherton has been dominating California league hitters, allowing 3 earned runs on just 10 hits while striking out 31 over his first 4 starts to post a 1.17 ERA. Three of the team’s other starters are sporting ERAs under 3.00 as well – RHP Lou Trivino (2.31), LHP Dillon Overton (2.38) and RHP Dylan Covey (2.82). Meanwhile, RHP Andres Avila has been impressive out of the bullpen, allowing just 1 run over 11 2/3 innings while walking 1 and striking out 10. And with Jonathan Joseph’s elevation to Midland, RHP Trevor Bayless joined the Ports’ bullpen from Beloit this week. Third baseman Michael Soto has wielded the team’s biggest bat so far this season and leads the team with a healthy .466 slugging percentage. And center fielder J.P. Sportman has been a spark plug at the top of the lineup for Stockton and currently leads the team in hits, runs, stolen bases and batting average.
BELOIT SNAPPERS (8-10)
Midwest League – Class-A
After getting off to a slow start this season, Beloit has now won its last 4 games, including a doubleheader sweep on Sunday. Center fielder Brett Vertigan has been the spark atop the Snappers’ lineup and boasts the team’s best batting average (.338) and on-base percentage (.405), while outfielder Robert Martinez leads the team with a .415 slugging percentage. Shortstop Yairo Munoz has been heating up of late. The 20-year-old hit .400 this week and now has a .288/.323/.373 slash line. Meanwhile, outfielder Joe Bennie had a big game on Sunday, slugging a game-winning grand slam for the Snappers. Pitching prospects Daniel Gossett and Brett Graves each gave up 3 runs on 5 hits and 2 walks over 6 innings of work in their last starts this weekend. And with Trevor Bayless’s promotion to Stockton, LHP Jerad Grundy was activated off the disabled list and tossed 1 scoreless inning to earn the save in his debut for Beloit.