Tag: Daniel Mengden

Sunday, September 3rd: Holmes Helps Hounds Move One Step Closer to Playoff Berth while Ports Clinch Cal League Playoff Spot

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Midland RockHounds Pitcher Grant Holmes (8 IP / 3 H / 0 ER / 1 BB / 5 K / Win)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Midland RockHounds RHP Grant Holmes (8 IP / 3 H / 0 ER / 1 BB / 5 K / Win)

 

TEXAS LEAGUE  (Double-A)

Midland RockHounds  4

Frisco RoughRiders       1

WP – Holmes 11-12 / 4.49

HR – Murphy (4)

Prospect Of The Game:

Pitcher Grant Holmes

(8 IP / 3 H / 0 ER / 1 BB / 5 K / Win)

The RockHounds won on Sunday to reduce their magic number for a playoff berth to one with one game left to play. A Midland win or a Corpus Christi loss on Monday will put the Hounds in the Texas League playoffs for the fourth straight season. RHP Grant Holmes was the star of the game, allowing just 1 unearned run on 3 hits while striking out 5 over 8 innings of work to earn his team-leading 11th win. The 21-year-old extended his league-leading strikeout tally to 150 and also set a RockHounds single-season franchise record with the total. Catcher Sean Murphy homered for the second straight night to tie the game in the top of the 5th inning. Second baseman Max Schrock had a pair of hits and drove in the winning run in the 9th, while first baseman Viosergy Rosa singled twice and drove scored a run, and Murphy drove in another run with a sacrifice fly in the 9th. RHP Kyle Finnegan got the final three outs to notch his 9th save for the RockHounds. Meanwhile, RHP Heath Fillmyer is set to make the start for Midland on Monday.

Click here for more on Nashville, Stockton, Beloit & Vermont…

Tuesday, August 29th: Mateo Triples Twice for Hounds while Carter Homers Again for Sounds & Arizona Fall League Rosters Are Announced

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Midland RockHounds Shortstop Jorge Mateo (3 for 6 / 2 Triples / RBI)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Midland RockHounds Shortstop Jorge Mateo (3 for 6 / 2 Triples / RBI)

 

TEXAS LEAGUE  (Double-A)

San Antonio Missions   10

Midland RockHounds   8

LP – Mann 3-7 / 4.44

Prospect Of The Game:

Shortstop Jorge Mateo

(3 for 6 / 2 Triples / RBI)

Shortstop Jorge Mateo turned in another strong performance for the RockHounds on Tuesday. The 22-year-old, who was acquired from the Yankees in the Sonny Gray deal, collected 3 hits, including a pair of triples, while driving in a run and scoring twice, and he’s now hitting .300 with 2 home runs and 9 RBIs over his last 9 games for Midland. Designated hitter Jermaine Curtis singled, tripled, walked and drove in 3 runs, while second baseman Max Schrock and center fielder B.J. Boyd both had 2 hits and drove in runs for the RockHounds. Starter Grant Holmes allowed 1 run on 3 hits while walking 6 and striking out 8 over 5 innings of work for Midland. RHPs Sam Bragg and Kyle Finnegan each surrendered 3 runs in relief, while LHP Brandon Mann was charged with 2 unearned runs in the top of the 9th to take the loss as the RockHounds suffered their fourth straight defeat on Tuesday.

Click here for more on Nashville, Stockton, Vermont & AZL A’s…

Thursday, August 24th: Shore & Brown Star as Ports Prevail in Extras while Carter & Barreto Help Sounds Win

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Stockton Ports Pitcher Logan Shore (7 IP / 6 H / 1 ER / 1 BB / 7 K)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Stockton Ports Pitcher Logan Shore (7 IP / 6 H / 1 ER / 1 BB / 7 K)

 

CALIFORNIA LEAGUE  (High-A)

Modesto Nuts     1

Stockton Ports  2

WP – Wagman 3-2 / 5.21

HR – Brown (25)

Prospect Of The Game:

Pitcher Logan Shore

(7 IP / 6 H / 1 ER / 1 BB / 7 K)

The Ports prevailed in an 11-inning walk-off to move back into a three-way tie for first place in the California League North Division on Thursday. RHP Logan Shore turned in one of his best starts of the season, allowing just 1 run while striking out 7 over 7 innings of work, and he now has an ERA of 1.96 over his last 3 starts for Stockton. Shore left with the game a 1-1 tie, and his team’s sole run to that point came when right fielder Seth Brown homered for the fifth straight game, tagging his team-leading 25th home run, a solo shot, in the 2nd inning. RHP Armando Ruiz pitched a pair of perfect frames in the 8th and 9th to hold Modesto in check and send the game to extra innings. Then, in the bottom of the 11th, right fielder Luis Barrera walked and third baseman Branden Cogswell brought him home with a double to right field as Stockton won in a walk-off and made a winner of RHP Joey Wagman, who tossed 2 scoreless innings in relief on Thursday.

Click here for more on Nashville, Midland, Beloit, Vermont & AZL A’s…

Saturday, August 19th: Martinez Impresses in Snappers’ Loss & Ramirez Has 4 Hits for Hounds as A’s Affiliates All Fall

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Beloit Snappers Pitcher Seth Martinez (7 IP / 3 H / 1 ER / 0 BB / 6 K)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Beloit Snappers Pitcher Seth Martinez (7 IP / 3 H / 1 ER / 0 BB / 6 K)

 

MIDWEST LEAGUE  (Class-A)

Beloit Snappers          0

Cedar Rapids Kernels  1

LP – Martinez 4-8 / 3.77

Prospect Of The Game:

Pitcher Seth Martinez

(7 IP / 3 H / 1 ER / 0 BB / 6 K)

The Snappers were shut out on just 2 hits on Saturday, but last year’s 17th-round draft pick for the A’s, RHP Seth Martinez, turned in one of his best starts of the season. The 22-year-old allowed 1 run on just 3 hits while striking out 6 over 7 innings of work, but he still ended up being saddled with the loss. LHP Ty Damron tossed 1 scoreless inning in relief, and left fielder J.C. Rodriguez and designated hitter Kyle Nowlin both singled as the Snappers suffered their seventh loss in their last eight games on Saturday.

Click here for more on Nashville, Midland, Stockton, Vermont & AZL A’s…

Meet Your 2018 Oakland A’s!

by Bill Moriarity / A’s Farm Editor

Third Baseman Matt Chapman

Third Baseman Matt Chapman

Back in May, we took a look at what a young, rebuilding A’s team might look like. But now that we’ve passed the July 31st trade deadline and the A’s have made a number of deadline deals, and even some post-deadline deals, to add players like Blake Treinen, Dustin Fowler, Boog Powell, Jorge Mateo, Sheldon Neuse, James Kaprielian and Jesus Luzardo to the system, it’s a good time to take another look at what the near future might look like for the A’s.

Of course, one never knows what the A’s might do in the offseason, but the fact that they don’t really have many veteran trade chips left to deal will definitely limit their ability to barter. And, as usual, it seems unlikely that they will splurge too much on the free agent market at this stage of the game. The team could dip its toe in the water to fill a few holes on a short-term basis, particularly on the pitching staff, but there aren’t likely to be any terribly significant commitments in the near term, at least not until a new stadium is within view.

Two players who’ve played significant roles this year seem likely to depart after the season – center fielder Rajai Davis, who’s set to become a free agent, and second baseman Jed Lowrie, whom the A’s hold a $6 million option on for next year. With the A’s now fully committed to a youth movement and with both Franklin Barreto and Chad Pinder capable of playing second base, it seems unlikely that the A’s will opt to bring back Lowrie. But is there still any chance that they might be able to get something for either of them before the season’s through the way they did with Yonder Alonso? It’s possible, but it seems like any deal that would have been possible probably would have happened by now. And looking ahead, there are only two significant players on the current roster who are due to become free agents after the 2018 season – outfielder Matt Joyce and reliever Santiago Casilla. Could the A’s possibly get anything for either player in the offseason? Anything’s possible but, if they can, it’s not likely to amount to much.

When looking at next season on the position player front, eleven guys seem to be pretty solid bets for the major league roster, leaving a number of others left to battle for one or two remaining spots, depending on whether the A’s choose to go with twelve or thirteen position players in 2018. The eleven most likely to lay claim to a roster spot include catchers Bruce Maxwell and Josh Phegley, infielders Matt Chapman, Marcus Semien, Franklin Barreto, Matt Olson and Ryon Healy, outfielders Khris Davis, Matt Joyce and Dustin Fowler, and super utility infielder/outfielder Chad Pinder. That leaves guys like Boog Powell, Jaycob Brugman, Mark Canha, Jake Smolinski and Renato Nunez fighting for the one or two remaining roster spots. When it comes to the pitching staff, things could be a little more up in the air, and one would have to suspect that’s where any offseason additions might be most likely to occur.

So, setting aside any possible offseason deals or free-agent signings, and adding in a fresh batch of summer arrivals, let’s take a position-by-position look at how things might stack up for the 2018 Oakland A’s…

 

Bruce Maxwell

Bruce Maxwell

CATCHERS

With Stephen Vogt’s departure and Bruce Maxwell making the move to the major league roster in June, the catching corps could prove to be one of the more predictable parts of next season’s roster. Maxwell and Josh Phegley seem set to split time behind the plate for the 2018 A’s, though the team could always give recently-acquired catcher Dustin Garneau the opportunity to compete with Phegley for the chance to serve as Maxwell’s platoon partner. The team’s top minor league catching prospect, former 3rd-round pick Sean Murphy, has played in just 39 games at the Double-A level and is probably another year away from factoring into the catching conversation.

 

INFIELDERS

Matt Olson

Matt Olson

With the departures of Trevor Plouffe and Yonder Alonso, and the likely departure of Jed Lowrie in the offseason, the A’s infield looks to be right at the heart of the youth movement in 2018. Young slugger Matt Chapman is set to anchor the infield at the hot corner, while Marcus Semien is expected to be back at shortstop. It seems likely that top prospect Franklin Barreto will get every opportunity to take over at second base, where he’s probably best-suited defensively and where he’s most likely to remain since the A’s acquired promising shortstop prospect Jorge Mateo from the Yankees in the Sonny Gray deal. The team seems ready to make Matt Olson its primary first baseman, though his consistent platoon splits make it likely that, like Yonder Alonso, he’ll frequently sit against lefties while Ryon Healy moves from the designated hitter spot to take over at first. Meanwhile, with Olson at first and Chapman at third, Healy looks likely to get the bulk of his at-bats in the DH slot once again, serving in that role against righties while seeing some time in the field against lefties. And with Olson likely to sit out against most lefties, that could give super-utility man Chad Pinder, who’s sure to make the squad, a good chance to get some regular at-bats against lefties while stepping into the field in any number of positions and giving various A’s regulars a bit of a breather by sliding into the DH spot for the day. And, of course, Pinder also has the ability to spell Semien and Barreto in the middle infield any time either of them is slumping or could just use a day off. The A’s could also decide to give a player who’s probably best-suited for the designated hitter role a shot to see what he can do as the regular DH against lefties. Right-handed slugger Renato Nunez may be limited defensively, but he’s currently leading the Pacific Coast League with 31 home runs while slashing an impressive .309/.387/.630 against Triple-A lefties this season. So, Nunez clearly could have the ability to do some damage from the DH spot when Healy makes the move to first against lefties. Behind Chapman, Semien, Barreto, Olson, Healy, Pinder and Nunez, other infield options down on the farm could include second basemen Joey Wendle and Max Schrock, shortstop Jorge Mateo, third baseman Sheldon Neuse and Yairo Munoz, who’s been increasing his versatility by playing third base, shortstop and center field for Triple-A Nashville this season.

 

OUTFIELDERS

Dustin Fowler

Dustin Fowler

With a couple of the team’s most veteran position players still in the outfield picture, the youth movement may have a slightly less dramatic effect on the A’s outfield alignment in 2018. The team still has control of its top home run hitter, Khris Davis, for two more seasons. So, assuming he sticks around for at least one more campaign, he’s likely to see most of his time in left field once again. And assuming Matt Joyce is back for the final year of his contract, then he’s likely to wind up back in right field against right-hander hurlers anyway. As for center field, the A’s clearly acquired Dustin Fowler from the Yankees to be their center fielder of the future, and that future is likely to start in 2018. Super-utility man Chad Pinder is capable of putting in time in the outfield. And since Joyce and Fowler are both left-handed hitters, he could well serve as an outfield platoon partner, particularly for Joyce in right. And if things line up as expected, then that would leave one or two more roster spots available for outfielders depending on if the A’s choose to go with twelve or thirteen position players and whether or not they decide to make room for Renato Nunez on the roster in 2018. Lefty-swinging outfielders Boog Powell and Jaycob Brugman, who’ve been the main men in center field over these past couple of months, will clearly move behind Fowler on the depth chart as soon as he returns from the disabled list. Though Powell and Brugman are both capable of playing all three outfield positions, the fact that they both hit from the left side severely limits their ability to serve in any sort of platoon role in the A’s outfield as it’s currently configured. And we all know how much the A’s value those platoon matchups. That could help the cause of a couple of other outfield options who happen to be right-handed hitters – Mark Canha, who still possesses some intriguing power potential, and Jake Smolinski, who’s always put up strong numbers against lefties, is capable of playing all three outfield spots, and is currently on a minor league rehab assignment after sitting out most of the season due to shoulder surgery. One thing that seems certain is that the one of the most interesting roster battles next season should be for the A’s last one or two remaining outfield spots.

 

STARTING PITCHERS

Paul Blackburn

Paul Blackburn

What once looked like a strong suit for the A’s, thanks to trades, injuries and poor performance, now appears to be a little more up in the air. Twelve different pitchers have made starts for the A’s this season. LHP Sean Manaea is the only A’s hurler to make it to the mound for more than 20 starts so far this season, and he also leads the teams in wins and strikeouts. RHP Kendall Graveman was looked at as the team’s ace-in-waiting behind Sonny Gray and was the A’s opening day starter this year, but injuries have limited him to 11 starts this season. Manaea and Graveman look to be locks to top the A’s rotation again in 2018. But don’t forget about a guy who put up better numbers than either of those pitchers have this season before undergoing hip surgery this summer – RHP Andrew Triggs. If he returns healthy and regains his form, then Triggs would also be in line to claim a rotation spot next season. A pair of rookies would appear to be the best bets to round out the rotation – RHP Paul Blackburn, who’s been solid in 9 starts for the A’s, and RHP Daniel Gossett, a former 2nd-round pick who’s shown plenty of promising potential. Behind those five (none of whom is currently over the age of 28), there are a number of arms who could be in waiting at Nashville but who also come with a number of questions marks. RHPs Jharel Cotton and Jesse Hahn have combined to make 31 starts for the A’s this season, and while both have shown great promise at times, they can both be wildly inconsistent as well. RHP Daniel Mengden, who showed such potential at times last season, is still in the picture and has recently returned to action for Nashville after missing much of the season due to injuries. Veteran RHP Chris Smith also remains in the mix and could serve as valuable rotation depth at Triple-A. Other potential starting options in the system include RHP Chris Bassitt (who’s been working out of the bullpen at Nashville while making his way back from Tommy John surgery), RHP Frankie Montas (who had been serving in a starting role at Triple-A before landing on the disabled list), RHP Raul Alcantara (who started the season on the A’s roster), RHP Corey Walter (who’s made 11 starts for the Sounds this season), and LHP A.J. Puk (the A’s top draft pick last year who’s put up an ERA of 5.36 and struck out 61 in 45 1/3 frames since joining Double-A Midland in June). Puk may not be ready to be a real rotation option for the A’s to start the season but, depending on how things play out, he could prove to be a legitimate option for the team before next season is through.

 

RELIEF PITCHERS

Blake Treinen

Blake Treinen

The bullpen could be the biggest question mark for the A’s heading into 2018. There aren’t too many locks here, nor too many talented young hurlers who look to be ready to bloom into superstar status. This could be an area the A’s seek to fill in with a few shrewd free-agent pickups, or the organization might just decide to make the best with what they’ve got and wait until the team looks like it might be ready to contend before investing in outside help for the bullpen. But looking at what’s in-house at the moment, RHP Blake Treinen seems to be the best option for the closer’s role. Of course, RHP Santiago Casilla is still under contract for next season, while the A’s will also maintain control of a couple of other familiar faces from the bullpen – RHPs Liam Hendriks and Ryan Dull. Two hard-throwing RHPs will remain in the mix as well – Frankie Montas, who’s still working to harness his potential, and Simon Castro, who has shown some promise in 13 appearances for the A’s this season. RHP Bobby Wahl will be returning from thoracic outlet surgery, while RHP J.B. Wendelken will be coming back from Tommy John surgery. And there are a number of possible long-relief options to consider as well, including RHP Chris Hatcher (who was recently acquired from the Dodgers), RHP Chris Smith (who could be well-suited for such a role), RHP Chris Bassitt (who’s been throwing multiple innings out of the bullpen at Nashville), RHPs Michael Brady and Josh Smith (both of whom have served in that role at times this season), and RHP Raul Alcantara (who started the season in that role for the A’s). On the left side of the bullpen, the A’s current options look to be fairly limited. Of course, LHP Daniel Coulombe, who’s made 53 relief appearances for the A’s this season, clearly stands atop the pack. LHP Felix Doubront has been serving in a relief role for Nashville since returning from Tommy John surgery, and the A’s recently acquired LHP Sam Moll, who’s made 139 relief appearances in the Rockies system over the last five years. But beyond that, there aren’t many more southpaws to be seen in the bullpen picture at this point anyway, so stay tuned.

 

One never really knows what the A’s might decide to do in any given offseason, and this one’s certainly no different. But one thing’s clear – the team is committed to rebuilding with this current crop of young players. There aren’t many veterans left to deal away at this point, so any significant additions would most likely have to come from the free agent market, though it seems unlikely that the A’s would be ready to make too much of a splash in the free agent pool at this stage of the game. Once plans for the A’s new ballpark are announced, we should start to get a much better sense of what the team’s long-term and short-term player personnel plans are. But for now, this is how the current crop of young players who are likely to make the squad next season is shaping up. And hopefully, A’s fans can look forward to watching this promising pack of prospects develop into a winning team that will be able to carry its winnings ways into a new ballpark somewhere in Oakland in the not-too-distant future.

*          *          *

Be sure to like A’s Farm’s page on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @AthleticsFarm. You can also get our exclusive A’s minor league newsletter e-mailed to you free by signing up here.

Monday, August 14th: Ports Battle Back to Win 5th Straight while Mengden Returns to Mound for Sounds

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Stockton Ports Designated Hitter Eli White (3 for 5 / RBI / 2 Runs)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Stockton Ports Designated Hitter Eli White (3 for 5 / RBI / 2 Runs)

 

CALIFORNIA LEAGUE  (High-A)

Stockton Ports                      7

Rancho Cucamonga Quakes  6

WP – A.Ruiz 3-1 / 4.00

Prospect Of The Game:

Designated Hitter Eli White

(3 for 5 / RBI / 2 Runs)

The Ports mounted a late-game comeback to tie things up in the 9th inning and then wound up winning in extra innings to notch their fifth straight victory on Monday. RHP Brendan Butler had a rough start, giving up 5 runs on 9 hits in just 3 2/3 frames, while LHP Evan Manarino allowed 1 run in 3 1/3 innings of relief for Stockton. Catcher Jose Chavez doubled in a pair, while second baseman Nate Mondou singled twice, walked and drove in a run. Third baseman Mikey White singled in a run with two outs in the top of the 9th to tie things up and send the game to extra innings. Then in the top of the 10th, designated hitter Eli White collected his third single of the game and ultimately came around to score the winning run on catcher Argenis Raga‘s RBI single. RHP Armando Ruiz earned the win after tossing scoreless innings in relief, and RHP Nolan Blackwood got the final three outs in the bottom of the 9th to notch his 15th save for Stockton. In other news, Ports infielder Sheldon Neuse was promoted to the RockHounds while Midland infielder Branden Cogswell was reassigned to Stockton on Monday.

Click here for more on Nashville, Beloit & AZL A’s…

Sunday, August 13th: Smolinski’s Big Bat Leads Ports to 4th Straight Victory while Sportman’s Grand Slam Helps Hounds Win

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Stockton Ports Designated Hitter Jake Smolinski (5 for 5 / Home Run / Double / 5 RBIs)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Stockton Ports DH Jake Smolinski (5 for 5 / Home Run / Double / 5 RBIs)

 

CALIFORNIA LEAGUE  (High-A)

Visalia Rawhide    1

Stockton Ports  10

WP – Shore 2-5 / 4.47

HR – M.White (14), Smolinski (1)

Prospect Of The Game:

Designated Hitter Jake Smolinski

(5 for 5 / Home Run / Double / 5 RBIs)

Stockton scored 10 runs to win its fourth straight on Sunday. Designated hitter Jake Smolinski had a big night at the plate in his second rehab appearance for the Ports, collecting 5 hits, including a home run and a double, while driving in 5 of Stockton’s 10 runs in the game. Third baseman Mikey White homered for the second time in the last three nights, while shortstop Richie Martin singled, tripled and scored twice, and catcher Argenis Raga singled, doubled and drove in a pair for the Ports. RHP Logan Shore turned in a strong start on Sunday, striking out 7 over 5 scoreless frames to earn his 2nd win for Stockton, while LHP Brandon Marsonek pitched 3 perfect innings in relief to pick up his 1st save for the Ports. In other news, Ports play-by-play man Zack Bayrouty announced on Sunday that Stockton infielder Sheldon Neuse has been promoted to Double-A Midland. Neuse has put up an impressive .386/.457/.675 slash line since joining Stockton after being acquired from the Nationals organization in the Ryan Madson/Sean Doolittle deal. Though Neuse had been splitting time between shortstop and third base for the Ports, he’s likely to spend the bulk of his time at the hot corner for Midland with A’s shortstop-of-the-future Jorge Mateo also on the RockHounds roster.

Click here for more on Nashville, Midland, Beloit, Vermont & AZL A’s…

Wednesday, August 9th: Lumley, Mengden & Kelly Lead AZL A’s to Victory while Montas Suffers Loss for Sounds

A’s Prospect Of The Day: AZL A's First Baseman Jake Lumley (2 for 5 / Triple / 3 RBIs)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: AZL A’s First Baseman Jake Lumley (2 for 5 / Triple / 3 RBIs)

 

ARIZONA LEAGUE  (Rookie Short-Season)

AZL A’s     7

AZL Cubs  2

WP – R.Kelly 1-0 / 0.00

Prospect Of The Game:

First Baseman Jake Lumley

(2 for 5 / Triple / 3 RBIs)

This year’s 33rd-round draft pick for the A’s, first baseman Jake Lumley, had another big night at the plate to help make the AZL A’s the only A’s affiliate to record a win on Wednesday. The 22-year-old out of Canisius College singled and tripled with the bases loaded to drive in 3 runs, and he’s now sporting a .359/.419/.500 slash line over his first 21 pro games for the AZL A’s. Left fielder Ben Spitznagel and designated hitter Lazaro Armenteros each had a pair of hits and drove in a run, and center fielder Austin Beck doubled in a run. Rehabbing RHP Daniel Mengden made the start and struck out 6 while throwing 3 scoreless and hitless innings, and 20-year-old Dominican RHP Rafael Kelly allowed just 1 unearned run in 4 innings of relief to earn his 1st win for the A’s. Meanwhile, LHP Jhenderson Hurtado and outfielder Jeramiah McCray were both reassigned from Vermont to the AZL A’s on Wednesday.

Click here for more on Nashville, Midland, Stockton, Beloit & Vermont…

Friday, August 4th: 4 HRs Help Sounds Snap Skid while 4 HRs Aren’t Enough to Help Snappers Prevail and Mengden & Ruiz Return to the Mound

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Nashville Sounds Second Baseman Franklin Barreto (3 for 5 / Home Run / Double)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Nashville Sounds Second Baseman Franklin Barreto (3 for 5 / HR / Double)

 

PACIFIC COAST LEAGUE  (Triple-A)

Nashville Sounds  8

Reno Aces              5

WP – Bassitt 2-2 / 8.75

HR – Nunez (28), Olson (22), Barreto (12), Carter (1)

Prospect Of The Game:

Second Baseman Franklin Barreto

(3 for 5 / Home Run / Double)

Four home runs helped the Sounds snap their four-game losing streak on Friday. Second baseman Franklin Barreto continued his hot hitting of late, collecting 3 hits, including a home run and a double, and the 21-year-old has now gone 12 for 20 over his last 5 games for the Sounds. First baseman Matt Olson doubled, hit his 22nd home run and drove in 3, while left fielder Renato Nunez walked, doubled, drilled his minor-league-leading 28th homer and drove in a pair, and designated hitter Chris Carter walked and slugged a 2-run shot for the Sounds. Starter Corey Walter gave up 2 runs in 3 1/3 innings of work, and RHP Chris Bassitt picked up the win despite allowing 2 runs in 2 innings of relief for Nashville.

Click here for more on Midland, Stockton, Beloit, Vermont & AZL A’s…

A’s Farm Report: Pitching Prospects Update – Puk, Gossett, Blackburn, Holmes & More

by Bill Moriarity / A’s Farm Editor

A.J. Puk

A.J. Puk

This week, we wanted to take a look at the pitchers currently appearing in all the A’s affiliates’ starting rotations. From A.J. Puk to Grant Holmes, from Daniel Gossett to Paul Blackburn, there are plenty of promising pitching prospects currently making their presence felt on the mound.

You can always stay up to date on all the A’s top prospects and the daily action in the A’s minor league system right here on Athletics Farm. A version of this report originally appeared on Athletics Nation

 

NASHVILLE SOUNDS

Current Starting Rotation: RHP Paul Blackburn, RHP Chris Smith, RHP Corey Walter, RHP Michael Brady, RHP Daniel Gossett (recently replaced by LHP Dalton Sawyer)

Daniel Gossett

Daniel Gossett

As most A’s fans know, RHP Daniel Gossett was scratched from his scheduled start for the Sounds on Saturday so that he could be available to make his major league debut for the A’s this week, filling in for injured RHP Andrew Triggs. Gossett’s season got off to a bumpy start. The A’s 2nd-round pick in 2014 posted an unsightly 6.27 ERA in 4 April starts, but put up a much more impressive 1.54 ERA over 6 starts in May. Overall, the 24-year-old has struck out 54 while walking just 19 with a 3.41 ERA over 60 2/3 innings for the Sounds. As solid as Gossett has been, RHP Paul Blackburn has possibly been even more effective. His season has been almost the opposite of Gossett’s. The Cubs’ 1st-round supplemental pick in 2012 was almost unhittable in April, with a 1.64 ERA, but he took a bit of a dip in May, compiling an ERA of 5.12. In his 2 starts in June though, the 23-year-old has allowed just 1 run and 5 hits over 13 innings of work. He’s also on the A’s 40-man roster, so a call-up at some point this season would be easy. But 36-year-old veteran RHP Chris Smith has probably been the Sounds’ best starter on the whole. He’s posted a 2.96 ERA over 51 2/3 frames, threw 6 no-hit innings in his last start, and is currently riding a 12-inning scoreless streak. RHP Michael Brady was a free agent signee in the offseason. He started out the year in the bullpen, but he’s been working out of the rotation recently and has now made 6 starts for the Sounds. The 30-year-old has compiled a respectable 3.67 ERA, but what’s most notable about him is the fact that he’s walked just 6 while striking out 42 over 41 2/3 innings for Nashville. RHP Corey Walter is a fairly recent arrival in the Sounds starting rotation, arriving from the RockHounds at the end of May. The 24-year-old was, by far and away, Midland’s best starter, putting up a 2.44 ERA for the Hounds, and he’s posted a solid 3.38 ERA over 4 starts for Nashville. The newest addition to the Sounds rotation is LHP Dalton Sawyer, who was called up from Beloit to fill in for Gossett on Saturday. The 23-year-old was the Snappers’ best pitcher, striking out 64 over 56 innings while compiling an impressive 2.25 ERA for Beloit. And last year’s 9th-round draft pick for the A’s turned in a quality start for the Sounds on Saturday, allowing 3 runs over 6 innings of work. But it’s unclear whether or not he’ll continue to stick around Nashville while Gossett is away. After his recent stint with the A’s, RHP Daniel Mengden was set to rejoin the Sounds starting rotation until he was sidelined by a lat strain, and he’s now doing time on the disabled list, as is RHP Raul Alcantara, and rehabbing RHP Chris Bassitt has been sidelined for the time being after experiencing some discomfort in his return from Tommy John surgery.

 

MIDLAND ROCKHOUNDS

Current Starting Rotation: RHP Grant Holmes, RHP Heath Fillmyer, RHP Brett Graves, LHP Evan Manarino, RHP Joel Seddon

Grant Holmes

Grant Holmes

Former 1st-round draft pick for the Dodgers, RHP Grant Holmes, was having a mostly disappointing season for the RockHounds until fairly recently. He had a 6.27 ERA in April and 5.52 ERA in month of May, but since the calendar turned to June, it’s been an entirely different story. The 21-year-old has struck out 17 while walking just 1 over his last 14 frames, threw 8 shutout innings in his last start and didn’t allow a hit until the 7th inning in that game. Overall, Holmes has notched 69 strikeouts over 62 innings for the Hounds this season. 23-year-old RHP Heath Fillmyer, who impressed while splitting time between Stockton and Midland last year, has been mostly mediocre for Midland so far this season, compiling a 4.22 ERA and a 1.63 WHIP over 13 starts for the RockHounds. RHP Brett Graves and LHP Evan Manarino were two of Stockton’s best starters in the early going. Graves was the first to earn his promotion to Double-A by putting up a 2.55 ERA and striking out 29 in 24 2/3 innings for the Ports, while Manarino posted a 3.21 ERA and walked just 3 batters over 47 2/3 frames for Stockton. Things have been a little tougher in the Texas League for both of them though. Graves has compiled a 5.97 ERA over his first 7 appearances, while Manarino has a 6.75 ERA after his first 3 starts for Midland. RHP Joel Seddon has recently stepped into the RockHounds rotation. The 24-year-old made 26 starts for Midland last year but started out this season in the bullpen, and he’s now made a pair of starts for the Hounds. In his last appearance on Friday, Seddon allowed just 1 run over 7 innings of work for Midland. There was room for Seddon in the RockHounds rotation with RHP Corey Walter, who had been the Hounds’ best starter, being promoted to Nashville, RHP James Naile sidelined since mid-May with an abdominal/oblique strain, and RHP Ben Bracewell‘s recent banishment to the bullpen.

 

STOCKTON PORTS

Current Starting Rotation: LHP A.J. Puk, RHP Casey Meisner, RHP Dustin Hurlbutt, RHP Angel Duno, RHP Brendan Butler

Logan Shore

Logan Shore

Stockton’s starting rotation originally consisted of the A’s top three draft picks from last year’s draft – LHP A.J. Puk and RHPs Logan Shore and Daulton Jefferies – but currently, Puk’s the only one still pitching. Last year’s top pick for the A’s has looked dominant at times, though he has been a bit inconsistent, as might be expected at this stage of the game. The 22-year-old has twice allowed just 1 hit over 5 shutout innings and has had outings where he’s notched as many as 12 strikeouts. Overall, he’s compiled an ERA of 3.98 while striking out 87 and walking 22 over 54 1/3 frames for the Ports. Shore was looking good until he was sidelined with a lat strain in mid-May. When the 22-year-old landed on the disabled list, he’d compiled a 3.12 ERA while striking out 32 and walking just 6 over 34 2/3 innings for Stockton. Unfortunately, Jefferies only had the chance to throw 7 innings before undergoing Tommy John surgery. RHP Casey Meisner, who struggled mightily for Stockton last season, has been showing signs of turning things around a bit lately. Though he has an ERA of 4.68 for the season, he’s also struck out 67 while walking just 19 over 59 2/3 frames, and he just threw 6 2/3 shutout innings in his last start on Sunday. RHP Dustin Hurlbutt put up a 2.84 ERA in April, then posted a 5.32 ERA in May, and now has a 2.77 ERA in 2 starts in June. But his peripherals have consistently looked pretty good, and he’s struck out 58 and walked just 16 over 55 2/3 frames for the Ports. RHP Angel Duno has a 1:4 BB:K ratio but a 5.46 ERA for the season. The 23-year-old Venezuelan has been hurt by the long ball, surrendering 10 home runs over 61 innings of work. RHP Brendan Butler is the newest addition to Stockton’s starting rotation. The 24-year-old was one of Beloit’s best starters, compiling a 2.32 ERA for the Snappers, and he threw 5 scoreless innings in his first start for Stockton. He seems to have taken the place of RHP Boomer Biegalski in the Ports rotation, though it’s not clear if Biegalski may end up serving in something of a tandem situation with Butler. Biegalski has been a big victim of the long ball since his arrival from Beloit, surrendering 10 home runs in just 37 innings, leading to a bloated 5.84 ERA. LHP Evan Manarino and RHP Brett Graves had been two of Stockton’s best starters, but both have been promoted to Double-A Midland.

 

BELOIT SNAPPERS

Current Starting Rotation: RHP Brandon Bailey, RHP Matt Milburn, LHP Zack Erwin, RHP Mitchell Jordan & RHP Jesus Zambrano (tandem), RHP Abdiel Mendoza (recently replaced LHP Dalton Sawyer)

Brandon Bailey

Brandon Bailey

The Snappers starting rotation had been surprisingly effective this season, but the recent promotions of two of Beloit’s best starters – LHP Dalton Sawyer and RHP Brendan Butler – could change things a bit. The top remaining starter in the Snappers rotation is RHP Brandon Bailey. Last year’s 6th-round draft pick for the A’s has put up a 2.51 ERA while striking out 52 and walking just 13 over 43 innings of work. Meanwhile, RHP Matt Milburn has mostly struggled, posting a 5.60 ERA over 13 appearances for the Snappers. LHP Zack Erwin, whom the A’s acquired from the White Sox in the Brett Lawrie deal, recently returned to the rotation after starting the season on the disabled list, and the 23-year-old has pitched well, compiling a 1.69 ERA over his first 3 appearances. Last year’s 10th-round draft pick for the A’s, RHP Mitchell Jordan, and 20-year-old Venezuelan RHP Jesus Zambrano represent the sole remaining starting-pitching tandem in the A’s system, and both are sporting ERAs over 5.00 at this point in the season. With Sawyer’s promotion to Nashville, 18-year-old Panamanian RHP Abdiel Mendoza was called upon to take his spot in the rotation. The youngster surrendered 4 runs in 2 1/3 innings in his first appearance, but it’s unclear whether or not he’ll continue to occupy the fifth spot in the Snappers starting rotation. RHP Dakota Chalmers, the A’s 3rd-round draft pick in 2015, was reassigned to the Vermont roster after struggling with his control. The 20-year-old walked 29 in 29 innings while also striking out 47. He’s set to get a restart when the Lake Monsters start their season next week. RHP Michael Murray had been pitching well for Beloit before landing on the disabled list in mid-May, putting up a 2.54 ERA over his first 8 appearances. LHP Ty Damron had also been playing a part in the Snappers tandem rotation but, although he hasn’t been placed on the disabled list, he hasn’t appeared in a game in the last two weeks.

*          *          *

Be sure to like A’s Farm’s page on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @AthleticsFarm. You can also get our exclusive A’s minor league newsletter e-mailed to you free by signing up here.

%d bloggers like this: