Tag: Landon Powell

Down On The Farm with Stockton Ports Pitcher Seth Frankoff

sf947026bThe 2013 campaign continues for the Stockton Ports, and we’re now already over a quarter of the way through the season. We’ve had some streaks where we’ve played extremely well and others where things just haven’t gone our way. But as I’ve been told time and time again, being able to maintain an even keel is paramount in the success of a ballplayer as well as a team. And this team, through it all, has shown a real knack for being able to remain positive and come to the park with a plan to get better each and every day.

Since my last entry, we’ve continued to play extremely well at home. I’m not quite sure exactly what it is about Banner Island Ballpark, but we continue to win lots of games at home. Maybe it’s sleeping in your own bed, familiarity with the ballpark, great fans, etc. But for whatever reason, we always seem to be in a good position to win when we’re the home team. We’ve seen some outstanding performances the past couple of series, with Drew Granier and Tanner Peters both racking up double-digit strikeout performances on the mound. Tanner, in fact, had a perfect game going through five innings last week. And as a bullpen guy, it’s great to see your starters have success for multiple reasons. One, it doesn’t tax the ‘pen when they’re able to go deep into games, and two, when a starting pitcher goes out there and dominates, he exposes the other teams’ weaknesses, which we in turn can try to exploit when we follow them into the game.

Our outfielders continue to chase balls down in the outfield and make plays for us. It seems like almost everyday Myrio Richard or Dusty Robinson makes a diving catch. And in one of my recent outings, Bobby Crocker made an outstanding catch in the 9th inning to bring back a home run ball for an out. These kinds of things mean the world to a pitcher and to a team. Guys busting their tails out there and giving it their all makes a huge difference and is greatly appreciated.

sfpHXKLdSo2Having now spent more than a month in California and in the Cal League, I feel like I’m starting to get acquainted with the state and the league. Since I last wrote, we have traveled to Modesto, Visalia, High Desert and Lancaster. And I really enjoy getting the opportunity to go on the road and see different places. The California League is referred to as a hitters’ league, and High Desert and Lancaster are notorious as the toughest places to pitch in the league. As a pitcher, you are always trying to keep the ball down to induce ground ball outs but, in places where the ball really flies, you have to be especially conscientious about it.

While the elements may not always be in your favor, the difference between success and failure is really more of a mental battle, especially in this league. If you go out there too worried about giving up a home run, then it most likely is going to happen. But going out there with confidence and a plan of keeping the ball down and executing pitches will always set a pitcher up with a good chance to be successful. As I have been told countless times by my coaches in the organization, “Control what you can control.” There are a lot of factors that go on that we have no influence or control over, but what we can control is our preparation, game plan and execution.

Throughout the course of the season, players are going to have good games and bad games. One thing that’s important to remember is that it’s not one particular game or outing that defines you; it’s a whole body of work. As one of my former managers told me, “You aren’t evaluated over a bad outing. You’re evaluated on your ability to bounce back your next outing and get the job done.” As a player, it’s important not to dwell on things because this game will beat you up in a heartbeat if you let yourself do that. It is important to learn from past performances, both positives and negatives, but not to over-analyze. The beauty of baseball is that, whether it’s a good game or a bad one, tomorrow is a new day and a new game. The important thing to do is to take advantage of your opportunities, work hard to become more consistent, and get better each and every day.

sfBKEngEuCAAIZpFoHaving the opportunity to play this game is a blessing and a great honor. That being said, the season is a grind and every player has to have something to keep them motivated and on the right path. For me, my faith in God and my wife and family help me to stay grounded and focused on what I am trying to do. I had the opportunity to watch an ESPN E:60 piece on former Oakland A’s catcher and current Mets’ farmhand Landon Powell last week. Landon, who is from my hometown of Apex, North Carolina and who went to my high school a few years before me, has always been a role model to me as far back as I can remember. His work ethic was something that I always felt separated him from others, and I tried to replicate that same kind of work ethic in my game.

Landon persevered through multiple health issues in his career to make it to the big leagues and spent parts of three seasons with our team in Oakland. He went through the toughest thing in his life this past offseason in losing a child, a daughter named Izzy. I can’t imagine what it must be like to go through that, but to see him still remain positive and strong in his faith as well as driven to get back to the big leagues is such an inspiration to me. It goes to show you that we all have so much to be thankful for. For me, I am thankful to have a supportive wife, a great family and, as always, thankful to have the opportunity to still play the game I love.

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Seth Frankoff was born in Raleigh, North Carolina and attended the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. He was drafted by the A’s in the 27th round of the 2010 draft. You can follow him on Twitter @frankoff34

A’s Designate Adrian Cardenas For Assignment

Adrian Cardenas: Where's old clubhouse barber Rajai Davis when ya need him?

In order to make room for newly-signed free agent outfielder Jonny Gomes on the roster, the A’s have designated prospect Adrian Cardenas for assignment. The A’s now have ten days to either trade or release Cardenas– unless he clears waivers, in which case the A’s can then send him to the minors.

The San Francisco Chronicle’s Susan Slusser tweeted that the A’s are hoping that Cardenas clears waivers so that they can hold on to him by assigning him to Sacramento, just as they recently did with Landon Powell.

Cardenas was considered a top infield prospect when he was acquired by the A’s, along with pitcher Josh Outman and outfielder Matt Spencer, from Philadelphia in exchange for Joe Blanton. The Miami native has a career minor league slash line of .303/.368/.413 and hit .314/.374/.418 in his first full season at AAA last year. But the A’s have had a hard time finding a position they feel is right for Cardenas.

In his first three seasons in the minors,Cardenas served exclusively as a middle infielder, playing all his games at second base and shortstop. In 2009, the A’s started getting him in a few games at third base. Then in the 2010 season, the A’s played him exclusively at second and third and eliminated shortstop from his repertoire altogether. Last season though, the A’s chose to have Cardenas start the majority of his games in left field, with most of the rest of his starts coming at third. Clearly, the A’s have been a bit uncertain about what exactly to do with Mr. Cardenas, whose defensive abilities Baseball America has referred to as “fringy.”

Cardenas is a solid contact hitter who hits for a good average but doesn’t draw an above-average number of walks and hasn’t hit more than five home runs in any of his last four seasons. Combined with his lack of defensive prowess, it’s obvious that the A’s brass have come to view him as a bit of a one-dimensional player. On the other hand, his ability to consistently put the bat on the ball and play a number of different positions (even if he doesn’t impress at any of them), could make him a suitable utility player in the future. And considering that he only turned 24 just a few months ago, one can assume he’s still got a few years of potential improvement ahead of him.

If he remains with the organization, then Cardenas should be the leading second base candidate for the Rivercats in 2012. If he ends up being traded or claimed on waivers though, then Wes Timmons probably steps into that role, with Eric Sogard or Adam Rosales (whichever one doesn’t make the major league roster) likely ending up at shortstop for Sacramento. Some had been hoping that Cardenas would be in the mix for the A’s utility infielder role this season, but now it looks like Cardenas fans will be lucky if he’s still in the organization come opening day of 2012!



Landon Powell Back In The Fold: So Who’s The A’s Back-Up Catcher?

Landon Powell - go ahead, send me back to Sacramento, I dare ya! (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Catcher Landon Powell cleared waivers and has reportedly gotten over any hurt feelings and decided to accept his assignment to Triple-A Sacramento, with an invitation to spring training. That means that, besides starting catcher Kurt Suzuki, the A’s will have three catchers with some degree of major league experience in camp this spring, all fighting it out for the chance to be Suzuki’s seldom-used back-up.

The 29-year-old Powell has served as the A’s primary back-up catcher for the past three years, averaging just 121 at-bats per season, with a career slash line of .207/.284/.328. 28-year-old backstop Anthony Recker’s line was .176/.333/.235 in just 17 at-bats with the A’s last year. And 26-year-old catcher Josh Donaldson got 32 at-bats with the A’s in 2010, with a .156/.206/.281 line. Recker had an OPS of .889 at Sacramento in 2011, while Donaldson’s Sacramento OPS was .783.

One would think that, with his experience, Powell would have the edge to open the season on the major league roster. That would put Recker and Donaldson back at Sacramento once again, with new acquisition Derek Norris and Ryan Ortiz likely to be the catching duo at Double-A Midland.

What do you think? Should Powell be favored to reclaim the back-up catching job? Should Recker or Donaldson finally be given a real shot at backing up Suzuki? Or does it really even matter who rides the pine behind Suzuki? You can check out all the contestants’ major and minor league stats at the links below…

Landon Powell – Majors

Landon Powell – Minors

Anthony Recker – Majors

Anthony Recker – Minors

Josh Donaldson – Majors

Josh Donaldson – Minors

Landon Powell

Anthony Recker

Josh Donaldson

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