Tag: Nolan Blackwood

Saturday, June 17th: Meisner Pitches Ports to Victory while Montas & Nunez Help Sounds Win

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Stockton Ports Pitcher Casey Meisner (8 IP / 1 H / 0 ER / 1 BB / 7 K / Win)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Stockton Ports Pitcher Casey Meisner (8 IP / 1 H / 0 ER / 1 BB / 7 K / Win)

 

CALIFORNIA LEAGUE  (High-A)

Stockton Ports         2

Lake Elsinore Storm  1

WP – Meisner 5-5 / 4.12

Prospect Of The Game:

Pitcher Casey Meisner

(8 IP / 1 H / 0 ER / 1 BB / 7 K / Win)

RHP Casey Meisner turned in his best start of the season to help Stockton snap its three-game losing streak on Saturday. The 22-year-old was charged with 1 unearned run while allowing just 1 hit and striking out 7 over 8 innings of work to earn his 5th win, and he’s now failed to allow an earned run over his last 14 2/3 frames for the Ports. Last year’s 14th-round draft pick for the A’s, RHP Nolan Blackwood, got the final three outs in the 9th to notch his 8th save. First baseman Sandber Pimentel singled, doubled and drove in both Stockton runs, while center fielder Skye Bolt collected 3 hits, including a double, and catcher Sean Murphy and left fielder Tyler Ramirez had a pair of hits apiece for the Ports. Unfortunately, with Modesto’s win on Saturday, Stockton was officially eliminated from the first-half North Division playoff race.

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

Sunday, June 11th: Meisner Pitches Ports to Victory while Chapman & Nunez Both Homer in Sounds Loss

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Stockton Ports Pitcher Casey Meisner (6 2/3 IP / 2 H / 0 ER / 4 BB / 6 K / Win)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Stockton Ports RHP Casey Meisner (6 2/3 IP / 2 H / 0 ER / 4 BB / 6 K / Win)

 

CALIFORNIA LEAGUE  (High-A)

Stockton Ports  3

Modesto Nuts     2

WP – Meisner 4-5 / 4.68

Prospect Of The Game:

Pitcher Casey Meisner

(6 2/3 IP / 2 H / 0 ER / 4 BB / 6 K / Win)

RHP Casey Meisner turned in his best start of the season for Stockton on Sunday. The former 3rd-round draft pick for the Mets struck out 6 over 6 2/3 shutout innings to earn his 4th win, and the 22-year-old has now notched 21 strikeouts over his last 17 frames for Stockton. RHP Nolan Blackwood picked up his 7th save despite surrendering a pair of runs in 2 1/3 innings of relief for the Ports. First baseman Sandber Pimentel singled, doubled and drove in a run in his first appearance since returning from the disabled list, and left fielder James Harris walked and singled in a run for Stockton.

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Monday, June 5th: Nunez Hits 15th HR in Sounds Loss while Bolt Helps Ports Prevail & Norge Ruiz Makes Pitching Debut

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Nashville Sounds First Baseman Renato Nunez (3 for 4 / Home Run / Double / 2 RBIs)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Nashville Sounds First Baseman Renato Nunez (3 for 4 / HR / Double / 2 RBI)

 

PACIFIC COAST LEAGUE  (Triple-A)

Nashville Sounds         2

Omaha Storm Chasers  4

LP – Gossett 3-3 / 3.41

HR – Nunez (15)

Prospect Of The Game:

First Baseman Renato Nunez

(3 for 4 / Home Run / Double / 2 RBIs)

Renato Nunez, starting his second straight game at first base, continued his hot hitting on Monday. The 23-year-old Venezuelan singled, doubled and hit his team-leading 15th home run, a game-tying 2-run shot in the top of the 6th. And Nunez is now 9 for 20 with 2 doubles, 3 home runs and 6 RBIs over his last 6 games for the Sounds. Designated hitter Joey Wendle had 3 hits and stole a base in the loss. Starter Daniel Gossett allowed 4 runs over 7 innings of work to suffer his 3rd loss, while LHP Felix Doubront struck out 2 in 1 scoreless inning of relief for the Sounds. In other news, the Chronicle’s Susan Slusser reported on Monday night that first baseman Matt Olson was packing up his stuff after the game in Oakland and preparing to head back to Nashville.

Click here for more on Stockton & Dominican League…

Friday, June 2nd: Olson Hits 2 HRs in Sounds’ 4th Straight Victory while Hounds Win in a Walk-Off

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Nashville Sounds First Baseman Matt Olson (3 for 5 / 2 Home Runs / 4 RBIs)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Nashville Sounds First Baseman Matt Olson (3 for 5 / 2 Home Runs / 4 RBIs)

 

PACIFIC COAST LEAGUE  (Triple-A)

Nashville Sounds  12

Iowa Cubs                 3

WP – Smith 3-2 / 3.35

HR – Olson 2 (14), Nunez (14)

Prospect Of The Game:

First Baseman Matt Olson

(3 for 5 / 2 Home Runs / 4 RBIs)

A big 7-run 1st inning made it easy for Nashville to notch its fourth straight victory on Friday. First baseman Matt Olson led the attack, launching a pair of home runs – a 3-run blast in the 1st and a solo shot in the 7th. Olson also singled and scored in the 9th, while left fielder Renato Nunez homered, doubled and drove in a pair. Olson and Nunez now have 14 home runs apiece, tying them for the team lead. Third baseman Matt Chapman collected 3 hits, including a double, and drove in a run, and right fielder Ryan LaMarre singled twice, walked, drove in 2 runs and swiped a pair of bases for the Sounds. RHP Chris Smith turned in an outstanding start, striking out 8 over 6 shutout innings to earn his 3rd win for Nashville.

Click here for more on Midland, Stockton & Beloit…

Wednesday, May 31st: Sportman’s Big Bat Helps Hounds Win while Hahn Makes Rehab Start for Stockton

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Midland RockHounds Second Baseman J.P. Sportman (3 for 4 / Home Run / 2 RBIs)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Midland RockHounds Second Baseman J.P. Sportman (3 for 4 / Home Run / 2 RBIs)

 

TEXAS LEAGUE  (Double-A)

Arkansas Travelers        5

Midland RockHounds  7

WP – Manarino 1-0 / 3.00

HR – Sportman (6), Munoz (3)

Prospect Of The Game:

Second Baseman J.P. Sportman

(3 for 4 / Home Run / 2 RBIs)

The RockHounds scored 7 runs on 16 hits to snap their four-game losing streak on Wednesday. J.P. Sportman, playing second base with Max Schrock on the disabled list, led the attack, collecting 3 hits, including his 6th home run, and driving in a pair of runs for Midland. Shortstop Yairo Munoz smacked his 3rd home run, and a number of players making their season debuts for the Hounds made key contributions as well. Catcher Beau Taylor, returning from a 50-game suspension, had 3 hits, including a triple, and drove in a run, while center fielder Kenny Wilson, who spent most of the season with the Sounds, singled, tripled and scored, and third baseman Jermaine Curtis, a minor league free agent signee who was sidelined with a hamstring injury in the spring, had a pair of doubles and drove in a run for Midland. The trio replaced three RockHounds who landed on the disabled list on Wednesday. Shortstop Richie Martin, who was hit in the head with a fastball in Tuesday’s game, is headed to Arizona for treatment after suffering a broken nose in the incident according to Hounds’ play-by-play man Bob Hards, while second baseman Max Schrock has been dealing with leg and foot injuries that caused him to miss four games last week, and RHP James Naile hasn’t pitched in over two weeks due to an abdominal strain. Meanwhile, back on the field, LHP Evan Manarino made his Double-A debut for Midland on Wednesday and allowed 2 runs on 9 hits over 6 innings of work to earn the win, while RHP Kyle Finnegan tossed 1 2/3 scoreless innings in relief to post his 7th save for the RockHounds.

Click here for more on Stockton & Beloit…

A’s Minor League Team Leaders

by Bill Moriarity / A’s Farm Editor

Franklin Barreto

Franklin Barreto

With the first two months of the minor league season almost in the books, it seems like a good time to take a look at the A’s minor league team leaders in a few key hitting and pitching categories. And it shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise to see the names of top prospects like Franklin Barreto, Matt Chapman and A.J. Puk high atop our list of A’s minor league team leaders.

Leaders are included for all four of the A’s full-season affiliates – Nashville, Midland, Stockton and Beloit. A minimum of 100 at-bats is required for the hitting categories and a minimum of 40 innings is required for the ERA and WHIP categories for pitchers. An asterisk indicates not just a team leader but also an organizational leader in a particular category, and the stats are complete through games of Sunday, May 28. Some of these names you may expect to see atop the lists, while others might come as a bit of a surprise!

You can always stay up to date on the A’s top prospects and all 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

Click here to see the A’s Minor League Team Leaders…

Saturday, May 27th: Puk Pitches Ports to Victory with 5 Scoreless Frames

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Stockton Ports Pitcher A.J. Puk (5 IP / 1 H / 0 ER / 4 BB / 8 K / Win)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Stockton Ports Pitcher A.J. Puk (5 IP / 1 H / 0 ER / 4 BB / 8 K / Win)

 

CALIFORNIA LEAGUE  (High-A)

Stockton Ports                      4

Rancho Cucamonga Quakes  2

WP – Puk 3-4 / 3.43

Prospect Of The Game:

Pitcher A.J. Puk

(5 IP / 1 H / 0 ER / 4 BB / 8 K / Win)

LHP A.J. Puk turned in his second straight impressive start for Stockton on Saturday. Last year’s top draft pick for the A’s threw 5 shutout innings while allowing just 1 hit, walking 4 and striking out 8 with a fastball that was reaching into the upper-90s on the night. Puk earned his 3rd win for the Ports and has now allowed just 1 hit and 1 run while striking out 15 over his last 10 1/3 innings for Stockton. LHP Will Gilbert gave up 2 runs in 1 2/3 innings of relief, but RHP Nolan Blackwood tossed 2 1/3 scoreless innings to post his 4th save for the Ports. Shortstop Eli White collected 3 hits, including a pair of doubles, while left fielder James Harris and third baseman Mikey White each singled in a run, and catcher Sean Murphy and center fielder Tyler Ramirez had a pair of hits apiece for the Ports.

Click here for more on Nashville, Midland & Beloit…

Talking Ports Prospects with Stockton Skipper Rick Magnante

by Josh Moore / A’s Farm Stockton Correspondent

rmMGR_Magnante_dervlq1cStockton manager Rick Magnante originally began his professional baseball career as a 13th-round draft pick of the Cleveland Indians out of the University of Santa Barbara back in 1969. He first joined the A’s organization in 1995 as an area scout covering southern California. He also began managing short-season teams for the A’s in 2006 after his duties prepping for each year’s draft were through.

After spending five seasons in Vancouver and three seasons in Vermont, Magnante gave up his scouting duties and began managing full-time. He spent the 2014 season in Beloit and is now in his third season with Stockton.

Just before left-hander A.J. Puk’s impressive performance on Saturday, in which he allowed just one infield single and struck out 9 over 5 scoreless innings, we had the chance to chat with the Stockton skipper about the recent changes to team’s tandem-pitching rotation and well as many of the Ports’ most promising prospects…

 

AF:  First things first, you’re switching up the starting rotation a bit. You’re getting away from the eight-man tandem rotation and are stretching out a few of the guys now. Is that right?

RM:  Well, it’s a little bit of a hybrid now. There will be a couple of guys that piggyback. There will be three guys that get their own start: [A.J.] Puk, [Logan] Shore, and [Evan] Manarino. Those will be the three that will be on their own, and they’ll match up with what’s in the bullpen on that given day.

AF:  Do you have a pitch count for Puk, Shore and Manarino as they get stretched out? What could we expect from an innings standpoint?

RM:  I think we’re going to gradually increase them to where they can get back to 75-85 [pitches], and toward the halfway mark of the season, toward 100 and back on a starter’s number as it relates to what’s expected in the big leagues.

A.J. Puk

A.J. Puk

AF:  Puk’s previous three starts [prior to Saturday] were a little different than his first three. His BABIP was .522, everyone was making good contact against him, and he had three consecutive losses in those appearances. Was he trying something new?

RM:  I don’t necessarily think that he’s trying anything new. I think he’s just understanding that he’s in a professional environment now facing professional hitters. And when he’s making the pitches he’s capable of making, he’s pretty untouchable. But when he doesn’t make those pitches and falls behind or gets deep into counts, these guys – you have to give them credit – they can hit a little bit and it’s what they’ve been doing.

AF:  Back to the tandem-pitching experiment. How do you feel about it?

RM:  I think as far as getting guys more appearances, I get that, but I think we should mirror the model of what’s going on in the big leagues. If the big leagues are going to go to this same format, then I fully understand it. If they’re not, then I’m not sure if the Petri dish experiment is truly working. So, we’ve already amended it.

AF:  Let’s talk about some of the bullpen arms. Between Nolan Blackwood, Carlos Navas, Jared Lyons and Matt Sergey, they’ve managed to allow just 4 runs in their 41 innings of work. Everyone knows some of those names in the rotation, but for those who might not know much about the arms in the pen, tell me about a few of them.

Nolan Blackwood

Nolan Blackwood

RM:  Blackwood can pitch. They [the A’s] like him. He’s a down-under guy and it sinks at 91-92. He’s got the frisbee slider going the other way. He’s hard to pick up with a lot of deception.

AF:  Do you think Brad Ziegler with a slightly better fastball would be a good comparison for Blackwood?

RM:  Probably. This is really my first look at Nolan. I didn’t have him last year. He’s had a few appearances here and, like anybody, he’s probably a little nervous or anxious and maybe sometimes tries to do a little too much. On certain days, there’s one pitch that works. He’s got a sinking fastball at 90-92 – you don’t need to go to the frisbee slider if they’re not swinging at that. And if you don’t have the slider, then you’ve got to go with whatever your best pitch is. So he’s learning.

AF:  I wanted to ask you about Carlos Navas. He pitched very briefly in Triple-A last season, he’s 24 and he pitched extremely well in the Venezuelan Winter League to guys who are bit older than him, and he hasn’t given up a run yet this year here in Stockton. What’s his ceiling?

RM:  There’s no telling. He may move quickly through this organization as the need arises and he’s seasoned. He’s been able to combine a 2-seamer and a 4-seamer, and if he can keep himself on line – that would be his biggest Achilles heal – he doesn’t always work down the slope. He can get left-to-right and that’s when he starts to yank the stuff. This year, his mechanics have been better, he’s been more on line, he’s got two-plane action and he’s got a very good slider. He’s durable, he’s strong, he competes, and he’s got great character, so we all pull for him.

AF:  Casey Meisner has looked much better recently. He hasn’t allowed a run in a couple of his recent appearances. How do you view his development?

RM:  He’s just kind of working through it. You know, he’s a big, tall, rangy guy and sometimes those guys have a more difficult time repeating [their delivery]. It’s confidence as well. In his mind and in the mind of the organization, he probably had a very disappointing season [last year]. He’s a high school draft guy without a lot of experience, but he had a real solid season in the South Atlantic League and in the Florida State League when we traded for him. He came here and stepped right into a role and competed. And then last year was a hiccup for him.

AF:  Although Brett Graves has moved on to Midland, both he and Evan Manarino have done such a great job this year in Stockton. Both pitchers have had their finest strikeout-to-walk ratios of their careers. What are you doing with two guys like that to help them develop?

Evan Manarino

Evan Manarino

RM:  You have two guys who really have a feel to pitch. And they really treat this as an opportunity. They’re students of the game. They assess their performances and they write things down to remind them of what they did right or wrong in their previous outings in terms of how they attacked the hitters. For me, Manarino is Tommy Milone. That’s who he is. He’s unflappable out there. His fastball wouldn’t bust your lip, but he never throws it in the same place twice. It’s the same with the changeup. He mixes his pitches and keeps hitters off balance. He has to be very control-and-command oriented because, the fastball, if it’s not located, is hittable. He’s a pitcher. Graves, on the other hand, he’s got 92-94 in the tank, so he’s got a litmus-test fastball. So with him, it’s commanding the breaking ball and attacking hitters and knowing how to get people out.

AF:  Logan Shore, I believe, at Florida topped out at about 92 mph. Is he getting a little more on his fastball, and how is the development coming along on his slider?

RM:  Yeah, I think his velocity has been somewhere between 91-94 – he’s probably sitting somewhere around 92. I think that’s probably his comfort level. Right now, it’s basically fastball, change and a developing slider. I actually talked to him before we came out today and he’s really working hard to figure out a grip and get comfortable, and he really believes he’s got a slider when he throws it right. It’s a good pitch, but just doesn’t have the consistency yet.

AF:  Offensively, we’ve seen a few guys really hitting well of late – outfielders Skye Bolt and Tyler Ramirez, shortstop Eli White and, despite his slow start, infielder Mikey White has shown some power of late. Is there anyone you’ve been particularly impressed with?

RM:  I think the guy that really had a terrific April and was pushed a little bit in terms of his matriculation through the system has been Eli White. I think he got off to a great start, and I think he’s a guy who has the tools and the skill set and, with some development – maybe a season under his belt – could be a guy that will really surprise.

AF:  Skye Bolt is a guy we’ve all been focused on because of his tools, and he’s currently in the top ten in the California League in on-base percentage. What is he doing differently this season?

RM:  I think he has just made some strides in his basic approach to hitting. He just seems to be more on time, his pitch recognition is better, his path is more consistent. He’s got a lean, sinewy kind of body that doesn’t really say “power,” but when the ball comes off the bat, it can be electric at times. I would kind of liken him a little bit to [Josh] Reddick in terms of that kind of profile or prototype.

AF:  About the injuries to first baseman Sandber Pimentel and catcher Sean Murphy, how long should we expect that they’ll be out?

Sandber Pimentel

Sandber Pimentel

RM:  Pimie…I don’t know. We got him here kind of hoping we could rehab him to begin the year. And we got him back on the field, but then he swung a couple of times and he had to shut it down. It’s a back issue. I’m not an orthopod, so I can’t tell you, but we all thought it’d be better to send him back to Arizona and give him more hands-on treatment to see what happens. Certainly we’d love to have him here because he’s an impact guy for us. If we have him and we have [Chris] Iriart—a lefty/righty combo at first-base and DH—we’ve got some thump and some dangerous guys in the lineup. So, we certainly hope he’ll be fine. With Murph, it’s just a little wrist problem and those are quirky. Those are things that can be hard to work through.

AF:  Catcher Jose Chavez joined the team with Murphy’s absence and hit two home runs in his first six games. Is he someone we can expect to get more and more time while Murphy is out?

RM:  I think so. I think Chavy will get the lion’s share of the catching when Murph’s not capable of playing. And everybody’s always been very complimentary of Chavy’s ability to catch and throw – that’s his forte. It’s the bat that’s always been a little suspect as he has developed through the minor league system. Now he’s getting a little better feel on how to hit. He’s a little stronger. He’s a little more mature. He’s had more experience. So, hopefully we’re starting to see that if this guy has the ability to get to the big leagues, he’ll have a serviceable bat that’ll allow him to play some.

AF:  How much of a defensive drop-off do you see between Murphy and Chavez?

RM:  I would say in the receiving end, probably not too much. I think Murphy is a prodigy. I think he’s advanced and has a baseball IQ that shows that not only can he catch, and he can really throw, but he also has an idea on how to help his pitchers attack hitters and exploit their weaknesses and take advantage of that – and that’s a thinking man’s catcher, and that’s something you can’t really grade out unless you see it every day on the field.

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Thursday, May 4th: Olson’s Early HR Leads Sounds to Victory while Bassitt Looks Strong in 2nd Rehab Start for Stockton

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Nashville Sounds First Baseman Matt Olson (Home Run / 3 RBIs)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Nashville Sounds First Baseman Matt Olson (Home Run / 3 RBIs)

 

PACIFIC COAST LEAGUE  (Triple-A)

Nashville Sounds      5

Round Rock Express  4

WP – C.Smith 2-1 / 2.39

HR – Olson (4), Parmelee (3)

Prospect Of The Game:

First Baseman Matt Olson

(Home Run / 3 RBIs)

First baseman Matt Olson slugged a 3-run homer in the top of the 1st inning to give the Sounds a lead they would never surrender on Thursday. Olson has been hot since returning from his brief stint with the A’s, hitting .320 with 2 home runs and 8 RBIs over his last 6 games. Designated hitter Chris Parmelee followed up with a solo shot in the 2nd, while left fielder Jaycob Brugman collected 3 hits, including a double, and third baseman Matt Chapman singled and tripled for the Sounds. Starter Chris Smith was solid, allowing 2 runs over 5 2/3 frames to earn his 2nd win, while RHP Chris Jensen gave up 2 runs in 2 1/3 innings of relief, and LHP Ross Detwiler threw a scoreless 9th to notch his 1st save for Nashville. And with Oakland catcher Josh Phegley landing on the 7-day concussion list, Sounds catcher Bruce Maxwell rejoined the A’s roster on Thursday.

Click here for more on Midland, Stockton & Beloit…

Wednesday, April 26th: Mercedes Helps Snappers Win 5th Straight while Schrock Homers in Hounds’ Loss

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Beloit Snappers First Baseman Miguel Mercedes (3 for 4 / Home Run / Double / 2 RBIs)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Beloit Snappers First Baseman Miguel Mercedes (3 for 4 / Home Run / Double / 2 RBIs)

 

MIDWEST LEAGUE  (Class-A)

Clinton LumberKings  4

Beloit Snappers        5

WP – Milburn 2-1 / 6.75

HR – Mercedes (5)

Prospect Of The Game:

First Baseman Miguel Mercedes

(3 for 4 / Home Run / Double / 2 RBIs)

After squandering a 4-run lead, the Snappers came back to win in a walk-off and notch the team’s fifth straight victory on Wednesday. Beloit put 4 runs on the board in the 1st inning thanks to a 2-run double from designated hitter Kyle Nowlin and a 2-run homer by first baseman Miguel Mercedes. Starter Brandon Bailey allowed just 1 run over 4 innings of work, while LHP Will Gilbert was charged with 1 unearned run in 1 inning of relief, and RHP Matt Milburn threw 3 scoreless frames before giving up 2 runs in the top of the 9th to tie the game. Mercedes then singled to lead things off in the bottom of the 9th, moved to third on second baseman Trace Loehr’s single, and then came around to score the winning run on third baseman Edwin Diaz’s RBI single to bring the game to a victorious end for Beloit. Milburn picked up the win, while Mercedes singled, doubled, homered, drove in a pair and scored the winning run for the Snappers. In other news, outfielder Mike Martin was activated from the disabled list while outfielder Luis Barrera was placed on the DL on Wednesday.

Click here for more on Midland & Stockton…

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