Tag Archive for Tyson Ross

Is the A’s Roster Set? And the River Cats Roster Too?

Will Hiro have A's fans smiling too?

Will Hiro have A’s fans smiling too?

On Monday, we unofficially learned that shortstop Stephen Drew had agreed to a deal with the Red Sox and would not be returning to the A’s, and we also unofficially learned that the A’s would be filling the hole at shortstop by signing Japanese import Hiroyuki Nakajima. It was announced on Tuesday, after our last A’s Off-Season Transactions Update, not only that the Nakajima signing was official but also that, to clear room on the roster for their new shortstop, the A’s had traded outfielder Collin Cowgill to the Mets for Double-A third baseman Jefry Marte.

With the A’s new shortstop in the fold, it looks like their work is essentially done for the off-season and that the major league roster, barring any unforeseen (yet inevitable) injuries, is pretty much set. But it also seems that the Triple-A roster at Sacramento may be pretty much set at this point too. This really shows a remarkable level of certainty for an organization that’s typically had any number of question marks remaining at this time of year.

Below you’ll find a complete listing of the anticipated A’s and River Cats opening day rosters, barring any unexpected deals or injuries, as of this point in time almost 3 ½ months before opening day. Any changes should be minor, especially where the major league roster is concerned. I’d expect any changes to most likely come from potential moves involving some of the minor league pitchers or infielders. Following the roster lists below, we’ll go around the horn and discuss where things stand at every position for both the A’s and the River Cats…

 

Brandon Moss

Brandon Moss

2013 OAKLAND A’S

–CATCHERS–

Derek Norris C

George Kottaras C

–INFIELDERS–

Brandon Moss 1B

Chris Carter 1B

Jemile Weeks 2B

Hiroyuki Nakajima SS

Josh Donaldson 3B

Adam Rosales IF 

Yoenis Cespedes

Yoenis Cespedes

–OUTFIELDERS–

Yoenis Cespedes OF

Josh Reddick OF

Coco Crisp OF

Seth Smith OF

Chris Young OF

–STARTING PITCHERS–

Brett Anderson LHP

Jarrod Parker RHP

Tom Milone LHP

A.J. Griffin RHP

Dan Straily RHP

Grant Balfour

Grant Balfour

–RIGHT-HANDED RELIEVERS–

Grant Balfour RHP

Ryan Cook RHP

Pat Neshek RHP

Chris Resop RHP

–LEFT-HANDED RELIEVERS–

Sean Doolittle LHP

Jerry Blevins LHP

Travis Blackley LHP

–SUSPENDED FOR 5 GAMES–

Bartolo Colon

 

2013 SACRAMENTO RIVER CATS

Michael Choice

Michael Choice

–HITTERS–

Luke Montz C

Steven Hill C

Daric Barton IF

Scott Sizemore IF

Andy Parrino IF

Eric Sogard IF

Stephen Parker IF

Scott Moore IF-OF

Grant Green IF-OF

Shane Peterson OF

Michael Choice OF

Michael Taylor OF

–STARTING PITCHERS–

Brad Peacock RHP

Sonny Gray RHP

Andrew Werner LHP

(+2 of the following 4 in the rotation with 1 in the bullpen & 1 traded or released)

Garrett Olson LHP

Jesse Chavez RHP

Bruce Billings RHP

Travis Banwart RHP

James Simmons

James Simmons

–RIGHT-HANDED RELIEVERS–

Evan Scribner RHP

Arnold Leon RHP

James Simmons RHP

Mike Ekstrom RHP

–LEFT-HANDED RELIEVERS–

Jordan Norberto LHP

Pedro Figueroa LHP

Justin Thomas LHP

 

2013 OAKLAND A’S

Derek Norris: Catcher of the future or lumberjack in training?

Derek Norris: Catcher of the future or lumberjack in training?

As far as the 2013 A’s go, catcher and first base are two positions that are pretty clearly set. Right-handed hitter Derek Norris and left-handed hitter George Kottaras will make up the A’s catching tandem. This likely won’t be a strict platoon though, as the A’s view Norris as their catcher of the future. I’d expect Norris to get between 350-400 at-bats, with Kottaras getting somewhere between 200-250 at-bats – of course, performance on the field could have a big effect on playing time behind the plate. The first base platoon of Brandon Moss and Chris Carter will remain in place in 2013. This should be a pretty strict left/right platoon, unless Moss regresses and Carter starts coming on strong, in which case the big right-hander could end up stealing some at-bats from Moss.

Second base may represent the biggest question mark on the A’s roster. Jemile Weeks and Scott Sizemore both stand a decent chance of claiming the starting job, while prospect Grant Green appears to be a long shot. It’s my feeling that, as long as he can show in the spring that he’s ready to put it together, the edge will go to former #1 draft pick Weeks. But if Weeks looks like he hasn’t learned anything, then Sizemore should be ready to step in – though we do have to remember that he is coming back from an injury that sidelined him for a solid year and will be competing at a position that he hasn’t played much over the past two years. Whichever one of these guys doesn’t claim the major league job will probably end up at Sacramento with Green. At this point, my guess is that Weeks opens the season with the A’s, while Sizemore ends up at Sacramento waiting for a chance to come back and take over in the event that Weeks or Donaldson struggles – but that could very easily change based on what happens in the spring.

Your 2013 starting shortstop will be Hiro Nakajima, with Adam Rosales likely serving as his backup – as well as the backup at second at third. If Nakajima proves to be more of a “zero” than a “Hiro,” then Rosales will step in and start getting more at-bats at short. Josh Donaldson will be the starting third baseman unless and until he proves that his second-half surge last season was just a fluke. If that happens, then Sizemore is the most likely candidate to step in at third.

Josh Reddick: The undisputed champion of the "Bernie Lean" dance competition

Josh Reddick: The undisputed champion of the ‘Bernie Lean’ dance competition

In the outfield, the A’s have five players (Cespedes, Reddick, Crisp, Smith and Young) to fill the three outfield spots as well as the designated hitter spot in the lineup. Those four positions should offer up about 2400 at-bats, which would mean there’s close to 500 at-bats to go around for each of them – that’s if they’re all healthy. Of course, they won’t all be healthy. I’d guess that at just about any point in the season, one of them will be dinged up enough to, if not warrant a stint on the DL, at least warrant a little time out of the lineup. So I wouldn’t spend too much time worrying about who plays where and when. I suspect it’ll work itself out one way or another and we’ll end up seeing plenty of all of them in the starting lineup.

As for the starting rotation, it’s important to remember that Bartolo Colon will be suspended for the first five games of the season and the A’s will play the first seven games of the season without a day off. That means that, barring injury, Brett Anderson, Jarrod Parker, Tom Milone, A.J. Griffin and Dan Straily will open the season as the A’s starting five. Of course, there’s a reasonable chance that one of those pitchers could have some nagging injury to start the season. In that case, Colon could be ready to step into the rotation after the first week. If, miracle of miracles, all five starting pitchers are fully healthy and functioning to start the season, then Colon could always kill time in the bullpen until one of them is sidelined with a balky elbow, shoulder, rib cage or back.

The A’s bullpen will be a crowded place though. Aside from Colon, there will be nine or ten legitimate contenders for the seven bullpen spots. On the right-handed side of things, Grant Balfour will be the closer and Ryan Cook will be the primary right-handed set-up man, while Pat Neshek will surely have a spot after signing a guaranteed contract, and Chris Resop is bound to get a spot after the A’s made a concerted effort to acquire him from the Pirates. That would push Evan Scribner to Sacramento.

On the left-handed side of things, Sean Doolittle and Jerry Blevins appear to be assured spots after their consistent performances throughout 2012, and Travis Blackley seems to be locked in as the long-man in the ‘pen. That would push Jordan Norberto and Pedro Figueroa to Sacramento. Of course, the odds that one of those seven relievers starts the season with some kind of injury is fairly high, which would open the door to one of those spots.

 

Daric Barton: Don't worry, A's fans - only in case of emergency!

Daric Barton: Don’t worry, A’s fans – only in case of emergency!

2013 SACRAMENTO RIVER CATS

If we make the preceding assumptions about the major league roster, and take into account the fact that the Triple-A roster rarely includes more than 12 hitters and rarely has any fewer than 13 pitchers, then the River Cats roster starts to fall pretty clearly into place.

The A’s acquired two experienced minor league catchers – 29-year-old Luke Montz and 27-year-old Steven Hill – who should share the catching duties at Sacramento this year. Meanwhile, veteran Daric Barton will be standing in at first base, waiting for his chance should anything happen with Moss or Carter.

If Jemile Weeks doesn’t make the roster in Oakland, then he’ll surely be the starting second baseman at Sacramento. But if Scott Sizemore is the one to get sent down, as I suspect, then I’d expect him to get the majority of the starts at second base in Sacramento, preparing himself in case Weeks again struggles. Andy Parrino, who was acquired from San Diego in the Tyson Ross trade, is bound to be Sacramento’s primary starting shortstop this year. I’d expect to see the versatile Eric Sogard getting most of his starts at third base this year, while also picking up a few other starts around the infield. When Sogard’s not starting at third, then fading prospect Stephen Parker is likely to get some starts at the hot corner as well.

Grant Green: Still looking for a home

Grant Green: Still looking for a home

Scott Moore, who has been the A’s most promising minor league free agent signing this off-season, can play third base, as well as first base, second base and the outfield, but will probably end up seeing a lot of at-bats as the designated hitter for the River Cats. Sacramento’s starting outfield should be made up of on-base machine Shane Peterson in left, top prospect Michael Choice in center and former top prospect Michael Taylor in right. That just leaves our old friend Grant Green, whom the organization could make the River Cats’ regular second baseman, but I’m guessing that, when it’s all said and done, they’ll end up utilizing his versatility and giving him starts all over the field – preparing him for his most likely future role with the A’s as a versatile utility man.

There are three pitchers who, as long as they’re healthy, are sure to make Sacramento’s starting rotation – top prospects Brad Peacock and Sonny Gray, along with left-hander Andrew Werner, who was acquired from San Diego in the Tyson Ross deal. The rest of the River Cats’ rotation will be filled out by two of the following four hurlers – right-handers Jesse Chavez, Bruce Billings and Travis Banwart, as well as major league veteran and minor league free agent signee Garrett Olson. Of the two who don’t make the rotation, one will likely end up as the long-man in the River Cats’ bullpen with the other either DL’d, traded or released.

Sacramento’s 2013 bullpen ought to boast an impressive array of arms who could be ready to step in and help at the major league level at a moment’s notice. If all the major league bullpen arms are healthy, then the River Cats’ ‘pen should include names like Evan Scribner, Arnold Leon, James Simmons and minor league free agent signee Mike Ekstrom from the right side and Jordan Norberto, Pedro Figueroa and minor league free agent signee Justin Thomas from the left side.

On the whole, it looks like a River Cats roster that ought to be more than ready to defend its division title and, hopefully, so should the 2013 A’s!

 

*     *     *

 

Be sure to like A’s Farm’s page on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @AthleticsFarm to keep up with all the news down on the farm!

A’s Major & Minor League Off-Season Transactions – Dec. 18 Update: A’s Find A Hiro To Play SS

Hiro

Hiro: Better than Godzilla?

Well, the biggest story to break for A’s fans in the weeks before the holidays was the news that A’s free agent shortstop Stephen Drew had agreed to a $9.5 million/1-year deal with the Red Sox, followed quickly by the news that Japanese shortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima had agreed to a $6.5 million/2-year deal (plus incentives and a $5.5 million 1-year option) with the A’s. The 30-year-old right-handed hitter has a career .310/.381/.474 slash line plus 104 home runs and 97 stolen bases over the last 6 seasons in Japan. His signing seems to settle the A’s starting shortstop question and makes arbitration-eligible Adam Rosales the likely backup at the position.

A’s free agent pitcher Brandon McCarthy also decided to leave the team for a $15.5 million/2-year deal with Arizona. It doesn’t look like the A’s are planning on signing a major league pitcher to replace McCarthy, but will instead count on a full season of availability from major-league ready RHP Dan Straily to make up for McCarthy’s loss.

On the minor league front, since our last update, the A’s traded RHP Graham Godfrey to the Red Sox as the player to be named in the deal to acquire RHP Sandy Rosario, who was later designated for assignment by the A’s and re-claimed by the Red Sox who then designated him for assignment again. So the A’s basically gave Godfrey to the Red Sox for the privilege of having Rosario on the roster for a few days. Minor league outfielder Jermaine Mitchell, who cleared waivers and elected free agency, ended up signing a minor league deal with the Phillies.

The most significant minor league addition the A’s made since our last update was the acquisition of 27-year-old minor league free agent catcher/first baseman Steven Hill, who’s played in 10 major league games for the Cardinals and spent most of last season at Triple-A Memphis, where he had a .266/.326/.488 slash line. The right-handed hitter figures to share the catching duties at Sacramento in 2013 with fellow minor league free agent signee Luke Montz.

You’ll find all new transactions since our last update noted below with italics and an asterisk. Any players who’ve recently been taking up space on the 40-man roster are listed below under Major League transactions, while all other players are listed under Minor League transactions. For all the minor league players, I’ve listed their primary positions as well as the level they spent the most time at in 2012. Just click on any player’s name to see their Baseball-Reference stats page…

 

MAJOR LEAGUE CHANGES

-Jonny Gomes OF / +Chris Young OF

-Pennington/Drew SS / +Hiroyuki Nakajima SS *

-Brandon Hicks IF / +Andy Parrino IF

-Brandon McCarthy RHP / +NONE *

-Jim Miller RHP / +Chris Resop RHP

-Tyson Ross RHP / +Andrew Werner LHP

 

Hiroyuki Nakajima

Hiroyuki Nakajima

+ MAJOR LEAGUE ADDITIONS

Chris Young OF (traded from AZ)

Hiroyuki Nakajima SS (signed from Japan) *

Andy Parrino IF (traded from SD)

Chris Resop RHP (traded from PITT)

Andrew Werner LHP (traded from SD)

 

- MAJOR LEAGUE SUBTRACTIONS

Jonny Gomes OF (FA signed with BOS)

Stephen Drew SS (FA signed with BOS) *

Cliff Pennington SS (traded to AZ)

Brandon Hicks IF (traded to NYM)

Brandon McCarthy RHP (FA signed with AZ) *

Jim Miller RHP (claimed by NYY)

Tyson Ross RHP (traded to SD)

 

Steven Hill

Steven Hill

+ MINOR LEAGUE ADDITIONS

Scott Moore 3B-1B AAA (minor league FA)

Luke Montz C-1B AAA (minor league FA)

Steven Hill C-1B AAA (minor league Rule 5 draftee) *

Tom Mendonca 3B AA (minor league rule 5 draftee) *

Darwin Perez SS-2B AA (minor league FA)

D’Arby Myers OF AA (minor league FA) *

Garrett Olson LHP AAA (minor league FA)

Justin Thomas LHP AAA (minor league FA)

Mike Ekstrom RHP AAA (minor league FA)

Kyler Newby RHP AA (minor league FA)

Yeiper Castillo RHP A (minor league FA) *

 

Jermaine Mitchell

Jermaine Mitchell

- MINOR LEAGUE SUBTRACTIONS

Kila Ka’aihue 1B AAA (minor league FA signed with AZ)

Jermaine Mitchell OF AAA (minor league FA signed with PHI) *

Blake Lalli C AAA (minor league FA signed with MIL)

Jason Jaramillo C AAA (minor league FA)

Wes Timmons IF AAA (minor league FA)

Matt Rizzotti 1B AA (minor league FA)

Leonardo Gil 3B AA (minor league FA)

A.J. Kirby-Jones 1B A (traded to SD)

Yordy Cabrera SS A (traded to MIA)

Michael Gilmartin SS-2B A (minor league Rule 5 draftee by CIN) *

Eliezer Mesa OF A (minor league Rule 5 draftee by DET) *

Graham Godfrey RHP AAA (traded to BOS) *

Rich Thompson RHP AAA (minor league FA signed with TOR) *

Jeremy Accardo RHP AAA (minor league FA)

Merkin Valdez RHP AAA (minor league FA)

Justin Souza RHP AAA (minor league FA)

Fabio Castro LHP AA (minor league FA)

Beau Jones LHP AA (minor league FA)

Matt McSwain RHP AA (minor league FA)

Jonathan Ortiz RHP AA (minor league FA)

Jose Guzman RHP AA (minor league FA)

Zach Thornton RHP A (traded to PITT)

 

Adam Rosales

Adam Rosales

RETURNING FREE AGENTS/ARB ELIGIBLES/OPTIONS

Daric Barton 1B (Arb Eligible Re-Signed)

Adam Rosales IF (Arb Eligible Re-Signed)

Pat Neshek RHP (Arb Eligible Re-Signed)

Bartolo Colon RHP (Free Agent Re-Signed)

Grant Balfour RHP (Option Renewed)

 

RETURNING ARB ELIGIBLES

Seth Smith OF (Arb Eligible)

Brandon Moss 1B (Arb Eligible)

George Kottaras C (Arb Eligible)

Jerry Blevins LHP (Arb Eligible)

Chris Resop RHP (Arb Eligible)

 

UNSIGNED MLB FREE AGENTS

Brandon Inge 3B (MLB Free Agent)

Dallas Braden LHP (MLB Free Agent)

Joey Devine RHP (MLB Free Agent)

 

COMING & GOING

Sandy Rosario RHP (traded from BOS – designated for assignment)

 

Be sure to like A’s Farm’s page on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @AthleticsFarm to keep up with all the news down on the farm!

A’s Major & Minor League Off-Season Transactions – Dec. 1 Update

Jonny Gomes - All dressed up, with somewhere to go

Jonny Gomes: All dressed up, with somewhere to go.

With a flurry of activity on Friday just ahead of Major League Baseball’s non-tender deadline and with the Winter Meetings starting on Monday in Nashville, it seems like a good time to recap all the A’s major and minor league transactions from the end of the season through the non-tender deadline of November 30th. The most significant changes to affect the major league roster so far this off-season have been Jonny Gomes signing with Boston, the Chris Young/Cliff Pennington trade with Arizona, as well as the Tyson Ross trade with San Diego. These deals, along with a few other minor moves, have basically resulted in Chris Young replacing Jonny Gomes in the lineup and Chris Resop replacing Jim Miller in the bullpen, with Andy Parrino replacing Brandon Hicks and Andrew Werner replacing Tyson Ross as guys who’ll probably end up spending most of their time at Sacramento while filling in in Oakland as needed.

The biggest remaining question mark for the A’s is who will replace Cliff Pennington and Stephen Drew as the team’s starting shortstop in 2013. The two combined to start 129 games at shortstop for the A’s in 2012. Right now, with Pennington having been traded to Arizona and Drew a free agent, the position’s a bit of a black hole. But the assumption is that the A’s will either make a deal for a shortstop (possibly at the Winter Meetings), sign one on the free agent market (Marco Scutaro, Ronny Cedeno, Cesar Izturis, Jason Bartlett, Alex Gonzalez), or possibly even re-sign Drew if the market for him doesn’t end up getting too hot.

Of course, the team has already picked up closer Grant Balfour’s option, re-signed free agent right-hander Bartolo Colon, and re-signed arbitration eligible players Pat Neshek, Adam Rosales and Daric Barton. For those about to panic, don’t worry, Barton’s contract is not guaranteed, so he can be cut anytime and the A’s won’t owe him another dime. As of Friday night, there was no official word as to whether or not the team had offered contracts to their five remaining arbitration eligible players – outfielder Seth Smith, first baseman Brandon Moss, catcher George Kottaras, left-hander Jerry Blevins and recently-acquired right-hander Chris Resop – but the assumption is that no news is good news and the fact that we didn’t hear anything probably means that the A’s made offers to all these players and thus will retain the rights to them all.

Brandon McCarthy - To leave or not to leave, that is the question

Brandon McCarthy: To leave or not to leave, that is the question.

Of the team’s five remaining major league free agents, two – third baseman Brandon Inge and right-hander Joey Devine – can be expected to move on, while the jury is still out on the remaining three. As mentioned, shortstop Stephen Drew could return if he doesn’t find too many other tempting offers out there. There seems to be some mutual interest in a return engagement for Brandon McCarthy, but other teams are said to be sniffing around the right-hander as well. Oft-injured left-hander Dallas Braden is also on the market, and it’s possible that the northern California boy could sign an incentive-laden deal to stick around the old neighborhood.

As for the A’s minor league transactions, the most significant loss has probably been the signing of minor league free agent first baseman Kila Ka’aihue by Arizona. The most significant minor league addition by the A’s so far has probably been the signing of third baseman/first baseman Scott Moore who signed a minor-league contract with an invitation to spring training. The left-handed hitter made it into 72 games with the Astros in 2012, playing mainly at third base and first base, but he also got in some time at second base and in the outfield. The A’s are likely to make many more minor league signings as the off-season unfolds, though re-signing any of their own remaining minor league free agents is probably unlikely.

Any players who’ve recently been taking up space on the 40-man roster are listed below under Major League transactions, while all other players are listed under Minor League transactions. For all the minor league players, I’ve listed their primary positions as well as the level they spent the most time at in 2012. Just click on any player’s name to see their Baseball-Reference stats page…

 

Cliff Pennington

Cliff Pennington

MAJOR LEAGUE CHANGES

-Jonny Gomes OF / +Chris Young OF

-Cliff Pennington SS / +TBD SS

-Brandon Hicks IF / +Andy Parrino IF

-Jim Miller RHP / +Chris Resop RHP

-Tyson Ross RHP / +Andrew Werner LHP

 

Chris Young

Chris Young

+ MAJOR LEAGUE ADDITIONS

Chris Young OF (traded from AZ)

Andy Parrino IF (traded from SD)

Chris Resop RHP (traded from PITT)

Andrew Werner LHP (traded from SD)

 

- MAJOR LEAGUE SUBTRACTIONS

Jonny Gomes

Jonny Gomes

Jonny Gomes OF (FA signed with BOS)

Cliff Pennington SS (traded to AZ)

Brandon Hicks IF (traded to NYM)

Jim Miller RHP (claimed by NYY)

Tyson Ross RHP (traded to SD)

 

+ MINOR LEAGUE ADDITIONS

Scott Moore

Scott Moore

Scott Moore 3B-1B AAA (minor league FA)

Luke Montz C-1B AAA (minor league FA)

Darwin Perez SS-2B AA (minor league FA)

Garrett Olson LHP AAA (minor league FA)

Justin Thomas LHP AAA (minor league FA)

Mike Ekstrom RHP AAA (minor league FA)

Kyler Newby RHP AA (minor league FA)

 

- MINOR LEAGUE SUBTRACTIONS

Kila Ka'aihue

Kila Ka’aihue

Kila Ka’aihue 1B AAA (minor league FA signed with AZ)

Jermaine Mitchell OF AAA (minor league FA)

Wes Timmons IF AAA (minor league FA)

Jason Jaramillo C AAA (minor league FA)

Blake Lalli C AAA (minor league FA signed with MIL)

Matt Rizzotti 1B AA (minor league FA)

Leonardo Gil 3B AA (minor league FA)

A.J. Kirby-Jones 1B A (traded to SD)

Yordy Cabrera SS A (traded to MIA)

Yordy Cabrera

Yordy Cabrera

Jeremy Accardo RHP AAA (minor league FA)

Rich Thompson RHP AAA (minor league FA)

Merkin Valdez RHP AAA (minor league FA)

Justin Souza RHP AAA (minor league FA)

Fabio Castro LHP AA (minor league FA)

Beau Jones LHP AA (minor league FA)

Matt McSwain RHP AA (minor league FA)

Jonathan Ortiz RHP AA (minor league FA)

Jose Guzman RHP AA (minor league FA)

Zach Thornton RHP A (traded to PITT)

Grant Balfour

Grant Balfour

 

RETURNING FREE AGENTS/ARB ELIGIBLES/OPTIONS

Daric Barton 1B (Arb Eligible Re-Signed)

Adam Rosales IF (Arb Eligible Re-Signed)

Pat Neshek RHP (Arb Eligible Re-Signed)

Bartolo Colon RHP (Free Agent Re-Signed)

Grant Balfour RHP (Option Renewed)

 

Seth Smith

Seth Smith

LIKELY RETURNING ARB ELIGIBLES

Seth Smith OF (Arb Eligible)

Brandon Moss 1B (Arb Eligible)

George Kottaras C (Arb Eligible)

Jerry Blevins LHP (Arb Eligible)

Chris Resop RHP (Arb Eligible)

 

UNSIGNED MLB FREE AGENTS

Stephen Drew

Stephen Drew

Stephen Drew SS (MLB Free Agent)

Brandon Inge 3B (MLB Free Agent)

Brandon McCarthy RHP (MLB Free Agent)

Dallas Braden LHP (MLB Free Agent)

Joey Devine RHP (MLB Free Agent)

 

COMING & GOING

Sandy Rosario RHP (traded from BOS – designated for assignment)

 

Be sure to like A’s Farm’s page on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @AthleticsFarm to keep up with all the news down on the farm!

Friday, August 17th: Boyd’s Bat Leads AZL A’s to Victory while Bees Win and Cats & Ports Lose

A’s Farmhand Of The Day

Arizona League A’s outfielder B.J. Boyd (3 for 4 / Double / RBI / Run)

 

PACIFIC COAST LEAGUE (TRIPLE-A)

Sacramento River Cats  3

New Orleans Zephyrs      4

(LP – Godfrey 9-2 / 3.29)

 

Farmhand Of The Game:

Pitcher Tyson Ross

(5 2/3 IP / 1 ER / 6 K)

 

 

Worth Noting: Starter Tyson Ross turned in a solid effort on Friday, allowing 1 run on just 1 hit while striking out 6 over 5 2/3 innings, but right-hander Graham Godfrey gave up 2 runs in the bottom of the 11th inning to take the loss. Outfielder Michael Taylor and second baseman Grant Green both collected 3 hits for the River Cats.

 

TEXAS LEAGUE (DOUBLE-A)

NW Arkansas Naturals

Midland RockHounds

POSTPONED

 

CALIFORNIA LEAGUE (HIGH-A)

San Jose Giants  7

Stockton Ports   2

(LP – Brown 5-9 / 4.80)

 

Farmhand Of The Game:

First Baseman A.J. Kirby-Jones

(Double / RBI)

 

 

Worth Noting: Starter Jacob Brown had a rough outing on Friday, allowing 7 runs over 6 innings to take his 9th loss. First baseman A.J. Kirby-Jones doubled in a run to collect his 6th RBI in the last 3 games.

 

MIDWEST LEAGUE (CLASS-A)

Burlington Bees  5

Peoria Chiefs       4

(WP – Mye 4-0 / 3.45)

 

Farmhand Of The Game:

Outfielder Aaron Shipman

(2 for 4 / 2 RBIs / Stolen Base)

 

 

Worth Noting: Starter Drew Granier had another solid outing on Friday, allowing 2 runs on just 3 hits while striking out 6 in 5 innings of work, but left-hander Chas Mye picked up the win with 2/3 of an inning in relief. Outfielder Aaron Shipman had 2 hits and drove in a pair of runs, including the go-ahead run in the 7th inning for the Bees. In other news, this year’s top draft pick, shortstop Addison Russell, is on his way from Vermont to Burlington as he gets his second promotion after just 2 months of play.

 

NEW YORK-PENN LEAGUE (CLASS-A SHORT-SEASON)

Staten Island Yankees    10

Vermont Lake Monsters  3

(LP – Menna 0-7 / 4.82)

 

Farmhand Of The Game:

Third Baseman Daniel Robertson

(Home Run)

 

 

Worth Noting: Starter Kris Hall allowed 2 runs, 1 earned, on 3 hits over 2 1/3 innings of work, while right-hander J.C. Menna gave up 5 runs in 2 1/3 innings to take his 7th loss. Third baseman Daniel Robertson had 2 hits, including his 1st home run for Vermont.

 

ARIZONA LEAGUE (ROOKIE SHORT-SEASON)

AZL Athletics  4

AZL Cubs         3

(WP – Petitti 1-0 / 3.95)

 

Farmhand Of The Game:

Outfielder B.J. Boyd

(3 for 4 / Double / RBI / Run)

 

 

Worth Noting: Outfielder B.J. Boyd had 3 hits, including a double, drove in the tying run and scored the winning run on Friday. Starter Jose Torres allowed 3 runs on 9 hits over 4 innings of work, but catcher-turned-pitcher Daniel Petitti struck out 4 in 2 scoreless innings to pick up his 1st win.

 

Saturday’s Games:

Las Vegas @ Sacramento – 7:05pm PT

Tulsa @ Midland – 7:00pm CT

San Jose @ Stockton – 7:05pm PT

Kane County @ Burlington – 6:30pm CT

Brooklyn @ Vermont – 6:05pm ET

 

 

Be sure to like A’s Farm’s page on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @AthleticsFarm to keep up with all the news down on the farm!

Sunday, August 12th: Ross Pitches Cats to Victory while Bees Win and Hounds & Ports Both Fall

A’s Farmhand Of The Day

Sacramento River Cats pitcher Tyson Ross (5 IP / 1 ER / 3 K / Win)

 

PACIFIC COAST LEAGUE (TRIPLE-A)

Sacramento River Cats    3

Oklahoma City RedHawks  1

(WP – Ross 5-2 / 2.83)

 

Farmhand Of The Game:

Pitcher Tyson Ross

(5 IP / 1 ER / 3 K / Win)

 

 

Worth Noting: Starter Tyson Ross had another solid outing, allowing just 1 run over 5 innings to earn his 5th win for the River Cats, while second baseman Wes Timmons had 3 hits, including 2 doubles, and drove in a run in the win.

 

TEXAS LEAGUE (DOUBLE-A)

Midland RockHounds  6

Tulsa Drillers               10

(LP – Krol 0-1 / 27.00)

 

Farmhand Of The Game:

Second Baseman Josh Horton

(2 Doubles / 2 RBIs)

 

 

Worth Noting: Starter Shawn Haviland had a rocky outing on Sunday, allowing 5 runs and striking out 7 over 5 innings of work, while left-hander Ian Krol took the loss in his 2nd appearance for Midland, giving up 4 runs in just 1/3 of an inning in relief. Second baseman Josh Horton collected 2 doubles and drove in a pair of runs in the loss.

 

CALIFORNIA LEAGUE (HIGH-A)

Modesto Nuts   16

Stockton Ports  2

(LP – Perlman 0-1 / 10.22)

 

Farmhand Of The Game:

First Baseman A.J. Kirby-Jones

(Home Run)

 

 

Worth Noting: Starter Max Perlman had a rough outing on Sunday, allowing 10 runs over just 3 innings to take his 1st loss for the Ports, while first-baseman A.J. Kirby-Jones clubbed his 16th home run in his only at-bat of the game.

 

MIDWEST LEAGUE (CLASS-A)

Burlington Bees                4

Quad Cities River Bandits  3

(WP – Hassebrock 1-0 / 3.60)

 

Farmhand Of The Game:

Outfielder Rashun Dixon

(Home Run / 2 RBIs)

 

 

Worth Noting: Outfielder Rashun Dixon blasted a 2-run homer, his 12th, while first baseman Max Muncy hit a solo shot, his 4th, for the Bees. Right-hander Blake Hassebrock, in his first start since his demotion to Burlington, had a solid outing, allowing 2 runs on just 2 hits while striking out 4 over 5 innings to earn his 1st win for the Bees.

 

NEW YORK-PENN LEAGUE (CLASS-A SHORT-SEASON)

Vermont Lake Monsters  5

Brooklyn Cyclones           10

(LP – Powers 0-4 / 5.83)

 

Farmhand Of The Game:

First Baseman Miguel Marte

(Double / 2 RBIs)

 

 

Worth Noting: Starter Brent Powers allowed 5 runs on 8 hits over 4 1/3 innings to take his 4th loss. First baseman Miguel Marte doubled and drove in 2 runs, while third baseman Daniel Robertson collected a pair of doubles and scored twice in the loss.

 

ARIZONA LEAGUE (ROOKIE SHORT-SEASON)

AZL D-backs    7

AZL Athletics  1

(LP – Torres 3-1 / 3.98)

 

Farmhand Of The Game:

First Baseman Matt Olson

(Triple / 1 Run)

 

 

Worth Noting: Starter Jose Torres allowed 3 runs and struck out 6 over 5 innings to take the loss, while first baseman Matt Olson tripled and scored the A’s only run on Sunday.

 

Monday’s Games:

Sacramento @ Oklahoma City – 5:05pm PT

Midland @ Tulsa – 7:05pm CT

Burlington @ Quad Cities – 7:00pm CT

 

Monday’s Links:

A’s Farm’s Weekly Minor League Update on A’s Nation

Sacramento River Cats Complete Season Stats

Midland RockHounds Complete Season Stats

Stockton Ports Complete Season Stats

Burlington Bees Complete Season Stats

Vermont Lake Monsters Complete Season Stats

AZL Athletics Complete Season Stats

 

 

Be sure to like A’s Farm’s page on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @AthleticsFarm to keep up with all the news down on the farm!

Tuesday, August 7th: Cole Impresses as Bees, Ports and Cats All Fall on Tuesday

A’s Farmhand Of The Day

Burlington Bees pitcher A.J. Cole   (5 IP / 1 ER / 5 K)

 

PACIFIC COAST LEAGUE (TRIPLE-A)

Nashville Sounds             5

Sacramento River Cats  4

(LP – Valdez 0-1 / 3.49)

 

Farmhand Of The Game:

First Baseman Daric Barton

(2 for 3 / RBI / Stolen Base)

 

 

Worth Noting: Starter Tyson Ross allowed 3 runs on 6 hits while striking out 7 over 6 innings on Tuesday. First baseman Daric Barton had 2 hits and drove in the tying run in the bottom of the 8th inning, but right-hander Merkin Valdez gave up a run in the top of the 9th to take the loss. Grant Green, getting the start at second base once again, doubled and drove in a run for the River Cats.

 

TEXAS LEAGUE (DOUBLE-A)

Midland RockHounds

OFF-DAY

 

CALIFORNIA LEAGUE (HIGH-A)

San Jose Giants  10

Stockton Ports    4

(LP – Hassebrock 2-6 / 8.17)

 

Farmhand Of The Game:

Third Baseman B.A. Vollmuth

(Home Run / 2 RBIs)

 

 

Worth Noting: Starter Blake Hassebrock had another rough outing, allowing 5 runs on 6 hits over 5 innings to take his 6th loss. Third baseman B.A. Vollmuth clubbed a 2-run homer in the 2nd inning, while catcher Max Stassi and first baseman A.J. Kirby-Jones both hit solo shots in the 7th.

 

MIDWEST LEAGUE (CLASS-A)

Quad Cities River Bandits  6

Burlington Bees                3

(LP – Joseph 1-3 / 4.35)

 

Farmhand Of The Game:

Pitcher A.J. Cole

(5 IP / 1 ER / 5 K)

 

 

Worth Noting: Starter A.J. Cole had another solid outing, allowing just 1 run while walking 1 and striking out 5 in 5 innings of work, but right-hander Jonathan Joseph gave up 4 runs, 3 earned, in relief to take the loss. Outfielder Rashun Dixon homered to lead off the 1st inning for the Bees, while shortstop Sean Jamieson drove in 2 runs in the loss.

 

NEW YORK-PENN LEAGUE (CLASS-A SHORT-SEASON)

Vermont Lake Monsters    5

Hudson Valley Renegades  7

(LP – Pudenz 2-1 / 3.86)

 

Farmhand Of The Game:

First Baseman Miguel Marte

(Double / 2 RBIs)

 

 

Worth Noting: First baseman Miguel Marte doubled and drove in 2 runs, while second baseman Chris Bostick and outfielder Kelvin Rojas contributed 2 hits apiece on Tuesday. Starter Brent Powers allowed 1 run and struck out 6 over 4 1/3 innings, and left-hander Omar Duran struck out 4 in 2 scoreless innings in relief, but right-hander Stu Pudenz gave up 3 runs in the 8th inning to take the loss. In other news, the A’s second overall draft pick this year, infielder Daniel Robertson, is on his way to join this year’s #1 pick, Addison Russell, in Vermont.

 

ARIZONA LEAGUE (ROOKIE SHORT-SEASON)

AZL Athletics  4

AZL Rangers    0

(WP – Azor 2-0 / 2.50)

 

Farmhand Of The Game:

Catcher Phil Pohl

(Double / 2 RBIs)

 

 

Worth Noting: Catcher Phil Pohl had 2 hits, including a double, and drove in 2 runs, while starter Dakota Bacus struck out 5 in 3 perfect innings of work, and right-hander Jose Azor struck out 2 in 3 scoreless innings to pick up the win on Tuesday.

 

Wednesday’s Games:

Nashville @ Sacramento – 12:05pm PT

Midland @ NW Arkansas – 7:00pm CT

San Jose @ Stockton – 7:05pm PT

Peoria @ Burlington – 6:30pm CT

Vermont @ Hudson Valley – 7:05pm ET

 

 

Be sure to like A’s Farm’s page on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @AthleticsFarm to keep up with all the news down on the farm!

Friday, July 27th: LeVier’s 2 HRs Lead Ports to Victory while Ross & Granier Pitch Cats & Bees to Wins

 

A’s Farmhand Of The Day

Stockton Ports outfielder Mitch LeVier         (2 Home Runs / 4 RBIs)

 

PACIFIC COAST LEAGUE (TRIPLE-A)

Sacramento River Cats  7

Salt Lake Bees                2

(WP – Ross 4-2 / 2.72)

 

Farmhand Of The Game:

Pitcher Tyson Ross

(9 IP / 2 ER / 8 K / Win)

 

 

Worth Noting: Starter Tyson Ross picked up the complete-game victory on Friday, allowing 2 runs on just 4 hits while walking none and striking out 8 over 9 innings to earn his 4th win. Outfielder Collin Cowgill had 2 doubles while driving in a run and scoring a run in the win.

 

TEXAS LEAGUE (DOUBLE-A)

Midland RockHounds  5

Corpus Christi Hooks   6

(LP – Hunter 2-1 / 4.95)

 

Farmhand Of The Game:

Pitcher Shawn Haviland

(6 IP / 0 ER / 3 K)

 

 

Worth Noting: Starter Shawn Haviland had a no-hitter going when he was removed after 6 innings on the mound, but the RockHounds’ bullpen eventually coughed up the lead. Tyler Ladendorf, who’s been playing center field since the loss of top prospect Michael Choice for the season, blasted 2 home runs and drove in 3 runs, while shortstop Dusty Coleman clubbed his 3rd home run in the last 4 games.

 

CALIFORNIA LEAGUE (HIGH-A)

Stockton Ports    9

Bakersfield Blaze  7

(WP – Huttenlocker 1-1 / 7.64)

 

Farmhand Of The Game:

Outfielder Mitch LeVier

(2 Home Runs / 4 RBIs)

 

 

Worth Noting: Outfielder Mitch LeVier launched 2 home runs and drove in 4 runs, while first baseman Tony Thompson and shortstop Michael Gilmartin both contributed home runs as well. Starter Nate Long allowed 4 runs, 2 earned, over 4 innings of work, while left-hander A.J. Huttenlocker picked up the win in relief.

 

MIDWEST LEAGUE (CLASS-A)

Beloit Snappers   2

Burlington Bees  7

(WP – Granier 11-6 / 3.01)

 

Farmhand Of The Game:

Pitcher Drew Granier

(5 IP / 0 ER / 4 K / Win)

 

 

Worth Noting: Starter Drew Granier had another solid outing, allowing just 1 unearned run over 5 innings to earn his 11th win, while outfielder Aaron Shipman and second baseman Michael Fabiaschi both drove in 2 runs in the win.

 

NEW YORK-PENN LEAGUE (CLASS-A SHORT-SEASON)

Vermont Lake Monsters  0

Auburn Doubledays          4

(LP – Powers 0-3 / 5.40)

 

Farmhand Of The Game:

Catcher Bruce Maxwell

(3 for 4 / Double)

 

 

Worth Noting: Starter Brent Powers allowed 4 runs over 4 2/3 innings to take his 3rd loss, while catcher Bruce Maxwell collected 3 of Vermont’s 8 hits on the night.

 

ARIZONA LEAGUE (ROOKIE SHORT-SEASON)

AZL Athletics  3

AZL Cubs        1

(WP – Azor 1-0 / 3.75)

Farmhand Of The Game:

Pitcher Jose Torres

(4 2/3 IP / 1 ER / 2 K)

Worth Noting: Starter Jose Torres allowed just 1 run over 4 2/3 innings, while right-hander Jose Azor picked up the win with 2 1/3 scoreless innings in relief. Third baseman Renato Nunez doubled and drove in a run in the win.

 

Saturday’s Games:

Sacramento @ Reno – 7:05pm PT

Midland @ Corpus Christi – 7:05pm CT

Stockton @ Bakersfield – 7:30pm PT

Cedar Rapids @ Burlington – 6:30pm CT

Vermont @ Aberdeen – 7:05pm ET

AZL Royals @ AZL Athletics – 7:00pm PT

 

 

Be sure to like A’s Farm’s page on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @AthleticsFarm to keep up with all the news down on the farm!

Catching Up With: The Sacramento River Cats

 

Raley Field – Home of the Sacramento River Cats

The A’s triple-A affiliate Sacramento River Cats have a long history of winning – and this season has been no exception. The team currently boasts the best record in the 16-team Pacific Coast League, and has gotten great performances from many members of the starting rotation like Graham Godfrey, Tyson Ross, A.J. Griffin, Dan Straily, Bruce Billings and even, earlier in the year before his struggles, Brad Peacock. And when we visited Sacramento about a week before the All-Star Break, we took the opportunity to talk with the newest member of the River Cats’ rotation, right-hander Dan Straily, as well as the team’s pitching coach, Scott Emerson.

We also had the chance to talk to one of the staples of the Sacramento lineup who always garners a great deal of interest amongst A’s fans, former 1st-round draft pick Grant Green. The former shortstop, whom the organization converted to an outfielder midway through last season, has recently been playing all over the diamond. The 24-year-old has put in time this season in left field and center field, as well as at shortstop, third base and second base. And after working on his approach at the plate, the right-handed swinger’s power numbers are up a bit this year and his strikeouts are down, and he could very well be angling for a spot with the 2013 A’s.

So be sure to check out our chat with top hitting prospect Grant Green, followed by our conversations with River Cats’ starting pitcher Dan Straily and Sacramento pitching coach Scott Emerson, and get the inside scoop on the 2012 Sacramento River Cats…

 

Sacramento River Cats

Outfielder

GRANT GREEN

AF:  Well you started out the year playing strictly in the outfield, but you’ve been playing a lot of different positions lately – short, third, second. So how has it been adapting to all these new positions and playing a different position everyday?

GG:  It’s fun. It’s something new every single day – walking into the clubhouse and checking the lineup to see where I’m playing. It’s kind of fun and interesting to see where I’m playing. Certain days it’s a little bit less stressful to know I’m playing in left. But tomorrow I could be playing second – something different, something new.

AF:  So it’s been an enjoyable challenge for you rather than something difficult?

GG:  Yeah.

AF:  Do you have any preferences in terms of where you’d ideally like to play?

GG:  Short, of course – that’s what I’m most comfortable with. After that, I like playing second – something I just started doing this year. I’ve only played 1 or 2 games there. But if I could stay in the middle of the diamond on the infield, I would love to. I’ve gotten more used to playing left.

AF:  It sounds like you’d prefer to be where the action is.

GG:  Exactly.

AF:  What about this year at the plate for you – your power numbers were down last year, but they’ve been up a bit this year – is there anything you’ve been doing differently?

GG:  Yeah, we’ve really worked on getting more quality ABs – kind of seeing a little bit more pitches than usual – still being aggressive, but aggressive inside the zone instead of just being aggressive in general. And then last fall I really worked on widening my stance and getting a little bit of a load. It also helps that we’re not playing in Texas League parks. There are a lot of graveyards and the wind blowing the ball foul.

AF:  Have most of your home runs been off any particular type of pitch?

GG:  I’ve had a couple that were hanging sliders, a couple fastballs in, a couple fastballs down the middle. So it’s been a little bit of an array of pitches.

AF:  And where have most of your home runs gone out this season?

GG:  Either in left-center or left. I think I maybe have one to center, if that.

AF:  Your strikeouts have been down a little this year. Is there any particular reason for that?

GG:  Just the overall approach. There was a little stretch at the beginning of the year where I was striking out a little bit too much and being a little bit too aggressive – just in general, swinging at bad pitches. And we really worked on quality ABs and quality pitches. And if I strike out looking on a borderline pitch, it’s better than swinging at a ball.

AF:  Is there anything in particular that you’re really working on right now?

GG:  Yeah, mostly the defensive side – coming back to the infield, trying to get back to that first step coming in, unlike the outfield. Just trying to get back to doing that and trying to cut distance and trying to save the arm a little bit when it comes to the infield.

AF:  So are you practicing at different positions every day?

GG:  It depends. If I’m playing the infield, then I’ll take all BP at that. And if I’m playing the outfield, I’ll take one round there and usually one round at short and just practice cutting the distance.

AF:  I know you’re originally from Orange County, so do you spend most of the off-season in southern California?

GG:  Yeah, I have a house in Corona. It’s about 10 minutes from where I grew up. So I spend my time there, travel a little bit, and try and go to the beach as much as possible.

AF:  Well you’ve now played in the California League, the Texas League and the Pacific Coast League. So in all your travels, is there any place you’d rather never see again?

GG:  Probably Bakersfield. The whole situation there was just a grind. The field wasn’t very nice – the infield was terrible actually. The clubhouse was old. That’s one place I’d never go back to.

AF:  That’s funny, you’re not the only one I’ve heard say that.

GG:  I bet!

AF:  Thanks, Grant.

 

Sacramento River Cats

Starting Pitcher

DAN STRAILY

AF:  Well, you got off to a good start this year at Midland and now you’ve been doing great here at Sacramento too. So what’s been the key to your success this year?

DS:  Just throwing strikes down in the zone. Last year in Stockton, I spent a lot of time working on that because of how the ball sails in that league. That’s really been the key to success this year – just being able to keep the ball down.

AF:  You’ve always been a bit of a strikeout pitcher, but even more so now. You’re leading the entire A’s minor league system in strikeouts this year. So is there any particular reason for that?

DS:  It’s just kind of happened. I’m not pitching all that differently. I’ve just had a few games with a lot of strikeouts. I’ve had some 10+ strikeout nights and a bunch of 7-8-9 nights. It’s not like I’m trying to strike everyone out. It’s just kind of the way things are working out. My goal pretty much every night is to go out there and go 7-8 innings. And sometimes that’s 7-8 innings with a bunch of strikeouts and sometimes it’s 7-8 innings with just a handful of strikeouts. But I’m not necessarily trying to strike people out.

AF:  So, you’re not trying to be Nolan Ryan.

DS:  Exactly.

AF:  Coming from the Texas League to the Pacific Coast League, which is considered to be more of a hitters’ league, have there been any adjustments you’ve had to make?

DS:  Not so far. It’s just kind of nice that the wind’s not blowing out at least here. It’s seems like in most of the Texas League stadiums, the wind’s blowing out. But I haven’t really been here long enough to be forced to make any adjustments. I’ve just been pitching the way I’ve been pitching.

AF:  So how have you liked playing in Sacramento so far?

DS:  So far it’s been awesome. Last night coming in here with a packed stadium – and a packed stadium most places is a few thousand less than it is here. I got to pitch here last week. And you don’t normally notice when you’re playing how many people are there, but when you’re done, you tend to notice those things. It’s a lot of fun. I just like the atmosphere here.

AF:  Have you been following your former teammate A.J. Griffin’s progress this year?

DS:  Absolutely. He was my roommate in Texas when we were down there. I texted him the other night and told him congratulations and stuff and talked to him a little bit today. It’s awesome. He’s my first friend I’ve seen come up and be in the show now. So that’s just awesome.

AF:  Well, that must give you a real sense of just how close it can be.

DS:  They keep telling us, you’re just one phone call away. And he definitely proved that. We were down in Vegas one day and just all of a sudden A.J. walked in just beaming with this big old smile and he came in and told us. And I couldn’t be more proud of him.

AF:  Well, good luck!

 

Sacramento River Cats

Pitching Coach

SCOTT EMERSON

AF:  Well, Dan Straily came up here last month, and he’s been looking as good as he did at Midland. Tell me what you like about him.

SE:  Well, I like his delivery. When you have a repeatable delivery like he does, it makes it a lot easier to throw all four of your pitches. He’s got four major league pitches, and he’s just got to go out there and face better hitters here in Triple-A and show us what he can do.

AF:  Tell me about his repertoire.

SE:  Well, he’s got a sinking fastball that goes to the arm side with good downhill plane to his mechanics. He’s got a good top-to-bottom curveball. He’s got a good late slider that at times looks like a cut fastball. And he’s got an excellent changeup that at times will look like a loose split-finger where the ball will actually fall off the table. So he’s a lot of fun to watch.

AF:  What’s been his big strikeout pitch?

SE:  More of his breaking ball. But the ability to spot his fastball to both sides of the plate sets up his breaking ball. Everything works off the fastball. When he throws it to both sides and then he’s able to throw that breaking ball, he’s getting them to chase it.

AF:  Another guy you had here for a while this year was A.J. Griffin. And so far he’s been doing as well in Oakland as he was here.

SE:  Well A.J. is a strike-throwing machine. And he works at the bottom of the strike zone. He works quick. He’s got an excellent changeup. Anytime that you can disrupt the timing of hitters, it’s always a plus. But again, everything comes off that good fastball command. He really commands the fastball down and away. He has the ability to throw his changeup behind in counts, so he’s always back in the count. If he falls behind in the count, he can throw that changeup in a fastball situation and either get hitters swinging or have them put the ball in play. And he’s developed a cutter over the course of the season this year – sometimes it looks like a slider – but to right-hander hitters, he got a lot of groundballs with it.

AF:  After having him here for a while this year, did you feel confident about his ability to succeed at the major league level?

SE:  Yeah, he holds runners well. That’s one of the questions you always get – does he hold runners? He plays good defense, he has the ability to throw his changeup behind in the count, and he spots his fastball. If you can do those things, you’re pretty much going to have some success in the big leagues.

AF:  Another one of your starters here this year is Bruce Billings. He was pitching really well early on, then he was on the disabled list for a while, and now he’s been coming back. Tell me a little bit about him.

SE:  Bruce has got real good command. He throws the ball at the bottom of the zone with movement. Anytime you can throw balls at the bottom of the zone with movement, you’re going to have a lot of success. He didn’t really have his sinker last season. But coming here this year, he started the year throwing that sinker at the bottom of the zone and getting some groundballs. He’s got a good late slider. Anytime you can do that and have good life at the bottom of the zone and get groundouts, you’re going to pitch good.

AF:  Now what about Brad Peacock? He’s really been struggling of late and seems to have hit a bump in the road. So what’s up with him?

SE:  Well, he’s got great stuff. There’s no doubt his pitch mix is very good. He’s struggling a little bit with his fastball command. And once the fastball command comes back and comes around, the sky’s the limit for this guy. His weapons are just that good. He’s got a hard late curveball, and a very good changeup with good arm speed, and then the changeup just dies. So we’re just looking for him to get that fastball command back. And you know, sometimes you put some pressure on yourself. You get traded for a guy like Gio Gonzalez and you run into a couple of rough games – he’s just got to know that we’ve got a lot of confidence in him – you’ve just got to go out there and have fun and pitch your game.

AF:  Thanks, Scott – that’s really informative.

 

Be sure to like A’s Farm’s page on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @AthleticsFarm to keep up with all the news down on the farm!

Wednesday, July 4th: Cats & Ports Blast Opponents while Hounds & Bees Fall on the 4th

A’s Farmhand Of The Day

Sacramento River Cats pitcher Tyson Ross (7 IP / 1 ER / 7 K / Win)

 

PACIFIC COAST LEAGUE (TRIPLE-A)

Sacramento River Cats  18

Fresno Grizzlies                4

(WP – Ross 3-1 / 2.17)

 

Farmhand Of The Game:

Pitcher Tyson Ross

(7 IP / 1 ER / 7 K / Win)

 

 

Worth Noting: Starter Tyson Ross had a strong outing in his return to Sacramento, allowing just 1 run and striking out 7 in 7 innings to earn the win, and the River Cats’ lineup offered him plenty of support on Wednesday. Catcher Josh Donaldson homered twice and drove in 4 runs, and shortstop Adam Rosales also launched a pair of homers, including a grand slam, and drove in 6. Outfielder Michael Taylor blasted a 3-run homer, first baseman Kila Ka’aihue clubbed 2 doubles and drove in 3 runs, and outfielder Grant Green collected 4 hits, including a double, and scored 4 times.

 

TEXAS LEAGUE (DOUBLE-A)

Midland RockHounds  0

Springfield Cardinals   5

(LP – Daley 7-7 / 4.70)

 

Farmhand Of The Game:

Pitcher Gary Daley

(6 IP / 2 ER / 3 K)

 

 

Worth Noting: Starter Gary Daley had a solid outing on Wednesday, allowing 2 earned runs on just 3 hits over 6 innings of work, but Midland’s lineup only managed 4 hits and couldn’t push a run across the plate. Tyler Ladendorf, getting the start in center field, contributed the RockHound’s only extra base hit of the night, a double in the 6th inning.

 

CALIFORNIA LEAGUE (HIGH-A)

Stockton Ports     14

Bakersfield Blaze    3

(WP – Long 3-0 / 2.82)

 

Farmhand Of The Game:

Outfielder Josh Whitaker

(Home Run / Double / 4 RBIs)

 

 

Worth Noting: Hot-hitting outfielder Josh Whitaker had another big night, clubbing his 12th double and his 14th home run and driving in 4 runs, and third baseman B.A. Vollmuth blasted a 3-run homer, his 1st for the Ports. Shortstop Michael Gilmartin homered and drove in 2, while designated hitter Beau Taylor collected 3 hits, including a double, and drove in 1 run and scored twice. And to top off the night, the team celebrated the victory with a post-game 4th of July cookout at the home of outfielder Dusty Robinson’s family in Bakersfield.

 

MIDWEST LEAGUE (CLASS-A)

Burlington Bees  2

Peoria Chiefs       8

(LP – Granier 9-5 / 3.64)

 

Farmhand Of The Game:

Pitcher Drew Granier

(7 IP / 3 ER / 8 K)

 

 

Worth Noting: Starter Drew Granier had another solid outing, allowing 3 runs on just 4 hits while walking 1 and striking out 8 over 7 innings of work, but the Bees could only push 2 runs across the plate on Wednesday, one coming courtesy of a home run off the bat of first baseman Douglas Landaeta. Outfielder Eliezer Mesa drove in catcher Nick Rickles for Burlington’s only other run of the night.

 

NEW YORK-PENN LEAGUE (CLASS-A SHORT-SEASON)

Hudson Valley Renegades  1

Vermont Lake Monsters    2

(WP – Pudenz 1-0 / 0.00)

 

Farmhand Of The Game:

Outfielder Austin Booker

(2 for 3 / RBI)

 

 

Worth Noting: Outfielder Austin Booker had 2 hits and drove in the go-ahead run for Vermont in the bottom of the 8th inning to give the Lake Monsters the win on Wednesday.

 

ARIZONA LEAGUE (ROOKIE SHORT-SEASON)

AZL Athletics

AZL Royals

SUSPENDED

 

Thursday’s Games:

Sacramento @ Fresno – 7:05pm PT

(TBD vs. Hacker)

Arkansas @ Midland – 7:00pm CT

(Piazza vs. Castro)

Stockton @ Bakersfield – 7:45pm PT

(Krol vs. TBD)

Burlington @ Peoria – 7:00pm CT

(TBD vs. Cates)

Hudson Valley @ Vermont – 7:05pm ET

(Lopez vs. Avila)

AZL Giants vs. AZL Athletics – 7:00pm PT

(TBD vs. TBD)

 

 

Be sure to like A’s Farm’s page on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @AthleticsFarm to keep up with all the news down on the farm!

Saturday, June 9th: Ross Pitches Cats to Victory as Hounds, Ports and Bees Fall

A’s Farmhand Of The Day

Sacramento River Cats pitcher Tyson Ross (6 IP / 0 ER / 6 K / Win)

 

TRIPLE-A PACIFIC COAST LEAGUE

Sacramento River Cats     10

Colorado Springs Sky Sox  2

(WP – Ross 2-1 / 2.45)

 

Farmhand Of The Game:

Pitcher Tyson Ross

(6 IP / 0 ER / 6 K / Win)

 

 

Worth Noting: Starter Tyson Ross turned in another solid outing for Sacramento, walking just 1 while striking out 6 over 6 scroreless innings to earn his 2nd win. Left-hander Pedro Figueroa allowed his first 2 runs of the season for Sacramento in 2 innings of relief. Catcher Derek Norris hit a 2-run homer in the 2nd inning, outfielder Michael Taylor followed with a 2-run homer in the 3rd, and shortstop Brandon Hicks capped the River Cats’ scoring on the night with a 3-run homer in the 8th.

 

DOUBLE-A TEXAS LEAGUE

Midland RockHounds   5

Corpus Christi Hooks  6

(LP – Ortiz 2-2 / 2.66)

 

Farmhand Of The Game:

Catcher Ryan Lipkin

(Home Run / 2 RBIs)

 

 

Worth Noting: Catcher Ryan Lipkin hit a 2-run homer in the 6th inning to give the RockHounds the lead. Starter Gary Daley allowed 4 runs over 5 innings of work, but right-hander Jonathan Ortiz allowed 2 runs in the 9th inning to record his 3rd blown save and his 2nd loss.

 

ADVANCED-A CALIFORNIA LEAGUE

Stockton Ports    3

San Jose Giants  4

(LP – Brown 2-4 / 3.23)

 

Farmhand Of The Game:

First Baseman A.J. Kirby-Jones

(Home Run / 1 RBI)

 

 

Worth Noting: Starter Jacob Brown allowed 4 runs over 6 innings to run his record to 2-4, and first baseman A.J. Kirby-Jones launched his 12th home run in the loss.

 

CLASS-A MIDWEST LEAGUE

Quad Cities River Bandits  6

Burlington Bees                 3

(LP – Urlaub 4-4 / 3.25)

 

Farmhand Of The Game:

Pitcher Max Perlman

(5 IP / 1 ER / 2 K)

 

 

Worth Noting: Right-hander Max Perlman had an impressive outing in his first start of the season for Burlington, allowing 1 run on just 1 walk and 3 hits over 5 innings of work on Saturday. But the Bees’ bullpen surrendered 5 runs, with left-hander Jeff Urlaub taking the loss. Third baseman B.A. Vollmuth hit a 2-run homer in the 1st inning to putBurlington on the board.

 

Sunday’s Games:

Sacramento @ Colorado Springs – 12:05pm PT

(TBD vs. Scahill)

Midland@ Frisco – 6:00pm CT

(TBD vs. Grimm)

Stockton @ San Jose – 1:00pm PT

(Krol vs. Bradley)

Quad Cities @ Burlington – 2:00pm CT

(Stock vs. Frankoff)

 

 

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