Oakland A's MLN: Spring Notebook

PHOENIX - The first week of minor league spring training games is almost complete. We have news and notes from Oakland A's minor league camp.

Injuries Could Force Some Prospects To Extended Spring

A group of Oakland A's minor league prospects are currently battling injuries that could prevent them from breaking camp on Opening Day with a full-season squad. A's 2010 Organizational Pitcher of the Year Ian Krol strained his left forearm earlier in camp and he has yet to return to game action. The injury isn't serious, but it will likely prevent Krol from being ready for Opening Day. He will work his pitch count up at extended spring training before being sent out, likely to the High-A Stockton Ports.

Ryan Ortiz, the Ports' catcher for much of 2010, is also likely to stay in Phoenix for the start of extended spring training. Ortiz is having a huge camp at the plate, but a sore right shoulder is preventing him from playing defense in game action. He is currently on a throwing program. There is a chance Ortiz could be sent out to a full-season team to DH, but it is more likely that he will get his at-bats in extended spring training while he finishes rehabbing his shoulder.

Infielder Zhi Fang Pan is continuing to battle a sore right arm, an injury that cut his time at the A's fall Instructional League short. Pan is in Phoenix and is participating in all hitting and running drills, but he has been limited defensively. Because he hasn't had much time in the field, he is likely to spend the first part of the season in Phoenix at extended and join the Vermont Lake Monsters at the start of the short season.

Reliever Andrew Carignan is currently not throwing, although the injury has nothing to do with the arm problems that plagued him through all of 2009 and part of 2010. He injured his foot and is currently in a walking boot until the injury heals.

After two seasons ruined by knee injuries, Sean Doolittle is healthy and participating fully in spring drills. The A's are still being careful with Doolittle, however, and he is on a reduced game schedule, playing one game, then sitting out two. He is likely to start the season in extended spring training and stay there until he is able to play in games everyday.

Other Notes

* 2010 first-round pick Michael Choice has continued to impress in minor league camp after turning heads in major league camp. He has shown power to all fields and hit an opposite field homer on Wednesday and an opposite field double on Thursday.

* The A's Low-A team ran wild against the Angels on Thursday. There has been an increased emphasis on aggressive base-running in camp this spring and Sacramento hitting coach Todd Steverson is leading the base-running coaching.

* Dusty Coleman, who missed all of last season with a wrist injury, is having an excellent camp.

* Vicmal De La Cruz, who was signed by the A's to an $800,000 signing bonus out of the Dominican Republic in November, is expected to travel to the States for extended spring training before returning to the Dominican for the Dominican Summer League.

* The rehabs from Tommy John surgery are going well for pitching prospects Michael Ynoa, Pedro Figueroa and Julio Ramos. All three are throwing on flat ground. The A's are hopeful that all three of them will pitch in games before the end of the season.

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