Oakland A's MLN: Gone But Not Forgotten

During the first few weeks of the 2012 season, the Oakland A's have made several transactions. A number of members of the team's Opening Day roster have been sent down to Triple-A Sacramento after early season struggles at the major league level. How are those players faring since their demotions? We have that information, as well as other news and notes inside...

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It can be a tough pill to swallow for a player who makes a major league Opening Day roster, only to find himself back in Triple-A before the end of the first month of the season. That is the scenario that several of the Oakland A's Opening Day roster members are currently facing. Those players are making the best of their situations, however.

Two members of the A's Opening Day roster were honored by the Pacific Coast League on Monday. Starter Graham Godfrey was named PCL Pitcher of the Week and third baseman/catcher Josh Donaldson was tabbed the PCL's Player of the Week.

Godfrey was the A's number four starter at the beginning of the season, but he lost his spot in the A's rotation after three starts. The right-hander struggled with his command with the A's, allowing two homeruns and walking seven in 16 innings. Since returning to Triple-A, Godfrey has regained his feel for locating his pitches. In three starts with the River Cats, Godfrey has allowed only one earned run in 20 innings. He has struck-out 16 and has walked only three while allowing 20 hits.

Donaldson has been hitting at a torrid pace since his demotion to Triple-A. With the A's, Donaldson had only three hits in 32 at-bats and he struck-out 13 times while not walking once. In 30 at-bats with the River Cats, Donaldson has 14 hits (.467 BA) with four homeruns, a double and a triple. He has walked four times and has only struck-out four times.

Relievers Fautino De Los Santos and Andrew Carignan are also pitching well in Triple-A after struggling at the major league level at the start of the season. Carignan allowed four hits and five walks in 4.1 big league innings with the A's, but he has allowed only five hits and one walk in nine innings with Sacramento. He has struck-out 14. De Los Santos has been charged with three runs in 5.2 innings with the River Cats, but he is pitching better than his ERA would indicate. The right-hander has walked only one and has struck-out nine while allowing only five hits for the River Cats.

Outfielder Collin Cowgill didn't necessarily struggle with the A's at the start of the season, but he was sent down to Triple-A midway through the month because there weren't enough regular at-bats for him with the A's. Since joining the River Cats, Cowgill has had regular playing time. In 16 games, he is batting .292 with 15 RBIs and three stolen bases. He has been particularly hot over his past 10 games, batting .341/.372/.512 with 10 RBIs.

News And Notes

- The River Cats placed infielder Wes Timmons on the seven-day disabled list on Monday. He is batting only .150 with a 441 OPS in 18 games for Sacramento. Timmons' spot on the River Cats' roster has been taken by reliever J.C. Menna, who joined the team from extended spring training.

- A's top prospect Michael Choice is off to a slow start with Double-A Midland this season, but he had a three-hit game on Monday for the Rockhounds. Choice is batting .267/.356/.336 thus far this season.

- Midland fell to Frisco, 4-2, on Monday. Starter A.J. Griffin had his worst start of his season. He allowed four runs on eight hits and two walks in six innings. Griffin struck-out three and was stuck with his first loss of the season. Sean Doolittle threw 1.2 innings of scoreless relief and A.J. Huttenlocker retired the only batter he faced, but it wasn't enough to earn the win. Midland is now 18-13 on the season.

- The Stockton Ports' losing streak reached eight games on Monday with a 5-3 loss to the Visalia Oaks. Starter A.J. Cole allowed five runs on 10 hits and a walk in 5.2 innings of work. He struck-out four. Ryan Doolittle threw 2.1 scoreless innings in relief of Cole, but the Ports were unable to mount a comeback. Josh Whitaker had two hits - including a homer - and a walk in the losing effort.

- B.A. Vollmuth and Nick Rickles each had two hits for the Burlington Bees, but it wasn't enough, as the Bees fell to Clinton, 5-2. Brent Powers, in his first official start of the season, allowed five runs in 3.1 innings. He allowed seven hits and two walks. Seth Frankoff - his starter-tandem partner - was impressive in his 4.2 innings of work. He didn't allow a run and he scattered five hits and didn't walk a batter.

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