Oakland A's MLN: Notes From Extended

The short-season leagues are set to open their seasons in a little more than a month. Several players are gaining momentum from their play at extended spring training heading into the short-seasons. We have notes from the Oakland A's extended spring training camp, as well as other news and notes from around the organization in this edition of Oakland A's Minor League Notebook.

There is only a month left of the Oakland A's 2013 extended spring training program, and several prospects have put themselves in good positions heading into the short-seasons, which begin in the middle of June.

Left-hander Brent Powers was one such participant. The A's 2011 18th-round pick was the leading pitcher in Oakland's extended spring camp until he was sent out to Low-A Beloit earlier this week, according to A's Director of Player Development Keith Lieppman. Powers made his 2013 regular season debut for the Snappers on Wednesday, allowing three runs on four hits in five innings. He struck-out five and walked two in the no-decision.

Third baseman Chad Lewis was another player who distinguished himself during the extended spring program, and he has carried that good play over to the Snappers since being sent out at the start of May. Lewis had two hits on Wednesday, including his first homerun of the season. He has hit safely in five of his last six games and has delivered two walk-off hits for Beloit already. Lewis has a .459 SLG in 10 games thus far.

A's 2011 sixth-round pick Dayton Alexander has also been playing well at extended, according to Lieppman. The native of Hawaii is batting .417 and is currently the solid contact leader in camp. He also leads camp with a .462 OBP. Alexander hit only .185 between the A's two short-season affiliates last year.

Two graduates of the A's Dominican program - Michael Soto and Luis Baez - have also played well this spring. According to Lieppman, Soto has been splitting his time at first and third at extended and has handled both positions well. Soto played only first base last season, although he had previous experience at the hot corner. The 21-year-old had an 846 OPS for the AZL A's last year. He is batting .358 at extended this spring.

Baez is the current camp leader in RBI with 21 and homers with three. The outfielder, who turns 22 next week, hit .289 with an 815 OPS last season for the AZL A's.

Both Lieppman and A's minor league pitching coordinator Scott Emerson have been very impressed with the work of right-hander Lee Sosa thus far this spring. The A's 26th-round pick out of Binghamton University in New York last year has seen a spike in his velocity up into the mid-90s and has shown improvement with his breaking ball and change-up. According to Lieppman, Sosa is ticketed to pitch for Vermont at the start of short-seasons.

Joining Sosa in Vermont will be promising right-hander Gregory Paulino. With Powers now in Burlington, Paulino has assumed the title of camp leader in ERA and innings pitched. Paulino had an excellent 2012 campaign for the AZL A's. His ERA was high (5.40), but he had a 56:16 K:BB ratio in 60 innings. The 6'3'' native of the Dominican turned 20 in February.

Right-handers Carlos Navas, 20, and Ronald Herrera, 18, have made their US debuts in extended spring training after graduating from the A's Dominican Academy. Navas, a native of Venezuela, had a 1.38 ERA and a 54:11 K:BB ratio for the A's DSL club last year. Herrera, also from Venezuela, had a 2.47 ERA and a 44:20 K:BB ratio in 58.1 innings for the DSL A's last season. According to Lieppman, both right-handers have been as good in extended camp as they were advertised to be by the A's DSL coaching staff.

On the rehab front, A's 2012 second-round pick Nolan Sanburn is making progress in his rehab from a right shoulder strain sustained this spring. He is still in the preliminary stages of a throwing program and there is no definitive timetable for when he will be sent out to a club, according to Lieppman. But the right-hander has not had any set-backs with the program.

Left-hander Trey Barham is also on a throwing program. The reliever had Tommy John surgery roughly a year ago. He is still months away from pitching in a game, according to Lieppman.

Right-hander Andrew Carignan suffered a set-back in his rehab from Tommy John surgery. He will be kept from throwing until he is pain-free.

Other News And Notes

- Stockton RHP Tanner Peters was brilliant on Wednesday night in the Ports' 2-1 win over Bakersfield. Peters carried a perfect game into the sixth and pitched a season-high eight innings. He allowed only one run on four hits. He didn't walk a batter and he struck-out 10. Peters has allowed two earned runs over his last 15 innings. He has a 44:9 K:BB ratio in 45.1 innings, but he has a 5.16 ERA and has allowed 10 homeruns.

- Outfielder Rashun Dixon has been added to the Stockton roster after a brilliant 11 games with Low-A Beloit. In 36 at-bats, Dixon hit .276/.422/.611 with four homers and nine walks. He will make his 2013 Stockton debut on Thursday.

- The A's have released right-hander Max Perlman, who had been on the Stockton roster. The Harvard alum allowed three runs and walked six in 5.1 innings this season with Stockton. He had an 8.18 ERA in 44 innings with the Ports last season after posting a 3.92 ERA in 64.1 innings for Low-A Burlington earlier in the season.

- RHP Sean Murphy put together another strong outing for the Midland Rockhounds on Wednesday, as they defeated Frisco, 8-4. Murphy tossed six scoreless innings, allowing only two hits and two walks and striking out five. He has a 2.17 ERA in 29 Double-A innings this season. Midland pounded out 14 hits in the win, including three each from Chad Oberacker and Jake Goebbert and two each from D'Arby Myers, Josh Whitaker and Dusty Coleman.

- Beloit mounted a ninth-inning comeback to tie the game, but lost to Clinton in 10 innings, 6-5. Raul Alcantara had his first bad outing since Opening Night, allowing 10 hits and five runs (four earned) in four innings. He didn't walk a batter, but he struck-out only two. Chad Lewis had two hits and a homer, while Ryan Mathews, Brett Vertigan and John Wooten all had doubles. Beloit is second in the Midwest League in team OPS with a 761 mark.

- The A's sent OF Michael Taylor back to Triple-A on Wednesday to make room for Coco Crisp, who was activated from the disabled list. The River Cats have not announced a corresponding move as of Thursday morning.

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