Oakland A's MLN: Arizona Fall League Begins

October 7 was Opening Day for the Arizona Fall League. Several Oakland A's top prospects made their AFL debuts. We rundown how they fared, as well as other news and notes from around the A's system.

Solar Sox Fall In AFL Opener

All three of the Oakland A's position player prospects participating in the Arizona Fall League this season made their debuts in the opener for the Mesa Solar Sox on Tuesday. The Solar Sox were routed by the Glendale Desert Dogs, 9-3.

In the opener, Matt Olson got the start at first and batted fourth, Daniel Robertson started at short and batted fifth and Boog Powell started in left and batted ninth. Olson went 0-for-3 and Robertson went 0-for-3 with a walk. Powell had a hit in three at-bats and he also stole a base. Former A's prospect Addison Russell DH'd in the game and batted fourth. He had a two-RBI single in four at-bats.

The A's pitchers on the Mesa staff - Austin House, Drew Granier, Ryan Doolittle and Tanner Peters - did not appear in the game.


A's Re-Sign Two More Free Agents

Earlier this off-season, the A's re-signed minor league free agent Ryan Doolittle for the 2015 season. Doolittle was then invited to the Arizona Fall League. This week, it was reported by Baseball America that the A's had re-signed right-handed pitchers Jonathan Joseph and Angel Castro. A's Director of Player Development Keith Lieppman confirmed the two signings.

Joseph has been with the A's organization since debuting in the Dominican Summer League in 2006. Te Dominican right-hander was a starter early in his career, but he has found a home in the bullpen in recent seasons. Last year, Joseph made 37 appearances for the High-A Stockton Ports. He had a 3.58 ERA and a 72:38 in 78 innings. He allowed just five homeruns.

Joseph gets good life on his fastball and he has a sharp breaking ball. In 2013, he added a hybrid split-finger change-up that acts as a groundball pitch for Joseph. He has been durable throughout his career with the A's and should get a chance at the Double-A level next season.

Castro was acquired by the A's from St. Louis during the final month of the 2014 season. The soon-to-be 32-year-old had a 4.66 ERA between Triple-A Memphis and Triple-A Sacramento this season. He made 18 starts and 12 relief appearances. The native of the Dominican was a 13th round pick of the Detroit Tigers in 2006 out of Western Oklahoma State.

Castro signed a major-league deal with the Cardinals before the 2014 season, but he struggled during spring training and was designated for assignment. He cleared waivers and remained in the organization on a minor league deal. Castro would make the Pacific Coast League's mid-season All-Star team as a replacement starter when Jimmy Nelson was promoted to the big leagues.

Castro has a fastball that sits 90-93, a slider and a change-up. He has experience pitching on the Dominican National Team, as well as in the Japanese Professional League, but he has never pitched in the major leagues.

Joseph, Castro and Doolittle will all be eligible to be drafted in the Rule 5 draft if the A's don't add them to their 40-man roster this winter.



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