Oakland A's MLN: Weekend in Review

A look at the weekend news and notes around the Oakland A's minor league system.

Nashville Sounds

After losing the first game of the season, the Sounds took the next three in their season-opening four-game series versus Colorado Springs. The Sounds scored 38 runs during the four-game set, including a 16-11 victory on Sunday. Joey Wendle homered twice on Sunday and he has nine hits in his first 20 Triple-A at-bats. Four of those hits have gone for extra-bases and he has driven-in eight runs.

Several Sounds are off to red-hot starts at the plate. Bryan Anderson has six hits in 14 at-bats, Anthony Aliotti is 4-for-9, Kent Matthes is 6-for-14, Alden Carrithers is 6-for-13 and Max Muncy has six hits and four walks in four games.

The Sounds will be adding another offensive reinforcement early next week. Utilityman Tyler Ladendorf will join the Sounds after starting the season in the big leagues. Ladendorf made a strong first impression as a big leaguer, collecting two hits and a walk in 10 at-bats, including a triple. Ladendorf hit .297 last season in Triple-A. He was sent down to Nashville to make room for Josh Reddick, who was activated off of the A’s disabled list.

Ladendorf is the second member of the A’s Opening Day roster to join the Sounds this week. Billy Burns joined the Sounds on Thursday after he was sent down from Oakland on Wednesday to make room for Cody Ross.

It wasn’t easy to pitch for any team in Colorado Springs this weekend, and the Sounds’ staff finished the series with some ugly numbers. However, a few Nashville hurlers had solid showings this weekend. Relievers Pat Venditte and Chad Smith each had two scoreless relief appearances. Ryan Cook had a scoreless two-inning outing. Given how the A’s bullpen struggled this week versus the Seattle Mariners, Cook could find his way back in Oakland quickly if he continues to pitch well.

Midland Rockhounds

Midland got off to a 2-0 start to the season, but they dropped the last two games of the weekend to finish the week at 2-2. The RockHounds won their opening series with Northwest Arkansas, two games to one, but dropped the first game of their two-game set with Arkansas, 2-1. The Sunday game was a rain-shortened affair that ended after the sixth inning.

The Chads – Chad Pinder and Chad Oberacker – are off to hot starts at the plate. Oberacker has four hits in seven at-bats and four RBI. Pinder has two homers and a triple over his first four games of the season. Ryon Healy has five hits in 14 at-bats and Colin Walsh and Bobby Crocker each have four hits in 14 at-bats. Matt Olson has two hits – including a homerun – and four walks in 11 at-bats.

The Midland pitching staff is generally off to a good start, as they allowed 16 runs in four games. Chris Jensen allowed two runs on three hits in six innings in his first start, while Zach Neal allowed two runs in five innings in his first start of the year. Ryan Dull is the first reliever to make two appearances for Midland this season and he has yet to allow a run in 2.1 innings of work.

Outfielder Ryan Mathews announced on Twitter that he was released by the A’s on Sunday. Mathews had one start for Midland this season. He is a career .261 hitter with 27 homers in 234 minor league games. The North Carolina State alum was the A’s 27th round pick in 2012.

Stockton Ports

The Ports began the season with a win, but they dropped the final three games of their series with Inland Empire. Stockton’s offense is off to a slow start, as they have scored just eight runs in four games.

A few Ports are swinging the bat well out of the gate, however. Second baseman Branden Cogswell had a rough pro debut season at the plate, but he is hitting well to start his first full season. In 13 at-bats, Cogswell has six hits in 13 at-bats and he has walked three times. J.P. Sportman has six hits in 16 at-bats, including two doubles and a triple. Michael Soto, seeing time defensively at third base during the absence of Matt Chapman, has four hits in 12 at-bats, including two doubles, and he has walked once. Franklin Barreto finished the weekend with one hit over his first 13 at-bats.

Starters Dylan Covey and Tim Atherton each had impressive first starts. Covey tossed five scoreless innings, while Atherton allowed a run on two hits in five innings. Dillon Overton and Joel Seddon each threw four innings in Sunday’s game and each of them were charged with one run. Seddon did allow three unearned runs, however. Jonathan Joseph has two one-inning scoreless appearances out of the bullpen in the early going.

Beloit Snappers

Rain caused the Beloit season to start a day late. The Snappers pulled out a win on their Opening Day, but they have dropped their last three games. Beloit has scored just 12 runs over their first four games. Only of their first four games have been decided by more than one run.

Outfielders Brett Vertigan and Shawn Duinkerk are leading the way in the early going. Vertigan has seven hits and two walks in 15 official at-bats, while Duinkerk has five hits and two walks in 13 official at-bats. Joe Bennie hit the first homerun for Beloit this season and he has reached base six times over the first four games. Sandber Pimentel has two doubles and three walks in his first four Midwest League games.

Right-hander Kevin Johnson made a start during the double-header on Saturday and threw four hitless innings in his first appearance since having Tommy John surgery after his senior season of college. Trevor Bayless and Corey Miller have started the season with two scoreless innings of relief each. Bayless struck-out five in his two-inning outing.

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