Injuries and Struggles in Oakland Causes Minor League Shuffle
The Oakland A's are in a tough place right now. Losers of four straight games -- all to AL West opponents -- the A's were forced to make several roster moves this weekend thanks to injuries and ineffectiveness.
On Saturday, the A's recalled infielder Max Muncy from Triple-A Nashville to replace Ben Zobrist, who landed on the DL with a knee injury that will require surgery. Taking Muncy's place on the Nashville roster is veteran infielder Ryan Roberts. Roberts signed with the A's as a minor league free agent. He could join the A's in the big leagues soon if he plays well for Nashville. Roberts collected two hits in five at-bats in his Nashville debut on Sunday.
On Sunday, the A's recalled reliever Ryan Cook from Nashville and sent struggling starter Kendall Graveman back to Triple-A. Graveman will try to get back on track after four starts in the major-leagues in which he failed to finish six innings. Cook didn't allow a run in 5.2 innings for the Sounds. He threw a scoreless inning in his return to Oakland on Sunday.
The Sounds have lost several members of their Opening Day pitching staff this week. Earlier in the week, Arnold Leon was promoted to Oakland. After pitching on Wednesday, Leon returned to Nashville. Sounds' starter Chris Bassitt replaced Leon on the A's roster. To take Bassitt's place in the rotation, the A's promoted Zach Neal From Double-A Midland.
Taking Neal's spot on the Midland roster is reliever Jonathan Joseph, who has finally reached Double-A after nine years in the A's system. Joseph made his Double-A debut on Saturday and threw a shutout inning. He had 11 strike-outs in 10.1 innings with Stockton before the promotion.
Joseph's spot in Stockton was taken by right-hander Trevor Bayless, who struck-out 11 in six shutout innings for Beloit at the start of the year. This is Bayless's High-A debut. Jerad Grundy was activated off of the disabled list to take Bayless's roster spot.
- Beloit is on a winning streak. The Snappers completed a home sweep of Clinton this weekend and have now won four straight games. Yairo Munoz is on a five-game hitting streak and he has raised his average from .239 to .288 during the streak. Munoz has walked only three times this season, but he has struck-out just five times in 59 at-bats. Joe Bennie hit a game-winning grand-slam on Sunday.
- Chad Pinder's walk-off single in the bottom of the 12th gave the Midland Rockhounds a 3-2 win on Sunday. The win moved Midland to .500 at 8-8. The RockHounds' bullpen threw 6.1 scoreless innings. Seth Frankoff (2.1 innings), Bobby Wahl (2 innings) and Ryan Dull (2 innings) were brilliant in the win. Jaycob Brugman had three hits and is batting .351 over his last 10 games, erasing a slow start. Matt Olson homered on Friday and on Saturday and he leads the Texas League in homeruns (5), walks (16) and is fifth in the league in OBP (.448). He is fourth in the league in OPS. Teammate Chad Oberacker leads the Texas League with a 1151 OPS.
- The Stockton Ports scored a run in the top of the ninth to give them a much-needed 2-1 victory over Visalia. Tim Atherton was once again outstanding in his start. He allowed just two hits and one unearned run in six innings. Atherton struck-out nine and walked one. Sam Bragg (one inning) and Andres Avila (two innings) combined to throw three scoreless innings. Justin Higley hit a homer and a double in the win. Five of his 13 hits this season have gone for extra-bases. The Ports are now 7-11 on the year.
- Nashville dropped two games this weekend to New Orleans. Former A's prospect Vin Mazzaro earned the win for the Zephyrs in relief on Sunday in the Sounds' 4-3 loss. Billy Burns, Jason Pridie and Roberts each had two hits in the loss.