The first round of cuts from Oakland A's minor league camp took place on Monday. The A's released Seth Frankoff, Josh Whitaker, Jeff Urlaub, Chris Lamb, Junior Mendez and Trevor Bayless on Monday, according to A's Director of Player Development Keith Lieppman. More cuts are expected tomorrow.
Frankoff was the A's 27th-round pick in 2010. The right-hander from UNC-Wilmington has been one of the organization's most consistent minor league relievers over the past three seasons. Frankoff spent most of the past two seasons with Double-A Midland, where he helped the RockHounds' earn back-to-back championships. He carries a career 3.63 ERA in 446.1 innings with 439 strike-outs.
Whitaker was the A's 25th-round pick in 2010. The outfielder has been productive when healthy, but he has fallen victim to a number of fluke injuries during his career. He has worked his way back from back problems, shoulder surgery, being hit in the face with a pitch, to name a few ailments. Like Frankoff, Whitaker was a key contributor to the RockHounds' 2014 and 2015 Texas League title teams. He has a career .277/.342/.472 line in 513 games. Whitaker also has a plus arm in right field. He has 34 career outfield assists in 351 games. Whitaker can also play first base.
Like Whitaker, Urlaub has been unlucky in the health department. The lefty's college career was interrupted by Tommy John surgery and Urlaub missed most of the last two seasons with an elbow injury. The A's 2010 30th-round pick has drawn comparisons to former A's reliever Jerry Blevins. Not a hard thrower, Urlaub has an excellent breaking ball and good command. He has a 238:47 K:BB in 239.1 career innings.
Sean Murphy -- who is currently serving a suspension and who missed all of last year recovering from surgery -- is the only member of the A's 2010 draft class still with the organization.
Lamb, a graduate of Berkeley High, battled injuries his first two years as a pro. The 2011 11th-round pick had a breakout 2014 season that saw him post a 3.25 ERA and a 134:45 K:BB in 130 innings between Beloit, Stockton and Sacramento. Lamb struggled to find his rhythm last season and he spent the final month of the season on the disabled list. The left-hander has a career 4.46 ERA in 306.2 innings.
Mendez spent most of the last two seasons in the Low-A Beloit rotation. The 2013 16th-round pick threw 130.2 innings for the Snappers in 2015. The right-hander has a career 4.97 ERA in 280.2 innings. A native of the Dominican Republic, Mendez was raised in New York and attended Southern New Hampshire University. He often served as a translator for native Spanish-speaking teammates and he officially became a US citizen last year.
Bayless, a 22nd-round pick in 2013, spent most of last season in the High-A Stockton bullpen. The USD alum had a 3.49 ERA and 58 strike-outs in 59.1 innings between Stockton, Beloit and Nashville last season. The right-hander is a perfect 10-for-10 in save opportunities in his career. He was one of the first members of his A's draft class to reach a full-season league back in 2013.