Several members of the Oakland A's organization were on the move on Tuesday, as transactions at the big league level had an impact that reached all of the way to High-A.
As expected, the Oakland A's promoted RHP Jesse Hahn on Tuesday to make a start versus the Texas Rangers. Hahn replaces LHP Eric Surkamp, who was optioned to Triple-A, in the A's rotation. The A's also placed catcher Josh Phegley on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to May 10, with a knee injury. Phegley had a cortisone shot recently in that knee but hadn't recovered enough to play regularly for the A's. Matt McBride has taken over the back-up catching duties in Phegley's absence.
Replacing Phegley on the A's roster is utilityman Max Muncy, who returns to the big leagues for the first time since last September. Muncy was off to a solid start for the Sounds, batting .279/.399/.459 with six homers and 22 walks in 38 games. Last season, Muncy made his major-league debut in April and had four separate stints with the A's. He didn't receive much regular playing time with Oakland during his rookie season, collecting 102 at-bats in 45 games. He hit .206/.268/.392 with three homers.
A first baseman early in his career, Muncy began seeing playing time at third base at the tail-end of the 2014 season. In 2015, he was thrown into the fire at third at the big league level, appearing in 16 games at third despite having little experience at the position. He is now more comfortable at third and has added another position to his resume: left field. Muncy should be able to fill in at several spots for the A's, who are dealing with a myriad of injuries to key position players. Muncy, a fifth-round pick of the A's in 2012, is the team's only homegrown position player on the current roster.
Taking Muncy's place in Nashville is corner infielder Ryon Healy, who earns a long overdue promotion to Triple-A. Healy hit .302 in 124 games for the RockHounds last season, but he was forced to repeat in the Texas League thanks to a backlog of corner infielders ahead of him on the depth chart.
Healy didn't have much left to prove in Double-A, but he made an emphatic point that he was ready for a bigger challenge. In 36 games for Midland, Healy hit .338/.409/.628 with eight homers, 12 doubles, three triples and 18 walks. Healy has always been able to hit for average, but he has thus far significantly improved his power and walk rates this season. His ISO is up nearly 170 points from last year (to .290) and his walk-rate has more than doubled over last year (currently 11%). His strike-outs are also up, but his overall production has been the best in the A's system thus far this year.
Healy can play both first and third base. He has yet to play any outfield, but that could be an option for the A's to explore later this season, as they figure out what role Healy might play in the big leagues. The A's have been adding versatility for a number of their top infield prospects so far this season. In addition to Muncy adding outfield to his resume, Matt Chapman has expanded his fielding resume to include shortstop, Franklin Barreto has seen time at second base in addition to his regular shortstop, and Yairo Munoz has seen time at second, short and third, as he splits playing time with Barreto and Chapman in the RockHounds' infield.
It will be difficult for anyone to replace Healy's production in the Midland line-up, but the RockHounds are getting a power bat added to the roster in Tyler Marincov. Marincov, like Healy, was forced to repeat his 2015 level despite a productive 2015 season thanks to a roster backlog. Marincov hit nine homers and 11 doubles in 36 games for the Stockton Ports before earning his promotion to Double-A on Tuesday.
Marincov is a free swinger, but he has been one of the A's most productive power bats since he turned pro in 2013. He hit 18 homers in his first full pro season in 2014 and hit 14 last season. He is currently tied for second in the Cal League in homers and is ninth in slugging percentage. Marincov should see most of his time in right field with Midland.
Taking Marincov's place on the Stockton roster is outfielder Alex Glenn, who joins the team from extended spring training, where he was rehabbing an injury. Glenn was a minor league Rule 5 selection by the A's this past December. A 12th-round pick of the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2012, Glenn spent his entire career with the D-backs until the A's claimed him in the Rule 5 draft. He split last season between High-A and Double-A and hit .248/.305/.434 with 22 doubles, 10 triples and 11 homeruns.
Although not part of the ripple effect caused by Muncy's promotion, the Beloit Snappers did see a roster change on Tuesday. Middle infielder Jesus Lopez was placed on the seven-day DL. He was replaced by infielder Jean Carlo Rodriguez, who joined the Snappers from extended spring training. Rodriguez will be making his full-season affiliate debut with the Snappers. The 20-year-old native of Panama spent the past two seasons in the Arizona Rookie League. He had a .476 OBP in 26 games for the AZL A's last year.
In other extended spring training news, A's 2015 top pick Richie Martin (knee) is inching closer to making his 2016 regular season debut.
According to A's General Manager David Forst, the A's are hoping to send Martin out to a full-season affiliate by the end of the month, if not sooner. Martin injured his knee on a slide at second base during the final days of spring training and has been rehabbing at extended spring training after having surgery to repair a torn meniscus.