A's MLN: Weekend Warriors

Everyone knows that Eric Chavez had a weekend to remember, but who performed well in the A's minor league system this weekend? Find out in this edition of A's Minor League Notebook...

Sacramento

The River Cats weekend was interrupted by violent storms that dumped heavy rain and hail onto the field in Colorado Springs. Consequently, they were only able to get seven innings in on Sunday. Sacramento dropped the games on both Saturday and Sunday, but that didn't prevent some of the River Cats from having big individual performances.

Keith Ginter: The former A's infielder appears to be working his way out of his early season slump. Oakland sent the power-hitting Ginter down to Sacramento so that he could regain the power stroke that has eluded him since he was acquired by the A's. Ginter had a big weekend, going 6-10 with a homerun, five RBI, three doubles and three runs scored.

Charles Thomas: Another struggling former A's player had a good showing on Sunday. After going 0-6 on Saturday to continue the plate futility that haunted him in Oakland, Thomas recovered with a strong game on Sunday. Playing in right-field and hitting second in the order, Thomas went 2-4 with a double and a run scored.

Jack Cust: Now that Dan Johnson and Matt Watson have been recalled to Oakland, A's fans may turn their attentions towards advocating the promotion of Jack Cust. After an injury-marred spring training, Cust has been one of the River Cats most consistent hitters this season. He continued to flash his power and patience combination this weekend. On Saturday, the lefty slugger reached base five times, singling once and walking four times. He scored three runs in the contest. Cust followed that performance up by homering in the Sunday game, his 13th of the season. Cust has 41 RBI on the year and is hitting .290 with 53 walks in 62 games played. Although he has primarily been thought of as a first baseman, Cust has been seeing a lot of time in the corner outfield spots over the past few weeks. He has handled himself well in the outfield and he could increase his value to the A's if he demonstrate that he can play a decent outfield.

Midland

The Rockhounds continued to benefit from the pitching tandem of Jason Windsor and Dallas Braden, as Midland took both Saturday and Sunday's contests against Frisco.

Jason Windsor: Windsor got the ball on Saturday and finally received a little run support. The big righty allowed only a fourth inning run in seven innings of work, as Midland gained the victory, 5-1. He allowed four hits and struck out six against two walks. Windsor has pitched well for Midland since his May promotion from A-Stockton, However, he has been the victim of poor run support and had yet to notch a win for Midland until Saturday. Windsor has a 2.41 ERA for the Rockhounds in 18.2 innings pitched. He has struck out 17 and has walked only seven over that span. For the season, Windsor has whiffed 81 against only 15 walks.

Dallas Braden: Braden has been a big story all season and his effort on Sunday did nothing to damp people's enthusiasm for his performance this year. The finesse lefty out-dueled prospect Jordan Danks, as Braden allowed only two runs in 7.2 innings pitched. Midland won the game, 4-2. Braden gave up five hits and one walk and struck out four. Braden is now 5-1 with a 1.87 ERA for Midland since his May promotion from A-Stockton. Overall this season, Braden is 11-1 with 96 strikeouts in 87 innings.

Andre Ethier: As hot as Braden and Windsor have been on the mound this season, Ethier has been equally red-hot at the plate. The lanky left-fielder had another big weekend, going 4-5 with four runs scored, two doubles and an RBI. Ethier is now hitting .346 on the campaign and has driven in 42 runs.

Matt Allegra: The season-long slump is continuing to fade away for Allegra. He went 3-8 on the weekend with his fifth homerun, two RBI and a double. Perhaps most encouraging for Allegra, he only struck out once over those eight at-bats. Allegra has struggled with his strike outs all season and throughout his minor league career. He has been playing regularly at first base since Brant Colamarino was promoted to AAA. However, he may be looking over his shoulder a bit at Daric Barton and Vasili Spanos of Stockton, both of whom can play first base and are having good offensive seasons.

Stockton

Stockton dropped a couple of tight games to Bakersfield over the weekend. On Saturday, the Ports blew an 8-7 lead and lost 12-10 in 12 innings. On Sunday, Stockton led 4-1 before falling, 6-5.

Danny Putnam: Putnam only played on Saturday, but his production in that game was enough to make his whole weekend a success. The former Stanford outfielder went 3-5 on Saturday with two homeruns – a three run shot in the first and a grand slam with two-outs in the fourth. Putnam is hitting .294 on the year and has seven homeruns and a team-leading 50 RBI. He could be looking at a mid-season promotion to Midland if any of the talented Rockhound outfielders are moved up.

Richie Robnett: Robnett has had a somewhat disappointing start to his season, in part because he was battling leg injuries at the beginning of the year. He has been an effective run-producer this season, however, and that trend continued this weekend. Robnett went a combined 5-11 with two RBI, two doubles, and a homerun. Robnett is slugging .431 on the season and has driven in 25 runs in 167 at-bats.

Vasili Spanos: Spanos scored three times and added a double and a triple in Saturday and Sunday's games. He went 0-2 on Saturday, but walked three times and scored twice. He then laced his 17th double, his fourth triple and added a single on Sunday, falling a homer shy of the cycle. Spanos raised his batting average to .303 and drove in his 43rd run of the year. He has been splitting time between first and third base this year, but was at third for both games this weekend.

Kane County

The Cougars split their two weekend games this weekend, dropping Saturday's game 3-0 and winning on Sunday by a score of 3-1.

Michael Rogers: Rogers evened his record at 3-3 with another outstanding performance. After a slow start to this season, Rogers has been outstanding over his last five starts. On Sunday, Rogers went 7.1 innings and allowed only four hits and one run. He struck out four and walked only one batter. Rogers has lowered his ERA from the 6.00s down to 4.41 with his recent run of success.

Jose Pineda: Pineda continued his surprisingly strong play with another solid performance on Saturday. The Cougars right-fielder went 2-3 and threw out a runner at home with a strong toss from right. Pineda was recalled in mid-May from the A's Dominican Summer League and is hitting .320 since joining Kane County.

Ryan Ruiz: The Cougars shortstop had a solid weekend at the plate, going 4-7 and hitting his sixth homerun on the season. Ruiz was a triple short of the cycle on Sunday, helping the Cougars win. He scored twice and raised his season average to .269.

Tom Everidge: Everidge also helped the Cougars' cause on Sunday, going 3-4 with an RBI. In total, Everidge reached base four times this weekend. The Sonoma State grad is now hitting .252 on the year after spending much of the first two months in the .220s.


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