Oakland A's MLN: Week In Review, 5/1-5/7

There were a number of performances of note in the Oakland A's system this past week. We review those performances inside.

Sacramento River Cats

Season Record: 13-17

Notable Performances for 5/1-5/7:

Nate Espy: 10-15, 2 R, 3 2B, 4 RBI, 7 BB, 7 K in AAA-Sacramento. 3-4, 2 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K in A-Stockton. Espy celebrated his return to AAA from A-Stockton with a huge week for the River Cats. The first baseman/designated hitter was the River Cats most potent offensive force this week. He returned to AAA with a .294 average and saw his AAA average jump to .469 with this week's exploits. He left Stockton with a .382 BA in 34 at-bats.

Keith Ginter: 6-24, 6 R, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 5 BB, 3K. 2 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 0 K. Ginter's performance this week was notable because of his appearance on the mound during the River Cats' loss to Tucson on Saturday. Ginter made his first professional pitching appearance versus the Sidewinders. He threw a scoreless eighth before allowing two runs in the ninth. At the plate, Ginter was one of the River Cats' leading run-scorers this past week and he reached base 11 times. Ginter is hitting .267 with three homers and 15 RBI in 26 games this season. He is hitting well against right-handers (.291 with 2 homers), but has struggled versus lefties (.182 with 1 homer).

Matt Watson: 9-22, 6 R, 1 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 9 RBI, 2 BB, 3 K. Watson's assault on PCL pitching picked up more steam this week, as the left-handed hitter was red-hot. His nine RBI led the team for the week and his 26 RBI for the season are a River Cats' best. Watson is hitting .324 with four homers and a 16:14 BB/K ratio. He has been punishing AAA pitching for four seasons now. Perhaps a chance to punish major league pitching is around the corner?

Brian Stavisky: 7-21, 3 R, 2 2B, 1 RBI, 0 BB, 4 K. The former Cal League MVP has been off to a slow start this season, but his swing appears to be coming around. Stavisky made solid contact all week and finally some hits started to fall for him. He had two three-hit games and raised his average from .143 to .220.

John Baker: 6-16, 1 R, 1 2B, 4 RBI, 0 BB, 2 K. Baker has been splitting time with Jeremy Brown and, after a slow start, has started to heat up against right-handed pitching. The left-handed hitter is now 11-38 (.289) against right-handed pitchers. On the season, Baker is hitting .262 and he raised his batting average 70 points this week. He is one of three candidates to replace Jason Kendall when Kendall has to serve his suspension.

Dan Meyer: 1 GS, 1 W, 6 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 7 K. Meyer had his best start of the season on Friday against Tucson. He had a season-high in strikeouts and matched his season best in innings pitched. His ERA is down to 3.73 and he has a 3-1 record.

Midland Rockhounds

Season Record: 18-12

Notable Performances for 5/1-5/7:

Vasili Spanos: 8-20, 5 R, 6 2B, 2 RBI, 9 BB, 2 K. Spanos had a big week for Midland, including driving in the only run in the Rockhounds' 1-0 win on Sunday. He upped his average from .294 to .318 this week and now has 21 RBI and a 20:22 BB/K ratio.

Jason Perry: 9-26, 4 R, 1 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 3 BB, 4 K, 2 SB. Perry's outstanding start to his 2006 season is continuing into May. Perry kept his average above .400, finishing the week at .404. He spent the week playing out of position in centerfield, but he didn't let the position shift slow down his bat at all. His two stolen bases were his first two of the season.

Ben Fritz: 1 GS, 1 W, 6 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 K. Fritz is mounting a comeback after missing nearly a year and a half after having Tommy John surgery. The right-hander has three quality starts in his last four outings and is now 1-2 with a 3.82 ERA on the season.

Anthony Rawson: 3 G, 3 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 3 K. Rawson joined the Rockhounds on April 30 after signing a minor league contract with Oakland. The former Cardinals prospect was cut by St. Louis in spring training.

Brad Ziegler: 2 GS, 1 W, 1 L, 10 IP, 12 H, 7 R, 4 BB, 6 K. It was a tale of two starts for Ziegler this week. The first start was a disaster, as Ziegler allowed seven runs on six homers in only three innings. He was a completely different pitcher on Sunday, allowing only four hits and no runs in seven innings to get the Rockhounds a 1-0 win. Ziegler has had only one bad start this season and has a 2.60 ERA in 34.2 innings pitched this season.

Stockton Ports

Season Record: 15-16

Notable Performances for 5/1-5/7:

Travis Buck: 14-28, 6 R, 8 2B, 8 RBI, 2 BB, 3 K, 1 SB. To say that Buck is hot would be understated. Buck has been the catalyst for a revived Stockton offense and he has seen his average jump from .293 to .345 this week. He is sitting on an eight-game hitting streak, during which he has had at least one extra-base hit in every game save one. Buck could force the A's to make a room for him in AA-Midland soon if he keeps hitting like this.

Richie Robnett: 9-25, 8 R, 1 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 5 BB, 6 K, 1 SB. Robnett paired with Buck and Cameron Coughlan to create a potent Stockton outfield this past week. Robnett's batting average is up to .282 and he has eight extra-base hits in 117 at-bats. He has a strange home-road split going this season, as he is hitting .145 in 14 home games and .403 in 16 road games.

Cameron Coughlan: 10-24, 7 R, 2 2B, 1 3B, 7 RBI, 4 BB, 3 K, 2 SB. Coughlan has finally been receiving regular playing time now that he is in Stockton and the outfielder is taking advantage of the opportunity. He was red-hot this week, collecting hits in the last six games of the week. The speedy Coughlan swiped bases in each of the last two days of the week and he has eight for the season.

Cliff Pennington: 7-22, 7 R, 1 2B, 5 RBI, 3 BB, 3 K, 1 SB. Everyone has been waiting for signs that Pennington's early season slump is ending and that sign may have finally come this week. The 2005 first round pick had his first two multi-hit games, including a four-hit game on Sunday. He raised his average from .103 to .150. He also stole his fifth base of the season.

Mike Mitchell: 3 G, 3.2 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 2 SV. Mitchell has been a stalwart in the Ports bullpen this season. The right-hander lowered his ERA from 2.19 to 1.69 this week. He has three saves and a 1-0 record and he has struck out 14 and walked only three.

Kane County Cougars

Season Record: 17-13

Notable Performances 5/1-5/7:

Mike Massaro: 3-8, 2 R, 1 RBI, 2 BB, 1 K. Massaro returned from the disabled list this week and picked up right where he left off when he injured his hand. The centerfielder raised his average from .326 to .333. He has scored 12 runs in 14 games.

Jeff Baisley: 10-28, 3 R, 2, 2B, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 5 BB, 7 K. Baisley has been a steady offensive force all season after a bad first 10 days of the year. He has six homers and a .275 batting average on the season.

Isaac Omura: 2-6, 2 R, 1 2B, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 0 K. Omura made his season debut on Saturday after starting the season in extended spring training. The University of Hawaii alum was a 2005 draft pick and spent last season in Vancouver.

Steven Sharpe: 3 G, 2.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K, 2 SV. Sharpe had a rough season last year, but he is rebounding in a big way this year. The Cougars reliever has team with Dan Fyvie to close out games for Kane County. Sharpe leads the team with seven saves and he has a 1.98 ERA and 17 K in 13.2 innings.

Jeff Gray: 1 GS, 1 W, 6 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 7 K. Gray lost his spot in the rotation temporarily after allowing 16 runs in 13.1 innings. He had a successful relief appearance on April 28 and then returned to the rotation in a triumphant way on Friday. His seven strikeouts were a season high and he lowered his ERA to 6.75 and evened his record to 2-2.

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