The Phoenix Desert Dogs are currently in first place in the East Division. Phoenix has received a big offensive boost from Oakland A's prospect Travis Buck, who made his AFL debut on Monday after missing a week finishing his rehab from a sports hernia.
Buck went 3-6 with a homer and a double in his first game. He became the second A's prospect to homer in his first AFL game, as teammate Kevin Melillo also accomplished that feat earlier in the AFL season. Buck went 0-4 in his second game, but then came back with a 2-4 effort on Wednesday in the Desert Dogs' 9-6 win over Peoria Javelinas.
Buck is now 5-14 with six RBIs in only three games. He has DH'd twice and played in left-field in one game.
Melillo has struggled since a hot start to the AFL season and he has seen his batting average fall to .208. He had the day off on Wednesday after going 1-3 on Tuesday. A's catching prospect Landon Powell has appeared in three games, and he is 2-10 with two singles.
On the pitching-side, reliever Connor Robertson made an appearance on Wednesday. He threw 0.2 of an inning, allowing an unearned run. Robertson has allowed two earned runs in 3.1 innings thus far this AFL season. He has allowed a lot of hits (five), but he has also struck out five batters.
Marcus McBeth has been light's-out thus far for Phoenix. The Midland closer has thrown three scoreless innings, allowing no hits, no walks and striking out four. He has one save.
Mike Mitchell has made three appearances for Tony DeFrancesco's Desert Dogs. He has allowed one run in three innings, striking out three and walking none. Jared Burton has struggled in one appearance, allowing a run in two hits in two-thirds of an inning.
The Caribbean and Mexican Winter Leagues are just getting underway. A smattering of A's players are once again appearing in the Winter Leagues.
A's relief prospect Santiago Casilla will be appearing for the Escogido Leones once again. Casilla was a star for Escogido last season. He will be trying to prove that he is healthy after missing the last three months of the season with a shoulder injury.
In Venezuela, A's shortstop prospect Gregorio Petit has already logged three games worth of playing time for last season's Caribbean World Series Champion Caracas Leones. Petit is 2-9 with a triple and two RBIs in the early going. A's middle infielder Marco Scutaro was a star for Caracas last season and could be returing to the Leones once he has decompressed from the A's long season.
Sacramento swingman Victor Moreno is playing for the Tigres of the Venezuelan League. He has appeared in two games, allowing five runs in 2.2 innings of work.
A's minor league free agent and Sacramento outfielder Doug Clark is playing for Navojoa of the Mexican Winter League. Clark was a star in Mexico last winter and he is red-hot again. He crushed a grand-slam on Wednesday night and is batting .357 with six RBIs in the early going.