Midland Notes: Rockhounds & A's Re-Up

The Midland Rockhounds added another win to their impressive first-half season win total on Tuesday. On the same day, Midland agreed to continue their relationship with the Oakland A's through 2012. We have the details on the new agreement, as well as updates on Vasili Spanos, Brant Colamarino and more...

Midland, A's Together Until At Least 2012

The first-place Midland Rockhounds and the Oakland A's have agreed to an extension of their Player Development Contract through 2012, the teams announced on Tuesday. Midland has been the Oakland A's Double-A affiliate since the 1999 season.

During the Rockhounds' run with the A's, Midland has had a tremendous amount of success. The team won their first Texas League championship in 2005 and made the playoffs in 2006. The Rockhounds have had seven winning seasons in eight years with the A's. Their only losing season was in 2003, when the team went 69-70.

Midland won again on Tuesday, upping their first half record to 29-15. The Rockhounds are on pace for their best winning percentage in franchise history.

Spanos Leading Midland's Offense Again

Vasili Spanos was one of the Midland Rockhounds' top offensive players in 2006, when the corner infielder/DH hit .308 with an 844 OPS. After a slow start to this season, Spanos is back to swinging a big bat for Midland.

Spanos went 3-5 with three RBI in Midland's 7-5 win over Tulsa. Spanos has 24 RBI on the season, good for third on the team behind Brian Snyder (25) and Richie Robnett (30).

Spanos began the season on a down note, batting only .203 with one homer and four RBI in April. He has picked up his pace in May. Through Tuesday, Spanos is batting .364 with four homers and 20 RBI in 23 May games. He has also scored 16 runs this month.

Spanos has been especially tough on left-handed pitching this season. In 48 at-bats, he is hitting .375. Two of his five homers this season have come against southpaws in less than half the number of at-bats that he has had against right-handers.

Colamarino Coming Around As Well

First baseman Brant Colamarino also got off to a slow start this season, but he appears to be coming around at the plate. Colamarino missed the first few weeks of the season while competing at extending spring training. He got only 19 at-bats in April and had only four hits.

Colamarino got off to a good start in May and then hit a rough patch in the middle of the month. However, over the last four games, Colamarino has driven-in five runs, including two on Tuesday. On the season, Colamarino has 16 RBI in 28 games.

Despite being a left-handed hitter, Colamarino has hit better against soutpaws this season. He has a .290 batting average in 31 at-bats against lefties. He is batting .310 with runners in scoring position this season and his average is up to .257 overall.

Roster Changes

The Rockhounds added another left-handed pitcher to their staff this week, as former Yankees prospect Danny Borrell signed with the A's on a minor league free agent contract. Borrell has endured an injury-plagued career, undergoing labrum and Tommy John surgery.

Midland said good-bye to relief ace Brad Ziegler this week. Ziegler was promoted to Sacramento after posting a 4-0 record and a 1.17 ERA.

Midland also added two position players this week. Utilityman Luke Appert was promoted to Midland on Tuesday and made his Double-A debut the same day. He went 0-3 with a walk and an outfield assist from right-field. Catcher David Castillo was also added to the roster from Sacramento.

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