A's Hitters Shine, Pitchers Struggle in AFL Opening Day
Four of the A's seven AFL participants made their debuts on the AFL's Opening Day on Tuesday. All seven of the A's prospects are playing for the Phoenix Desert Dogs, which is the team that has won the AFL title each of the last two seasons.
Phoenix's season got off to a poor start, however, as the Desert Dogs dropped a 7-3 decision to Mesa. A's prospects Jeff Baisley and Raul Padron were in the starting line-up for Phoenix and both had strong days at the plate.
Baisley, who got the start at third, hit in the clean-up spot in the line-up. The Florida native had a team-high three hits in five at-bats. Padron hit ninth and started at catcher. He went 1-2 on the day with a double and a walk before being lifted for a pinch-runner in the seventh inning.
On the mound, the A's prospects didn't find as much success, however. Jay Marshall, who spent the entire year with the A's as a Rule 5 selection, struggled in his desert debut. The side-arming lefty allowed three hits, one walk and two runs in one inning of work. He did strike-out a batter. Jeff Gray, who led the Sacramento River Cats in saves in 2007, also struggled. He allowed three hits and two runs in his one inning of work, including a homerun by Milwaukee 2007 first round pick Matt LaPorta.
A's prospects Cliff Pennington, James Simmons and Brad Kilby should make their AFL debuts sometime this week.
A's Prospects Off To Strong Starts In Hawaii
The A's have three prospects participating in the Hawaiian Winter League, and all three are playing for Waikiki, which finds itself in first place by two games in the Eastern Division at the moment.
Outfielder Jermaine Mitchell has been one of Waikiki's best hitters thus far this season. In six games, he has a .318 BA and a .400 OBP. His base-running hasn't been as smooth, however, as he has been caught stealing three times in three chances.
Infielder Justin Sellers is batting .250 with a .368 OBP in five games. He has a walk-off hit for Waikiki and has stolen two bases in two chances.
Right-hander Jared Lansford has made two appearances on the mound for Waikiki. He threw two scoreless frames in his first outing and then allowed two runs in 2.2 innings in his second outing. In that second outing, both runs scored after he had left the game. Lansford missed most of the regular season with an injured lat muscle.
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