A's Spring Notes: Cunningham Injured

The Oakland A's just can't seem to get out from under the cloud of injuries. On the same day that the team learned that top prospect Daric Barton's injury was not serious, another one of the A's top prospects suffered an injury that will keep him out more than a month. Find out the details of that injury, as well as the A's latest roster cuts inside...

Cunningham Breaks Wrist
Outfielder Aaron Cunningham was off to a great start with his new ballclub, but he will be out for the next six weeks with a broken wrist he suffered sliding into a base on Saturday. Cunningham, who was acquired from the Arizona Diamondbacks this off-season for Dan Haren, was in big league camp as a non-roster invitee. He had gone three-for-eight with a stolen base and two RBIs in big league spring games.

Cunningham had impressed the A's brass with his work ethic and his all-around game this spring. The broken left wrist is expected to sideline him for at least six weeks, which means that he will miss at least the first few weeks of the regular season. Cunningham was vying for a spot in Triple-A Sacramento. He appeared in 31 games at the Double-A level at the end of the 2007 season and he posted an 898 OPS for Double-A Mobile. In 127 games split between High-A and Double-A last season, Cunningham hit .308 with 16 homers and an 885 OPS. He will turn 22 in late April.

Barton, Cust Ok
The A's did manage to survive two injury scares this weekend. Top prospect Daric Barton had to visit a hand specialist about pain he was feeling in his left (glove) hand. Barton was told the injury wasn't serious and he was able to take batting practice and appear late in a game on Sunday. He struck-out swinging in his only at-bat versus the Milwaukee Brewers. Assuming Barton doesn't miss any more time, he should have enough at-bats to be ready for Opening Day.

Jack Cust got a scare on Saturday when he was hit in the head with a Sean Marshall curveball. The pitch cracked Cust's helmet and he had to leave the game. He missed Sunday's game, as well, but was feeling better and shouldn't miss much more time. Cust was also hit in the elbow with a pitch earlier in camp.

A's Send Six Down To Minor League Camp
The A's optioned six more players down to minor league camp on Sunday, bringing the total number of players in camp down to 47. Oakland optioned Kevin Melillo, Dan Meyer and Jeff Gray to Triple-A Sacramento and re-assigned Troy Cate, Casey Rogowski and James Simmons to minor league camp.

Melillo appeared in only one major league game this spring, as he was recovering from right wrist surgery and a sprained ankle. He is expected to be with Triple-A Sacramento once again this season. Meyer allowed four runs (two earned) in two innings on Sunday. He finished his time in major league camp with a 4.50 ERA in six innings. Meyer should return to the Sacramento rotation, where he starred last season. Gray worked a scoreless inning on Sunday. The River Cats' 2007 saves leader allowed one run in three innings of work this spring.

Cate, a minor-league free agent signee, didn't allow a run in four innings of work. The southpaw gave up three hits and a walk and struck-out two. Rogowski, a first baseman who also signed as a minor-league free agent, had two hits in 11 at-bats this spring. Simmons, the A's top pick in 2007, had an impressive first major league camp. The righty, who is expected to be part of the Double-A Midland rotation this spring, threw three scoreless innings, striking out two.


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