Live From Papago: Notes From Intrasquad Games

PHOENIX -- The Oakland A's number one starter, Joe Blanton, paid a visit to the A's minor league complex on Friday, as he pitched in an intrasquad game at Papago Park. We have notes from his appearance and on some of the A's minor leaguers inside...

- Joe Blanton threw seven innings in an intrasquad game between the Oakland A's Triple-A and Double-A squads. Blanton was mostly effective, although he was touched for three runs. Nick Blasi, fresh off of a breakthrough season in 2007, tripled off Blanton and scored a run on a bloop single. Danny Putnam also got to Blanton, homering off of a hanging curveball.

- Vince Mazzaro, Shane Komine, Jared Lansford and Troy Cate also pitched in the game. Mazzaro reported to camp in outstanding shape and is challenging for a spot in the Double-A rotation. Komine was throwing without restriction. The right-hander has been dealing with shoulder trouble all off-season, but he has rehabbed his injury without surgery and is close to full strength now. Lansford is back to 100 percent healthy after missing virtually all of the 2007 season.

- Left-hander Brad Davis, who had a 4.87 ERA in 118.1 innings for High-A Stockton and Triple-A Sacramento last season, underwent surgery on his hip over the off-season. He had arthroscopic surgery performed by the same doctor who performed Justin Duchscherer's hip surgery. Davis is mostly recovered from the injury and said he is hopeful that he will be able to start the season on-time. Davis spent almost all of the 2007 season with High-A Stockton, pitching both as a starter and a reliever. He made one late season start with Triple-A Sacramento and he was outstanding, throwing seven shut-out innings against Tucson and earning the win. He told OaklandClubhouse.com on Friday that he is hoping that late-season start will be a jumping-off point for a successful 2008 campaign.

- Christian Vitters, who struggled with the bat in 2007 with Kane County, looked good at the plate on Friday in the A's High-A/Low-A intrasquad game. Vitters launched a long homerun during the game.

- Chris Carter, who was acquired in the Dan Haren trade, also looked good in the High-A/Low-A intrasquad game. Carter reached base several times in the game. In one of his at-bats, he cracked a flat-footed double off of the wall in left.

- Ryan Webb has been throwing well this spring. The lanky right-hander has added muscle to his 6'6'' frame and has also added velocity. According to the A's director of player development, Keith Lieppman, Webb is throwing in the 93-95 range this spring. He was in the high-80s, low-90s last season.

- A's supplemental first round pick Sean Doolittle has drawn praise from A's brass for his hustle and non-stop motor on the field.

- Catcher Landon Powell caught the Double-A pitching staff in the intrasquad game, while Anthony Recker was Blanton's catcher with the Triple-A squad. Powell, who is rehabbing a torn ACL he suffered in July of last season, was on orders to run at two-thirds speed when running the bases. He looked good at the plate against Blanton and was moving well behind the plate when catching Mazzaro and Komine.

- Javier Herrera, who didn't appear in a game in major league camp, made his spring game debut on Friday in the Triple-A/Double-A intrasquad game. He is expected to start the season in Double-A.


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