Rockhounds Notebook: Mazzaro Shines

Vince Mazzaro has quietly been one of the best starting pitchers in the Texas League this season. He continued his outstanding 2008 effort on Wednesday with another winning performance. We have details on Mazzaro's season and other news and notes about the Rockhounds inside...

Mazzaro Continues To Shine

Right-hander Vince Mazzaro has been a model of consistency this season for the Double-A Midland Rockhounds. The Oakland A's 2005 third-round draft pick won his fifth straight decision on Wednesday. The New Jersey native allowed only one run in 7.2 innings versus Corpus Christi to move to 7-2 on the year. He allowed two hits and three walks, while striking out six. Mazzaro's ERA stands at 2.31 for the season. The 21-year-old is second in the Texas League in ERA and third in the league in WHIP. Mazzaro was particularly impressive in the month of May. He went 4-0 with a 2.17 ERA and a 34:10 K:BB ratio in 37.1 innings, and he carried that momentum into his first start in June.

The 2008 season has been a stark departure from Mazzaro's 2007 season with High-A Stockton. As a 20-year-old in the California League, Mazzaro fluctuated from looking like an ace to being lit-up, often inning-by-inning. He finished the year with a 5.33 ERA in 153.2 innings for the Ports. Mazzaro came to spring training this season in outstanding shape and throwing a few miles per hour harder than he had in 2007. After a strong spring, Mazzaro was allowed to make the jump to Double-A despite his inconsistency at High-A last season. The results thus far have been impressive.

In his 12 starts this season, Mazzaro has gone at least five innings in every start and has gone at least six innings in all but two starts. Although his strike-out totals are relatively average at 51 strike-outs in 74 innings, Mazzaro has done good job of keeping the ball on the ground by using his power sinker to induce nine double-plays and nearly two ground-outs for every fly-out. He has allowed only three homers on the year and has walked more than two batters only three times in 12 outings.

Rockhounds Notes

- Infielder Jesus Guzman had four hits, including his 11th homerun, on Wednesday night. He raised his average to .355 and he collected his 54th, 55th and 56th RBIs of the season. He also collected his 15th double. Guzman has a 971 OPS on the season. He is first in the Texas League in RBIs and third in batting average, slugging percentage and OPS.

- First baseman Tom Everidge was named the Texas League's Player of the Week for the week of May 26-June 1. Everidge drove home 15 runs during the week, including 10 runs on May 26th, a game during which he hit three homers. He has 12 homers and 48 RBIs on the season, good for third and second in the Texas League, respectively.

- Outfielder Jon Zeringue (9) and shortstop Justin Sellers (3) each homered in Midland's win on Wednesday. Zeringue is batting .302 with a 925 OPS on the season. He is hitting .389 over his last 10 games. Sellers has gotten off to a slow start to the season offensively, but he is showing signs of turning it around. He is batting .297 over his last 10 games. Sellers has played everyday at shortstop since Cliff Pennington was promoted to Triple-A last Friday.

- Centerfielder Aaron Cunningham picked up his first triple of the season on Wednesday. He has been impressive since joining the team from extended spring training in early May. In 29 games with the Rockhounds, Cunningham has a .320 average with 10 extra-base hits and an 837 OPS.

- After struggling in the month of April, catcher Anthony Recker picked up his bat in a big way in May. The power-hitting backstop had a .330 average and a 981 OPS during the month of May. All four of his homers on the season came in May and 26 of his 34 RBIs. For the year, Recker is hitting .290 with an 826 OPS.

- Outfielder Joe Gaetti has continued to produce at the plate. In 20 games for the Rockhounds, Gaetti has a .329 average, three homers and 15 RBIs. He spent two weeks with Triple-A Sacramento earlier in the year, and he hit .351 with four homers in 10 games for the River Cats. He left Wednesday's game in the sixth inning, but it wasn't immediately clear if he was injured.

- Outfielder Nick Blasi, who won playoff MVP honors for the Pacific Coast League playoffs last season, was released out of the A's organization last week. He was hitting .296 in 13 games for the Rockhounds at the time of the release. Blasi hit .238 in 29 games for the Sacramento River Cats earlier in the year.

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