Oakland A's MLN: Debuts And Notes

We have news and notes from around the Oakland A's organization inside...

Garcia Returns, Dixon Homers For AZL A's
Right-hander Jose Garcia, sidelined all year as he completed his recovery from his 2007 Tommy John surgery, made his 2008 season debut for the AZL A's on Tuesday. The right-hander worked three scoreless innings in the A's 6-3 win over the AZL Royals. He allowed only a hit and struck-out three.

2008 15th round pick Nino Leyja continued his impressive start to his pro career by collecting his second triple of the season. Angel Sierra and Franklin Hernandez also added triples for the A's. Yunior Rodriguez had two doubles and an RBI, while 2008 10th round pick Rashun Dixon hit his first professional homerun, a two-run shot, to pace the A's offense.

2008 21st round pick Mathieu LeBlanc Poirier made his season debut, allowing a run on three hits in one inning. He struck-out one. Jonathan Joseph, who struck-out 13 in 10 innings for the A's DSL Team 2 earlier in the season, earned the save with a scoreless inning on Tuesday for the AZL A's. He struck-out two in his 2008 US debut.

Italiano Promoted
Right-hander Craig Italiano will be joining the High-A Stockton Ports when the California League resumes play later this week. Italiano starred for the Low-A Kane County Cougars this season, going 7-0 with a 1.16 ERA in 14 starts. He struck-out 79 and allowed only 43 hits in 70 innings.

This will be Italiano's first time above the Low-A level since being drafted in 2005. His 2006 and 2007 seasons were marred by injuries. The hard-throwing right-hander will be helping to fill the void left in the Stockton Ports' rotation by the promotions of Brett Anderson and Trevor Cahill to Double-A Midland and Graham Godfrey to Triple-A Sacramento.

Ross Debuts; Cougars Win
A's 2008 second round pick Tyson Ross made his pro debut on Tuesday, and it was a good one. Working out of the bullpen for Low-A Kane County, Ross tossed two scoreless innings in the Cougars' 7-1 win over Quad Cities. The Cal alum and Oakland native struck-out two and retired all six batters he faced.

Scott Hodsdon earned the win for Kane County with six solid innings. He allowed only one run on three hits and two walks. He struck-out three. Hodsdon lowered his ERA to 3.38. After struggling in April, Hodsdon has been effective in May and June. In 60 innings over those two months, Hodsdon has walked only nine batters and has allowed only 16 earned runs. He was the A's sixth round pick in 2007.

Centerfielder Corey Brown, fresh off of his strong Midwest All-Star game performance, had three doubles and two RBIs in the win. His OPS is at 830 and he has 29 extra-base hits in 71 games this season. Larry Cobb, who was also a Midwest League All-Star, drove home three runs, giving him 24 RBIs and a .324 average on the season.

Dominican Summer League Notes
-- Outfielder Kelvin Rojas became the first member of the A's DSL Team 1 to homer this season when he went deep on Tuesday. Outfielder Yeudy Brazoban and shortstop Jonatan De La Cruz are off to strong starts for the A's DSL Team 1. Brazoban is batting .360 with a 953 OPS in nine games, while De La Cruz has a .333 average and a 961 OPS in eight games. Franklin Contreras, signed as an international free agent this past off-season, has only a .231 average, but he has shown good patience at the plate, walking five times in nine games for a .344 OBP.

-- Robin Rosario, who signed a $350,000 contract with the A's this off-season, collected his first triple of the season on Tuesday. The 17-year-old outfielder has four hits in 22 at-bats for the A's DSL Team 2 this season. Rosario, whose throwing arm has been compared to former A's outfield prospects Marcus McBeth and Alexi Ogando (both of whom were eventually converted into pitchers), threw out a runner at second base on Tuesday.

-- Omar Duran, another one of the A's off-season international signings, has struck-out 11 in 8.1 innings for the A's DSL Team 2, but he has also walked 10 and hit two batters. Despite the wildness, the lefty Duran has a 3.24 ERA on the season.

In Brief
-- Stockton first baseman Sean Doolittle went 0-3 with a walk in the California League-Carolina League All-Star game. Stockton outfielder Archie Gilbert stole third base and collected a hit and an RBI in the Cal League's 3-1 loss.

-- Sacramento fell in extra-innings, 6-5, to Salt Lake, but Brooks Conrad (15) and Wes Bankston (11) both homered for the River Cats. Conrad has nine RBIs in his last 10 games and Bankston has homered three times over his last five contests.

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