Oakland A's MLN: Injuries, Signings And More

In this edition of Oakland A's Minor League Notebook, we check-in with A's Director of Player Development Keith Lieppman for some injury updates on a number of A's prospects. We also review the roster moves throughout the organization on Wednesday, announce a retirement, update the most recent A's draft signings, detail how four Midland Rockhounds fared in the Texas League All-Star game and more…

Injury Updates

Oakland A's 2008 third round pick Petey Paramore won't be making his professional debut for another two or three weeks, according to Oakland A's Director of Player Development Keith Lieppman. Paramore, a catcher from Arizona State, finished the collegiate season with a sore quadriceps muscle. He is currently rehabbing the injury at the A's minor league complex in Phoenix. Assuming his rehab goes smoothly, Paramore should see some time with short-season Vancouver before the end of the year.

A's 2007 second round pick Grant Desme has missed the entire season thus far with wrist and shoulder injuries. The five-tool outfielder is currently listed on the AZL A's roster, but, according to Lieppman, Desme is still not quite ready for game action. He will be worked back into full game speed gradually with the AZL A's when he is feeling closer to 100 percent.

Sacramento third baseman Jeff Baisley went on the DL over the weekend with a stress fracture in his left foot. Lieppman indicated that Baisley is expected to miss roughly six weeks with the injury. Baisley was batting .289 with an 866 OPS at the time of the injury. He missed time last season with an injured left knee.

Roster Updates

Earlier this week, Kane County third baseman and 2007 10th round pick Danny Hamblin was placed on the inactive list. According to Lieppman, Hamblin has retired due to personal reasons. Hamblin was a Northwest League All-Star last season when he hit 11 homeruns for the Canadians. The former Alabama star missed much of the first half of the season with injury. He was batting .145 with a homer in 22 games for Kane County at the time of his retirement. He joins pitcher Lee Land as the second A's 2007 draft pick to announce his retirement this season.

There were a handful of roster moves on Tuesday. Catcher Jake Smith and right-handed pitcher Steven Sharpe finished their rehabs with the AZL A's and reported to full-season affiliates. Smith has joined the Kane County Cougars, where he began the season, and Sharpe rejoins the Double-A Midland Rockhounds, the team he was with when he injured his elbow last season. Smith took the roster spot vacated by Craig Italiano, who has been promoted to High-A Stockton. To make room for Sharpe on the Midland roster, reliever Jose Rojas was sent to Stockton.

The Midland Rockhounds will need to reconfigure their starting rotation now that highly touted prospects Trevor Cahill and Brett Anderson have arrived from Stockton. Lieppman indicated that Midland starters Andrew Bailey and Ryan Webb would be candidates to move into the Rockhounds' bullpen. Bailey has been inconsistent this season, striking out 69 of 71.1 innings but walking 45 and posting a 6.18 ERA. Webb has posted a respectable 4.73 ERA, but he has struggled to last late into games, as he has been battling a blister problem that has limited how long he can pitch in his outings.

Kane County will also see some shifting in its starting rotation, as the Cougars have lost top starter Craig Italiano to a promotion to Stockton and have added A's second round pick Tyson Ross, who was a starter at Cal. For now, it appears that Ross will work out of the bullpen to limit the innings he throws this season. Ross is scheduled to be paired in tandem with Cougars' right-hander Scott Mitchinson at the outset of Ross' pro debut. Brad Hertzler will be moving into the starting rotation from the Cougars' bullpen.

Draft Updates

Earlier this week, the Oakland A's announced that they had come to terms with three more of their 2008 draft picks: fourth round pick Anthony Capra, 13th round pick Daniel Thomas and 32nd round pick Benjamin Hornbeck.

Capra, a left-handed pitcher from Wichita State, went 9-1 with a 3.54 ERA in 2008. He struck out 90 batters in 76.1 innings and allowed a .219 opponents batting average. Thomas, a righty from South Florida, was 2-4 with a 4.21 ERA in 12 games in 2008 and struck out 55 in 57.2 innings. Hornbeck, a righty from Kansas State, was 1-1 with a 3.22 ERA in 13 games (11 relief appearances).

The A's have now signed or agreed to terms with 21 of their draft picks, including seven of the top 10.

Rockhounds Star In Texas League ASG

Jon Zeringue went 4-5 with three runs scored in the South's 7-3, 10-inning Texas League All-Star Game win in Springfield, Missouri. He also added an outfield assist in the game.

Midland had a big impact on the South Division's victory. In addition to Zeringue's big game, DH Tom Everidge had three hits and catcher Anthony Recker had an RBI. The South Division starting pitcher was Midland right-hander Vince Mazzaro, who pitched a scoreless first inning with one strike-out. Rockhounds' closer Andrew Carignan allowed a homer in his one inning of work. Zeringue and Everidge were involved in the South's game-tying rally in the ninth and in the game-winning rally in the 10th.

In Brief

- Sacramento River Cats starting pitcher Gio Gonzalez was named the Pacific Coast League Pitcher of the Week for the week of June 16 – June 22. He struck-out 12 and allowed only one hit in eight innings in his one start for the week. Gonzalez is currently third in the PCL in strikeouts with 83 on the season. He has struggled on the road, but at home, Gonzalez has a 2.90 ERA in seven appearances this season.

- Carlos Hernandez put together his second strong start for the Vancovuer Canadians in the C's 1-0 loss on Wednesday. The lefty worked six scoreless innings, allowing only three hits and one walk. He struck-out eight. In 12 innings this season, Hernandez has 14 strike-outs and he has allowed only two walks, nine hits and two runs.

- Former A's prospect Kevin Melillo is off to a strong start with the Toronto Blue Jays. Melillo, who was dealt to Toronto in early June, has driven-in 10 runs in 13 games for the Triple-A Syracuse Chiefs. He has seven extra-base hits and an 829 OPS.

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