Major League Baseball announced the rosters for the 2008 All-Star Futures Game, to be played on July 13th at Yankee Stadium, the day before the Major League Baseball All-Star game. The Oakland A's will have four prospects participating in this year's Futures Game: pitchers Brett Anderson, Trevor Cahill and Henry Rodriguez, and middle infielder Cliff Pennington. Anderson, Cahill and Pennington will be on the US team, while Rodriguez will pitch for the World squad.
Anderson, Cahill and Rodriguez all began the season in the High-A Stockton Ports' starting rotation. Rodriguez was the first of the trio to be promoted to Double-A, as he got off to a fast start with Stockton by striking out 23 in 17 innings. He struggled at Double-A, however, posting an 8.82 ERA with 36 walks and 36 strike-outs in 33.2 innings. He has pitched better since being demoted back to Stockton. After allowing five runs and walking six in his first start back with the Ports, Rodriguez has allowed five runs in 16.2 innings with 23 strike-outs and six walks in three subsequent starts.
After posting a 2.78 ERA and striking out 103 batters in 87.1 innings for Stockton, Cahill was promoted to Midland last week. On June 20, he made his Double-A debut and he allowed one run in six innings with six strike-outs and three walks. With 109 strike-outs on the season, Cahill leads all minor leaguers.
Anderson missed two starts with a thumb injury, but he still managed to strike-out 80 in 74 innings and earn nine wins for Stockton. He was promoted to Midland earlier this week and he made his Double-A debut on Thursday. Anderson was brilliant for the Rockhounds, allowing only two runs on three hits in six innings. He struck-out 12 and didn't walk a batter.
Pennington began the year with Midland. He hit .260 with a .379 OBP and 20 stolen bases in 50 games for the Rockhounds. Pennington was promoted to Triple-A in early June. He is currently batting .290 with 19 runs scored and an 805 OPS in 26 games for the Sacramento River Cats.
The Futures Game will have a slightly different look this season. In past years, the rosters were selected entirely based on prospect status. This year, the players on the US team's roster were chosen as part of the 2008 Team USA Olympic trial team. The game has also been lengthened from its normal seven-inning format to a regulation nine-inning game.
Other News And Notes:
- Wes Bankston drove-in five runs on a grand-slam and a tie-breaking, RBI single to lead the Sacramento River Cats to a 6-5 win over the Tucson Sidewinders. The homer was Bankston's 12th of the season. He has 44 RBIs on the season and he has hit five homers in the month of June. Ryan Wing earned the win in relief and Jerry Blevins saved his 10th game of the season by striking out two in a scoreless ninth. He has struck-out 32 and has walked only five this season.
- Brett Anderson was brilliant and the Midland bullpen was strong in the Rockhounds' 5-3 win over Arkansas. Anderson allowed only three hits and two runs over his six innings and he struck-out 12. Both runs off of Anderson came on solo homeruns, including one by former A's prospect Brian Stavisky, who is batting .354 with six homers in 25 games for the Travelers. The Rockhounds had 13 hits in support of Anderson, including three from Aaron Cunningham, and two each from Justin Sellers, Javier Herrera, Anthony Recker and Mike Affronti. Andrew Carignan allowed a run in the ninth and earned his 11th save.
- Henry Rodriguez earned the win by allowing a run in 5.2 innings for Stockton on Thursday in the Ports' 4-2 win over Lake Elsinore. He struck-out seven and walked three. Jared Lansford worked 2.1 innings of relief, allowing a run with five strike-outs and no walks to bridge the way between Rodriguez and closer Sam Demel. Demel worked a scoreless ninth to earn his 10th save of the year.
- Corey Brown hit his 12th homer and drove-in three runs, but it wasn't enough, as Kane County fell to Quad Cities by a score of 6-4. Brown added a double along with his homer and raised his average to .268. Larry Cobb and Justin Frash had two hits each. Brad Hertzler allowed five runs in 3.2 innings in his first start of the season. Lance Sewell allowed a run and struck-out five in a three-inning relief appearance.
- Dante Love had a triple in his first game with Vancouver in 2008 and the Canadians beat Yakima by a score of 4-3. Mitchell LeVier had two hits to raise his average to .297 and Juan Nunez scored two runs. Brent Lysander earned the win in relief and Jose Guzman picked up his third save by working two scoreless innings. Guzman hasn't allowed a run and he has struck-out nine in six innings for the C's this season.
- Leonardo Gil had three hits, including two doubles, and Yunior Rodriguez had three hits to raise his average to .455 for the AZL A's, but that couldn't prevent the A's from losing to the AZL Padres by a score of 13-4. Juston Street worked a scoreless two-thirds of an inning. He hasn't allowed a run in 2.2 innings since signing with the A's as an undrafted free agent.
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