There has been some significant shifting among the Oakland A's A-ball team rosters this week. On Friday, Low-A Kane County hurlers Jamie Richmond and Pedro Figueroa will join the High-A Stockton Ports' roster, while right-hander Chad Lee will jump from short-season A Vancouver to Kane County.
Figueroa leaves the Cougars with a sparkling 10-2 mark. The hard-throwing lefty has a 3.23 ERA and 78 strike-outs in 86.1 innings. The 23-year-old Dominican Republic native is in his first season of full-season affiliate baseball.
Richmond joins Stockton with a 2.70 ERA in 26 relief appearances with Kane County this season. Richmond has made the transition from starter to reliever in 2009 and, like Figueroa, he was a Midwest League All-Star this year. Richmond has walked only five batters in 50 innings this season. The 23-year-old Toronto, ON, native was acquired by the A's last season from the Atlanta Braves as part of the Mark Kotsay trade.
Lee makes the jump to Kane County nearly two years after he was scheduled to pitch for the Cougars. The right-hander was on the Cougars' Opening Day roster in 2007, but injury prevented him from pitching for them that season. Injuries also affected Lee, a fourth round pick of the A's in 2006, last season, when he was with Vancouver. Healthy in 2009, Lee has pitched well for the Canadians. In three starts, he has yet to allow a run and he has two wins. In fact, he hasn't allowed a hit in his last two outings (a span of 11 innings). In 15 innings for Vancouver, the 23-year-old has allowed one hit, six walks and he has struck-out 17.
On the major league front, the A's continued their busy week of roster moves on Wednesday, as the team added Jeff Gray to the 25-man roster. Gray takes the place of Dana Eveland, who was designated for assignment on Tuesday. This is Gray's third stint with Oakland this season.
* Jemile Weeks walked four times, and Steve Kleen and Yusuf Carter had three-hit nights, as the Stockton Ports took a second straight game from the Visalia Rawhide on Thursday. Kleen has been on-fire since being promoted from Low-A Kane County after the All-Star break. In 15 games with the Ports, Kleen is batting .481 with two homers, nine RBIs and six doubles.
* Daric Barton, Travis Buck and Tom Everidge all homered in a losing effort for Sacramento against Fresno on Thursday. Barton went 3-3 and is now batting .260 for the River Cats. Since returning to Sacramento from Oakland, Barton is batting .343 with four homers and three doubles in nine games. For Everidge, the homer was his sixth with Sacramento. He is batting .336 with a 975 OPS for the River Cats in 29 games. Buck's homer came in his first game back with Sacramento after being demoted from Oakland earlier this week.
* Travis Banwart has returned to Midland after making a sport start for Sacramento earlier this week. He allowed seven runs in six innings in a loss versus Fresno. Banwart was filling in for Dana Eveland, who made a spot start for Oakland when Dallas Braden was placed on the bereavement list.
* The Rockhounds are looking to snap a five-game losing streak. They are 6-7 and two games out of first place in the second half standings.
* Midland will showing its support for FASFIM on Saturday. FASFIM, which was profiled on OaklandClubhouse.com earlier this season, is a non-profit started by the wife of A's minor leaguer Steve Sharpe to support financially the families of minor league baseball players.
* The Oakland A's announced on Thursday that they will be retiring Rickey Henderson's number 24 on August 1st. Henderson, who is entering the Hall of Fame this season, will be joined on the field by former teammates and coaches, including Dave Stewart, Dave Henderson, Mike Davis, Mike Moore, Bob Welch, Jesse Barfield, Rene Lachemann, Mike Norris, Bip Roberts, Shooty Babitt and Stan Javier. The start of the A's game that Saturday has been pushed back to 6:20pm to allow for the pre-game festivities. Henderson is arguably the most popular player in Oakland A's history.
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