Oakland A's MLN: News And Notes

Thanks to injuries and promotions, the Oakland A's saw a lot of shifting in their minor league system on Wednesday. We have notes on the promotions, DL stints, a recent signing and more inside...

Ross, Capra On The Move

Two of the Oakland A's top draft picks from the 2008 draft are on the move on Wednesday. Right-hander Tyson Ross (second round) and left-hander Anthony Capra (fourth round) were both promoted a level. Ross was moved to Double-A Midland, while Capra took Ross' place in the Stockton Ports' rotation.

Ross earns the trip to Midland after putting together a solid three-and-a-half months with Stockton. The Oakland native and Cal alum shook off a rough first few starts and an early season trip to the disabled list to post a 5-6 record and a 4.17 ERA in 86.1 innings. He struck-out 82, walked 33 and held California League hitters to a .237 average. For the month of July, Ross was 3-1 with a 2.59 ERA and 27 strike-outs in 24.1 innings for the Ports. Since the All-Star break, Ross was 4-1 with a 3.19 ERA with 39 strike-outs in 36.2 innings.

To make room for Ross on the Midland roster, left-hander Bobby Cramer has been placed on the reserve list.

Capra is also in the middle of an impressive season. Although his record is 4-7, Capra has been one of the Kane County Cougars' top starters this season. The Wichita State alum threw exactly 100 innings for the Cougars this season. He struck-out 103 and allowed only 70 hits for a .197 BAA. His ERA was a solid 3.24. With the exception of May, Capra had ERAs of 3.21 or lower in every month this season. Since the All-Star break, Capra had a 2.27 ERA with 35 strike-outs and only seven walks in 31.2 innings.

In addition to losing Ross and adding Capra, the Ports also placed reliever Leonardo Espinal on the disabled list.

Cougars Place Two On DL; Add Two AZL A's

The injury-depleted Kane County Cougars got even thinner on Wednesday, as they placed left-handed reliever Trey Barham and infielder Nino Leyja on the disabled list. The Cougars now have seven players on the DL. Replacing the injured Cougars on the roster are two pitchers from the A's Rookie League team, Anvioris Ramirez and A.J. Huttenlocker.

Barham is being sidelined with back spasms. He has a 1.59 ERA and 23 strike-outs in 22.2 innings for the Cougars this season. Leyja, who was only with the Cougars as an injury replacement himself, lands on the DL with an arm injury. He was spiked over the weekend and sustained a gash on his arm that required stitches. He is expected to be out 10-14 days. Leyja was batting .194 with five extra-base hits in 31 at-bats for the Cougars at the time of the injury. He began the year with Vancouver, where he hit .269 in 16 games.

Ramirez joins the Cougars after posting a 4.56 ERA in 23.2 innings with the AZL A's. He struck-out 22 and walked seven. Ramirez has started three games and relieved in three others. He split the 2008 season between Arizona and the A's Dominican Summer League team.

Huttenlocker becomes the fourth A's 2009 draft choice to join the Cougars. He had made 10 relief appearances for Arizona, posting a 2.70 ERA and striking out 17 while walking one in 13.1 innings. Huttenlocker was the A's 44th round pick.

A's Sign Middleton

The A's have signed pitcher Kyle Middleton out of the independent American Association. He had been pitching for the Pensacola Pelicans, where he had a 1.75 ERA and 83 strike-outs and was recently in the league's All-Star game. According to the Pelicans' website, Middleton will be sent to Triple-A Sacramento.

Middleton is a long-time minor league veteran. The 6'6'' right-hander was a 49th round pick of the Kansas City Royals in 1999 out of Jefferson Davis Community College. He was in the Royals' organization through 2006, before signing with the Astros, with whom he spent two seasons. In 2008, he appeared in 17 games and had a 5.03 ERA with the Astros' Double-A and Triple-A affiliates. He has been a starter for most of his career and has a 47-45 record with a 4.40 ERA in 205 career appearances.

Chen Returns

The injury news isn't all bad in the A's system. Infielder Yung-Chi Chen, who has been out since late April with a knee injury, is back with the Sacramento River Cats.

Chen hit .324 in 17 games with Double-A Midland and then hit .563 in five games with Sacramento before being injured. He recently completed an eight game rehab assignment with the Arizona A's, where he hit .346 in eight games.

News And Notes

* The Sacramento River Cats have won four straight and seven of their last nine to build a 10 game lead in their division.

* Sacramento's Tom Everidge has a seven-game hitting streak and is batting .390 with three homers over his last 10 games.

* Midland's Adrian Cardenas is nursing a sore hamstring and is day-to-day. Cardenas is second in the Texas League in batting with a .353 mark.

* Midland's Chris Carter has a five-game hitting streak and is batting .299 on the year with a 909 OPS and 15 homers. He is tied with Everidge for second among A's minor leaguers in homeruns. Grant Desme is first with 20.

* Desme is one of two A's minor leaguers with more than 30 stolen bases already this season. Eric Patterson leads the organization with 34 for the River Cats. Jason Christian (28), Cliff Pennington (27) and Archie Gilbert (23) are all within shouting distance of 30 stolen bases.

* Stockton closer Mickey Storey leads the A's minor leaguers with 14 saves. Storey has allowed one earned run in 26.1 innings this season for Kane County and Stockton. He has given up 11 hits and three walks while striking out 35. Sacramento's Sam Demel and Jeff Gray trail Storey with 12 saves apiece.

* Midland leads the A's organization in nearly every offensive category. They are batting .294 as a team with a team-best 401 walks, 989 hits and 569 runs. They are second in the organization to Sacramento in stolen bases with 90 (the River Cats have 93).

* Kane County leads the A's affiliates with a team-best 3.56 ERA. The Stockton staff has the most strike-outs with 817.

* Stockton teammates Carlos Hernandez and Pedro Figueroa are the only two A's minor league starters with double-digit win totals. Hernandez has 12 wins, while Figueroa has 11. Kenneth Smalley leads all A's minor league starters with a 2.15 ERA.

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