Desme, Weeks Rising Stars
A's prospects Grant Desme and Jemile Weeks have been named to the Arizona Fall League's Rising Stars game roster. The game will take place on Saturday and will be televised on the MLB Network, the first AFL game to be televised on a national network. The network will also air the AFL championship game for the first time. The Phoenix Desert Dogs, who are represented by the A's every season, are five-time defending champions.
Desme was the AFL's Player of the Week for week two and he leads the AFL in homeruns and RBIs, with 10 and 23, respectively. Weeks earned Player of the Week honors for week three. The second baseman is batting .308 with a 918 OPS and four stolen bases in 12 games.
Cunningham Lands With Anzoategui In VWL
A's outfielder Aaron Cunningham has agreed to terms with the Caribes de Anzoátegui, the team announced last week. He is expected to join the team after November 15th. Cunningham hit .302 with 11 homeruns and an 851 OPS in 83 games with the Sacramento River Cats in 2009. He also hit .151 in 23 games with the A's. The 23-year-old missed more than a month of the regular season with a separated shoulder, so his time in the Venezuelan Winter League will give him an opportunity to make-up for some of those missed at-bats. He is expected to battle for a spot on the A's 25-man roster this spring.
In other Venezuelan League news, A's shortstop Gregorio Petit is expected to leave his Venezuelan team next week and travel back to Sacramento to join his wife, who is expected to give birth to a baby girl. Petit, a member of the Leones del Caracas, has been hailed in the Venezuelan press as a rising leader on the Caracas ballclub. He is batting .268 with 17 RBIs and six stolen bases in 21 games thus far this season for Caracas.
A's minor league free agent Raul Padron continues to shine for Caracas. In 16 games, the backstop is hitting .300 with four homers and 11 RBIs.
Valdez Leading Escogido In DWL
A's infield prospect Alexander Valdez is off to a terrific start in the Dominican Winter League. Through seven games, he is batting .367 with a homer, seven RBIs and a 1091 OPS. He also has two doubles and two triples. Valdez, a switch-hitter, is coming off of a strong season with High-A Stockton and Double-A Midland. In 111 games, he hit .273 with 65 RBIs. Valdez was a minor league free agent at the end of the season, but he re-signed with Oakland, who initially inked him to a non-drafted free agent contract in February of 2003.
In other Dominican League news, A's minor leaguer Anvioris Ramirez has made his debut with the Tigres del Licey, tossing a scoreless inning. The 21-year-old left-hander had a 3.69 ERA in 75.2 innings for the Rookie League A's and short-season Kane County Cougars in 2009.
Carter To Return To Mexico This Week
A's prospect Chris Carter is expected to rejoin his Mexican League team this week. He has been sidelined since October 17th with what turned out to be a stomach virus. Carter was sent home to the US to ensure that the illness wasn't anything more serious, and he has been cleared to continue his winter league play. In seven games with Guasave, Carter has four homers and six RBIs.
In other Mexican League news, A's relief prospect Arnold Leon is starting to turn around his season with Culiacan. After allowing six earned runs over three appearances (2.1 innings), Leon has given up only two earned runs over his last three appearances (7.1 innings). On the season, he has a 6.23 ERA and 12 strike-outs against four walks in 13 innings. Leon had a 3.51 ERA in 74.1 innings for the A's Double-A affiliate, the Midland Rockhounds, in 2009.
Carson, Reineke Outrighted; Carson Re-Signed To Minor Deal
Last week, the A's moved two more players off of their 40-man roster, bringing their total to six players removed from the 40-man roster since the end of the regular season. Oakland outrighted outfielder Matt Carson and right-hander Chad Reineke to Sacramento. Carson had already re-signed with the A's before the move and will be back with the organization next season. He has received a non-roster invitation to big league spring training. The outfielder made his major league debut with Oakland in September after leading the Triple-A Sacramento River Cats in homeruns with 25. He hit .286 with a homerun in 21 major league at-bats for the A's.
Reineke spent most of the season with Sacramento, going 9-4 with a 4.75 ERA in 125 innings. He made one start for Oakland, allowing four runs in five innings.
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