The Oakland A's announced their first cuts from major league camp of the spring, sending 10 players to their minor league complex at Papago Park. The 10 players represented a mix of young prospects and minor league veterans expected to start the season at Triple-A.
In the young prospects category, the A's sent down reliever Sam Demel, infielders Jemile Weeks and Grant Green and catcher Max Stassi. The A's also re-assigned veteran pitchers Matt Wright and Cedric Bowers, catcher Joel Galarraga and infielders Dallas McPherson, Matt Whitney and Corey Wimberly.
Demel, in his first big league spring training, allowed four runs on nine hits in three innings of work. The A's 2007 third-round pick also saved one game in two chances. The hard-throwing right-hander will be in the mix to close games for the Sacramento River Cats this season. Bowers and Wright were minor league free agent signings and are in their first season in the A's organization. Bowers won a game and allowed one run on five hits in 4.2 innings. He walked three and struck-out four. Wright tossed five innings over two appearances, allowing two runs on five hits. He struck-out two and didn't walk a batter.
Weeks and Green are the A's 2008 and 2009 first-round picks, respectively. Weeks was participating in his second major league spring training, although he was limited during last year's spring training by a hip injury. He appeared in six games this spring, collecting one hit in six at-bats. He drove-in two, scored three times and stole a base. Green had only two at-bats and he struggled defensively in his first big league spring training, committing two errors. Weeks will be competing during minor league camp to start the season in Triple-A, while Green is expected to start his first full professional season with High-A Stockton.
McPherson was somewhat of a surprise cut this early in camp. Before the A's acquired Kevin Kouzmanoff in January, McPherson was considered a strong candidate to compete for the A's third base job. The minor league free agent signing got only seven at-bats in big league camp. He scored three runs and hit a homerun. McPherson's last full minor league season was in 2008 when he led the minor leagues in homeruns. A's prospect Chris Carter was second and the two could represent a significant portion of the middle of the River Cats' line-up this season.
Whitney, a minor league free agent signing, was in his first big league camp with the A's. The former Cleveland first-round pick had only four at-bats and he collected one hit. Wimberly, in his second big league camp with the A's, didn't make an appearance in a big league game. He has been limited by a calf strain. Wimberly was sidelined for a third of last season with a broken hamate bone.
With Galarraga and Stassi heading down to minor league camp, the A's now have four catchers in big league camp: Kurt Suzuki, Landon Powell, Josh Donaldson and Anthony Recker. Galarraga, in his second spring with the A's, appeared in only two games and had one hit in two at-bats. He is coming off of major shoulder surgery that was performed during last season. Stassi, the youngest player in A's camp (he turns 19 on Monday), had an impressive first big league camp. He had a hit in three at-bats, a homerun. Stassi is a candidate to start the season with Low-A Kane County.
A's Make First Re-Assignments Of The Spring
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