Ynoa Strong In Debut
Michael Ynoa looked the part of a top prospect on Monday night, as the much ballyhooed right-hander made his professional debut for the Oakland A's Arizona Rookie League team. Ynoa breezed through three innings of work, allowing only a hit and a hit-batsman. He struck-out four. It was Ynoa's first appearance in an official regular season minor league game since signing with the A's to a record-breaking contract in July 2008. Injuries kept him from pitching for the AZL A's in 2009.
Ynoa wasn't the only big time performer for the AZL A's on Monday, as the team collected 15 hits and allowed only four in their 8-2 defeat of the AZL Angels.
Outfielder David Thomas, rehabbing with the AZL A's, began the game with a lead-off homer. He would go on to collect three hits and three RBIs in five at-bats. He also stole a base. Infielder Jason Christian, another rehabbing A's prospect, had a hit, a walk and a stolen base in four at-bats.
Outfielder Royce Consigli, a 2009 A's draft pick out of a Canadian high school, fell a homer shy of the cycle. He also drove-in two and collected a walk. First-baseman Miguel Marte also had a three-hit, three-RBI game. He carried over his hot hitting from the Dominican Summer League, where he had an 886 OPS and two homers and 12 RBIs in 11 games.
Zhi Fang Pan, the A's first international signing from Taiwan, made his US professional debut in the game. The switch-hitting shortstop had two hits (including a triple) and a run scored in four at-bats.
The AZL A's pitching was outstanding on Monday, as four pitchers combined to four-hit the AZL Angels. After Ynoa departed, A.J. Griffin, the A's 13th round pick this season, made his professional debut. He tossed a perfect inning, striking out two batters.
Joselito Adames was touched for two runs on three hits in three innings, but he did strike-out four. A's 34th round pick Aaron Larsen finished off the game with two perfect innings. He was awarded the win by the scorekeeper.
Rookie Ball Rumblings
* Robin Rosario, who signed a six-figure bonus as an international free agent in 2008, is listed on the AZL A's roster as a pitcher. Rosario had been an outfielder. He was rated along with Stockton Ports outfielder Jeremy Barfield as having the best throwing arm of any outfielder in the system.
* The AZL A's rehab list is a veritable who's who of the Oakland A's system: Brett Anderson, Joey Devine, Josh Outman, Julio Ramos, Chris Mederos, Mathieu LeBlanc Poirier, Jason Christian, Sean Doolittle, David Thomas and Travis Buck will all be eligible to play in games for the AZL A's as they rehab from injury.
Vancouver Pitches Way To Second Win
After going 1-2 in their opening series at Eugene, Vancouver returned home and used an outstanding pitching effort from Nathan Long, Daniel Tenholder and Mike Hart to beat the Spokane Indians, 2-1, in the home opener.
Long allowed only a run on five hits and no walks in 5.2 innings. He struck-out six and earned the win. Tenholder pitched 2.1 scoreless innings to bridge the gap to Hart, who earned his second save with a perfect ninth inning. He struck-out two and has four strike-outs in two innings this season.
The C's couldn't muster much offense, but what they did put together was just enough. A.J. Kirby-Jones and Douglas Landaeta each had RBIs to pace the C's attack. Wade Kirkland and Tony Thompson scored the Vancouver runs.
* Kirby-Jones has been all-or-nothing at the plate thus far. He has six strike-outs in four games, but he also has two doubles, a homer and three RBIs.
* Chris Affinito has three hits and five walks in four games thus far.
* The Vancouver pitching staff has allowed only nine earned runs over the first 34 innings of the season. C's pitchers have struck-out 34 and walked only one and the staff has an 0.91 WHIP.
* RHP Deyvi Jimenez is the youngest player on the C's roster. He won't turn 21 until December 30. The Dominican allowed two earned runs in five innings in his Vancouver debut on Opening Day.
Middleton Brilliant In Sacramento Win
It seemed inevitable that the Sacramento River Cats would start winning and that inevitability is finally upon us. Sacramento wrapped up a 7-1 homestand on Monday with a 4-0 win over the Salt Lake Bees, thanks in large part to the pitching effort of right-hander Kyle Middleton.
Middleton worked eight scoreless innings, allowing only five hits and one walk. He struck-out six and lowered his ERA to 2.69 in 63.2 innings. Michael Benacka completed the shut-out with a scoreless ninth inning. Both Benacka and Middleton joined the A's organization as signings from independent leagues over the past two years.
Rehabbing A's OF Coco Crisp continued to terrorize minor league pitching. He collected three hits in five at-bats and stole a base. In eight minor league rehab games this season, Crisp has a 1642 OPS and 18 hits in 28 at-bats. He has appeared in only two major league games for Oakland because of injuries.
River City Beat
* The River Cats have won 10 of 13 and are now back to the .500 mark at 36-36.
* Sacramento has tossed four shut-outs in 2010, and two of them have come in the last six games.
* Middleton has thrown 17 innings in June without allowing a run.
Midland Mashes Way To Win
The Midland Rockhounds collected 17 hits in their 11-7 win over the Frisco Roughriders on Monday night.
Jeff Baisley went a perfect 4-for-4 with two doubles and three RBIs in the game. He also walked once and is batting .353 with a 936 OPS in 40 games for Midland this season.
Archie Gilbert and Corey Brown had three-hit games and Adrian Cardenas and Shane Peterson added two-hit efforts in the win. J.C. Holt hit a solo homerun, his first of the season. He also stole a base, his fourth of the year.
Carlos Hernandez struggled in his start, allowing four runs on 10 hits and two walks in five innings. However, it was enough to earn him his sixth win against one defeat thanks to the Midland hitting attack. Derrick Gordon allowed three runs in two innings in relief of Hernandez before Mickey Storey saved the game with two scoreless frames.
* Over the past two seasons, Hernandez is 12-2 with Midland in 23 appearances.
* Brown is batting .343 with four homers and 12 RBIs and 13 walks in 18 games in June. He has also stolen four bases in four chances.
* Baisley has 17 doubles in only 40 games.
* Alexander Valdez has scored 15 runs in 19 games in June.
* Cardenas is hitting .412 with a 1008 OPS in 10 games (34 at-bats) since being sent down from Triple-A.
* Ryan Edell lost a perfect game with one-out in the seventh inning on Saturday for Midland. Edell has been brilliant for the Rockhounds since being acquired from the Cleveland organization. The lefty has a 1.42 ERA in seven starts.
* Midland is now a game over the .500 mark (35-34) and has won six of seven.