Barfield to Return to Hitting
Outfielder-turned-pitcher Jeremy Barfield is now an outfielder again. The left-hander has decided to return to his roots after nearly a year on the mound. Barfield, who had been pitching with High-A Stockton, returned to Arizona on Monday. He will get at-bats with the A's Rookie League team and, if all goes well, be sent out as an outfielder to an A's affiliate.
It was nearly a year ago when the A's pulled Barfield aside while he was playing with Triple-A Sacramento and asked him to make the switch to the mound. Barfield spent the rest of the year learning to pitch in Arizona and made his in-game debut on the mound during extended spring training. Barfield made his regular season debut on the mound with the Ports this season. In 35 innings with Stockton this year, Barfield had a 4.63 ERA and a 39:28 K:BB.
Barfield was an eighth-round pick of the A's in 2008. He reached Triple-A for the first time last season and hit .213/.298/.407 with 12 homers in 61 games. He is a career .261/.329/.399 hitter in six minor league seasons. Barfield will be eligible for minor league free agency at the end of the year.
A's Sign Five More Picks
The A's announced the signing of five more draft picks on Monday. The team inked third-round pick Brett Graves, fifth-round pick Heath Fillmyer, seventh-round pick Branden Cogswell, 12th-round pick Tyler Willman and 15th-round pick Trent Gilbert. All five will report to Arizona before decisions are made on their more permanent professional debut assignments.
With the signings, the A's now have 25 of their 40 picks in the fold. Their top 13 picks have all signed.
Nunez Takes Home Honor
Stockton Ports' third baseman Renato Nunez was named the California League's Player of the Week for the week of June 23rd. Nunez clubbed five homers and four doubles last week and hit .452/.500/1.065. The A's Future's Game representative has 16 homers this season and an 882 OPS in 71 games. The 20-year-old has seven homers since the start of the season half of the season (11 games).
Urlaub Out for Year
Jeff Urlaub will miss the rest of the year after undergoing season-ending surgery on Monday. The left-hander last pitched on May 29 and he has been on the disabled list since June 2. Urlaub began the season with Double-A Midland, where he posted a 1.57 ERA in 23 innings before earning a promotion to Triple-A Sacramento. He made eight appearances with the River Cats before the injury. Urlaub had a 2.12 ERA and a 27:8 K:BB in 29.2 innings for Midland and Sacramento this season. He tweeted on Monday that his surgery went well and that he expects to be ready for the 2015 season.