Injuries Continue To Mount
The injury list in the Oakland A's system continues to grow. On Thursday, corner infielders Max Muncy and Michael Soto were placed on their respective team's disabled lists with finger injuries. Muncy hasn't played since leaving Sunday's game for the Midland Rockhounds with the hand injury. The injury is to his left middle finger. Muncy was batting .320/.446/.476 with two homers and 24 walks in 29 games at the time of the injury. His spot on the Midland roster was taken by outfielder Kent Matthes, who was sent down to Midland from Sacramento.
Vicmal de la Cruz will miss a significant portion of the extended spring training schedule.
Soto lands on the Beloit disabled list with a fractured ring finger on his right hand. He left the game on Wednesday with the injury. Soto's spot on the Beloit roster was taken by infielder Melvin Mercedes. Mercedes had been on the disabled list since April 8. He started in Thursday's game and had two at-bats before being replaced by Sam Roberts.
Earlier this week, catcher Nick Rickles had surgery to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder. He will miss the entire season. Outfielder Vicmal de la Cruz will also miss development time at extended spring training after breaking and having surgery on his hamate bone.
Although it hasn't been confirmed by anyone in the A's organization officially, several sources say that right-hander Raul Alcantara – the A's top pitching prospect – will undergo Tommy John surgery soon, possibly as early as this weekend. Alcantara had a 2.29 ERA and a 10:5 K:BB in 19.2 innings over three starts for Midland before injuring his elbow. The recovery from Tommy John surgery is generally 12-18 months. Alcantara is the fourth pitcher in the A's system to require Tommy John this season – Jarrod Parker, Derek DeYoung and A.J. Griffin are the others.
On the plus side, outfielder Billy Burns returned on Thursday after missing nearly two weeks with an oblique injury. He had two hits and an RBI in Thursday's game after going 0-for-5 with a stolen base on Tuesday.
-- Starter Sean Murphy was torched for seven runs in two innings and the Sacramento River Cats fell to the Albuquerque Isotopes, 12-7, on Thursday night. Jose Flores allowed three runs in one inning and Deryk Hooker allowed two runs in three innings before Fernando Nieve completed the game with two scoreless frames. Nate Freiman hit two homeruns and he drew a walk to raise his OPS to 779. He has five homers and 27 RBI in 31 games. Ryan Ortiz had three hits in four at-bats, including his first homerun of the year. Andy Parrino collected two hits and Shane Peterson walked twice and had an RBI in the loss. Parrino is batting .386 since re-joining the River Cats in late April.
-- The Midland RockHounds fell in a close game to the San Antonio Missions, 5-3. Starter Nate Long allowed four runs (three earned) in five innings. He struck-out five and walked two. Anthony Aliotti led the way offensively with two hits and two walks. He is batting .333 with a 1054 OPS in 12 games since being demoted to Double-A. Hiroyuki Nakajima had three hits in four at-bats. He has a five-game hitting streak with Midland and nine hits in 19 at-bats. He has also committed two fielding errors in those five games. Kent Matthes made his Midland debut when he subbed for Miles Head in the sixth inning of the game. Matthes went 0-for-1 with a walk. Seth Frankoff gave the RockHounds a chance to comeback with two scoreless innings in relief. He struck-out three and now has a 1.15 ERA and a 24:4 K:BB in 15.2 innings.
Matt Olson helped the Ports to a comeback win.
-- Back-to-back homers by Renato Nunez and Matt Olson in the top of the eighth inning turned a 2-1 deficit into a 4-2 lead and the Stockton Ports earned a come-from-behind 6-2 win over the Visalia Oaks. Nunez hit a two-run homer with one-out in the eighth to give Stockton its first lead of the night and Olson added some insurance with a solo blast. Nunez had three RBI and two hits on the night, raising his average to .259. The homer was his sixth. Olson also had two hits and he added a walk. He has seven homers on the season. Wade Kirkland hit a solo blast in the third, his first of the year. Stockton added two more insurance runs in the top of the ninth to earn a comfortable win. Josh Bowman had a strong start, allowing two runs on four hits in six innings. He struck-out six and walked none. Kris Hall earned the win with two innings of scoreless relief. He didn't allow a hit and struck-out five while walking two. Austin House finished the game with a scoreless ninth. He struck-out two and allowed two hits.
-- The Beloit bullpen blew a lead late and the Snappers fell to the Quad Cities River Bandits, 6-5. The Snappers led 5-2 in the bottom of the eighth when the River Bandits scored four runs off of Junior Mendez and Stuart Pudenz to complete the comeback. Kyle Finnegan had another solid start, tossing five innings of one-run ball. He struck-out four and walked two. Tyler Marincov had three hits to raise his average to .276. Ryan Huck had two hits and Luis Baez had a double and two RBI.