A single injury at the Major League level has a profound
impact on that team’s farm system, as it basically forces every Minor League
club involved to jumble their lineups. So you can imagine the impact of 20
injuries — which is exactly what the Oakland
organization is dealing with. This is nothing new, though, for the Athletics, who
watched 22 players hit the disabled list in 2007, tying an Oakland record previously set in 1992. Eric
Chavez, Frank Thomas and Mike Sweeney headline the list, with all three key players
spending lengthy amounts of time on the DL this year. As a result, the A’s have
used more than 40 players this season, severely affecting its Minor League
teams — especially Sacramento.
There’s no use for the A’s to wait until rosters expand to see what
some of these minor leaguers can do, especially since it’s all but certain Oakland won’t be
competing for a playoff spot after winning just two games since the All-Star
break. It does make things interesting at the Minor League level, though.
The River Cats have already handed over Carlos Gonzalez, who
was more than ready for the Majors. The young outfielder is at The Show to
stay, but the same cannot be said for the likes of Gregorio Petit, Wes Bankston
and Brooks Conrad — who have been bouncing back and forth between Sac-town and
Oak-town while the revolving door of injuries in Oakland remains wide open. Petit was recently
called back up for the fourth time this season while Bankston got the boot for
the second time and joins a Sacramento team that recently welcomed Matt Murton
and Eric Patterson. Both players, acquired from the Cubs in the six-player deal
that sent Rich Harden to Chicago, got their shot with the A’s, but both failed
to produce much of anything at the plate, giving Oakland reason to believe they
needed to find their swings.
In his first game with the River Cats, Murton went 1-for-4,
giving him a .125 average — which already looks better than the mere .100
average he was sporting in Oakland.
Meanwhile, Patterson returns to the team on which he was hitting .349, which
makes fans wonder why he couldn’t tally a single hit in his 10 at-bats with the
Weeks endures bad day
Jemile Weeks, the A’s top selection this year’s Draft, was
injured during the first play of his first game on a Major League field
Tuesday, as his Class A Kane County Cougars played the Peoria Chiefs in the
first Minor League game at Wrigley Field.
Weeks tumbled over first base while hustling out a ground ball, landing
face-first in the infield dirt while suffering a hip-flexor strain. The Cougars
say he won’t be placed on the disabled list, but he may miss a few more games.
Remember Chris Denorfia?
Denorfia’s the guy who was expected to get plenty playing time in Oakland’s outfield this
year. Instead, the A’s have been greeted with the surprisingly brilliant play
of Gonzalez and Ryan Sweeney. Subsequently, Denorfia has
been out since May 11 with an injured back. He played four rehab games at Sacramento in May before
being shut down again. He resumed his rehab assignment in early July and
is batting .268 for the River Cats. Oakland likes its current options in the outfield, though, so Denorfia may not
be called back up again until rosters expand. With Gonzalez and Sweeney
leading the youth movement, the A’s outfield is shaping up to become
one of the league’s best within the next few years.
— Jane Lee