Down On The Farm – Week #8: The I-80 Express in Full Effect

Graham Godfrey - Just passin' through ma'am...

So far, early in the season, the A’s have been keeping the I-80 Express between Sacramento and the East Bay plenty busy. In the past week, relievers Andrew Carignan and Jim Miller have returned, lefty Pedro Figueroa and infielder Eric Sogard have been sent out, and right-hander Graham Godfrey booked a round-trip ticket, getting a five-day respite in Oakland before returning to the River City. Could there be more riders on the way? Right-hander Bruce Billings is starting to look like he’s earned a ticket. And with the A’s offense struggling, what about Sacramento sluggers like Brandon Moss, Chris Carter and Derek Norris? You can keep up with all the up-and-comers on my Athletics Farm blog and get lots more details on the last week of A’s minor league action right here on Athletics Nation after the jump…

SACRAMENTO RIVER CATS

(Triple-A Pacific Coast League)

Record This Week: 3-4

Record This Season: 32-19

The River Cats hit a bit of a speed bump last week and had their first week below .500 this season. The starting pitching remained solid, with strong outings from Travis Banwart, Fabio Castro, A.J. Griffin and particularly Bruce Billings, who tossed 8 scoreless innings to earn his 4th win on Saturday. The bullpen was a little less reliable though. Neil Wagner, Rich Thompson and Trey Barham have had a particularly tough time of late, with Wagner’s ERA now standing at 5.49, Thompson’s at 6.10 and Barham’s at 13.50. The bullpen got a boost with the return of left-hander Pedro Figueroa though, who continues to look strong and has allowed no runs in 11 innings for Sacramento this season. First baseman Chris Carter launched 2 more longballs last week – 1 a grand slam – but outfielder Brandon Moss hit 3 and currently holds the team lead with 11. Catcher Derek Norris is right behind Moss and Carter on the tater totem pole with 7. Infielder Brandon Hicks has also been a hot hitter of late and is currently tied for the team lead in doubles with 16 and has the third best slugging percentage among River Cats regulars, just behind Moss and Norris. Since joining Sacramento last week, infielder Eric Sogard is hitting .385 in 4 games, and since he joined the team, Manny Ramirez is batting .214 with no extra base hits over 8 games.

Top Cats:

Outfielder Brandon Moss (27 R / 11 HR / 26 RBI / 18 BB / 29 K / .309 AVG / .388 OBP / .588 SLG / .976 OPS)

Outfielder Michael Taylor (24 R / 3 HR / 22 RBI / 23 BB / 27 K / .312 AVG / .407 OBP / .489 SLG / .897 OPS)

Infielder Brandon Hicks (31 R / 5 HR / 19 RBI / 14 BB / 47 K / .277 AVG / .349 OBP / .516 SLG / .865 OPS)

Catcher Derek Norris (27 R / 7 HR / 32 RBI / 12 BB / 26 K / .296 AVG / .333 OBP / .522 SLG / .855 OPS)

Pitcher Bruce Billings (48 IP / 37 H / 14 ER / 10 BB / 44 K / 2.63 ERA / 0.98 WHIP)

Pitcher Brad Peacock (55 IP / 62 H / 30 ER / 18 BB / 51 K / 4.91 ERA / 1.45 WHIP)

Pitcher Pedro Figueroa (11 IP / 4 H / 0 ER / 5 BB / 9 K / 0.00 ERA / 0.82 WHIP)



MIDLAND ROCKHOUNDS

(Double-A Texas League)

Record This Week: 2-4

Record This Season: 25-24

The RockHounds had a bit of a rough time last week, losing 4 of their 6 games. Second baseman Tyler Ladendorf has come on strong of late though and has now raised his batting average to a season high of .299. Outfielder Shane Peterson leads all A’s minor leaguers in on-base percentage at .440, but top hitting prospect Michael Choice is currently batting just .250 with 3 home runs on the season. Daniel Straily continues to be the most impressive member of Midland’s starting staff, with 75 strikeouts in 58 1/3 innings. Prized pitching prospect Sonny Gray is now 1-3 with an ERA of 4.17 on the season, and left-hander Sean Doolittle continues to dominate out of the bullpen, allowing just 6 baserunners while striking out 19 over 11 innings of work.

Top Hounds:

Outfielder Shane Peterson (27 R / 2 HR / 23 RBI / 40 BB / 44 K / .280 AVG / .440 OBP / .433 SLG / .874 OPS)

First Baseman Anthony Aliotti (21 R / 3 HR / 18 RBI / 17 BB / 39 K / .315 AVG / .399 OBP / .427 SLG / .826 OPS)

Outfielder Conner Crumbliss (33 R / 4 HR / 19 RBI / 35 BB / 31 K / .271 AVG / .400 OBP / .410 SLG / .810 OPS)

Second Baseman Tyler Ladendorf (23 R / 3 HR / 22 RBI / 19 BB / 25 K / .299 AVG / .386 OBP / .429 SLG / .815 OPS)

Pitcher Murphy Smith (54 1/3 IP / 47 H / 18 ER / 20 BB / 38 K / 2.98 ERA / 1.23 WHIP)

Pitcher Daniel Straily (58 1/3 IP / 51 H / 25 ER / 20 BB / 75 K / 3.86 ERA / 1.22 WHIP)

Pitcher Sean Doolittle (11 IP / 2 H / 1 ER / 4 BB / 19 K / 0.82 ERA / 0.55 WHIP)



STOCKTON PORTS

(Advanced-A California League)

Record This Week: 3-3

Record This Season: 16-33

It was a good week for Stockton. The Ports had their first week where they didn’t lose more games than they won since early in the season. Miles Head continues to be the team’s hottest hitter and leads all A’s minor leaguers in batting average at .372 and slugging percentage at .667. First baseman A.J. Kirby-Jones currently leads the team in home runs though with 10. Third baseman/first baseman Tony Thompson has been coming on strong lately and is now third behind Head and Kirby-Jones in a number of offensive categories. Outfielder Dusty Robinson has hit 2 homers for Stockton since being promoted from Burlington a week and a half ago, and shortstop Yordy Cabrera is batting .152 in 9 games since returning from an injury. Pitcher Sean Murphy had an interesting initial outing for Stockton after his promotion from Burlington last week. The right-hander had a perfect game through 6 1/3 innings on Thursday, until some shoddy defense undermined his efforts and the Ports ended up losing the game. Left-hander Jacob Brown’s been looking good since he’s been given the chance to start, and he’s now struck out 32 batters while walking only 4.

Top Ports:

Infielder Miles Head (35 R / 9 HR / 35 RBI / 15 BB / 41 K / .372 AVG / .420 OBP / .667 SLG / 1.087 OPS)

First Baseman A.J. Kirby-Jones (23 R / 10 HR / 30 RBI / 32 BB / 49 K / .296 AVG / .415 OBP / .541 SLG / .955 OPS)

Infielder Tony Thompson (16 R / 3 HR / 14 RBI / 7 BB / 25 K / .271 AVG / .304 OBP / .450 SLG / .754 OPS)

Pitcher T.J. Walz (48 2/3 IP / 51 H / 22 ER / 11 BB / 50 K / 4.07 ERA / 1.27 WHIP)

Pitcher Blake Treinen (56 IP / 57 H / 26 ER / 12 BB / 46 K / 4.18 ERA / 1.23 WHIP)

Pitcher Jacob Brown (38 IP / 28 H / 9 ER / 4 BB / 32 K / 2.13 ERA / 0.84 WHIP)



BURLINGTON BEES

(Class-A Midwest League)

Record This Week: 2-4

Record This Season: 22-27

The Bees’ pitching staff has been a little shaky of late, and it didn’t help that one of the team’s top starters, Sean Murphy, got promoted to Stockton when right-hander A.J. Cole was demoted to Burlington. In his first start for the Bees, Cole picked up where he left off in Stockton, giving up 8 runs, 5 earned, on 12 hits over 5 innings of work. Right-hander Drew Granier’s been the rock of the Bees’ rotation, posting an ERA of 2.04 and winning twice as many games as any other pitcher on the staff. 19-year-old Raul Alcantara has started to look a little stronger of late though, and he’s allowed more than 2 runs in just 1 of his last 5 starts. With the promotion of slugging outfielder Dusty Robinson to Stockton, Burlington’s spotty offense has primarily been led by infielders Sean Jamieson, Chih Fang Pan and B.A. Vollmuth. But the Bees’ lineup got a bit of a boost when outfielder Rashun Dixon was sent down to Burlington and promptly hit a game-winning home run in his first game with his new team.

Top Bees:

Shortstop Sean Jamieson (28 R / 2 HR / 14 RBI / 22 BB / 30 K / .265 AVG / .369 OBP / .386 SLG / .754 OPS)

Infielder Chih Fang Pan (18 R / 1 HR / 18 RBI / 13 BB / 26 K / .282 AVG / .350 OBP / .373 SLG / .723 OPS)

Third baseman B.A. Vollmuth (25 R / 4 HR / 34 RBI / 18 BB / 54 K / .260 AVG / .327 OBP / .401 SLG / .728 OPS)

Pitcher Drew Granier (57 1/3 IP / 52 H / 13 ER / 17 BB / 55 K / 2.04 ERA / 1.20 WHIP)

Pitcher Raul Alcantara (44 2/3 IP / 52 H / 21 ER / 18 BB / 23 K / 4.23 ERA / 1.57 WHIP)



You can check out my blog - Athletics Farm - for daily updates on the A’s minor league teams and all the top prospects down on the farm.



X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

Join Athletics Nation

You must be a member of Athletics Nation to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Athletics Nation. You should read them.

Join Athletics Nation

You must be a member of Athletics Nation to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Athletics Nation. You should read them.

Spinner

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9351_tracker