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Monday Morning Minors

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Does it make me a bad person that I am too interested in NBA and (to some degree) NHL playoffs to care about the A's recent losses? Ok well it's not that I don't care, but when my Spurs win my 34, it makes it easier to ignore.

After missing last season with a hip flexor, and starting 2006 off with two hits in his first 23 at bats, Brian Snyder has hit .462 in his last four games, including a home run and seven RBI. It's hard to imagine his fate would be something different than Mark Teahen's, but a solid rebound season will mean better trade bait at the worst.

RHP Ryan Webb, a fourth round high school draftee in 2004, struggled at times last season in the Midwest League. He struck out 5+ batters just three times in the season (24 starts) and ended with a 4.76 ERA. To start 2006 he was bumped to Stockton, as Oakland likes to challenge their young pitchers, and Webb responded by allowing just two earned runs in 17 1/3 innings (3 starts). In his last start, Webb went seven innings, allowing just an unearned run on six hits, no walks and 11 strikeouts, which is clearly the best start of his professional career. If he keeps his K/9 up this season, he should find success.

Steve Stanley, whose career had stalled out after spending all of last year in AA, decided to hang up his spikes. According to the Sacramento Bee, Stanley made the decision because of his family, choosing their happiness over his baseball career. He ends his career with a .295 average, .374 OBP and ten home runs.

Jason Windsor pitched another gem this week. In seven innings, he allowed one run on 6 hits, no walks and six strikeouts. This follows a six inning, one-hit performance last week. It isn't all roses though, as he got roughed up for six runs (five earned) in four innings early in the week. On the topic of Midland updates, Kurt Suzuki had his streak of games without a strikeout end at ten mid-week. He also had a streak of nine games with at least one hit and one walk end. That leaves his K:BB at 3:11 at the week's end.

On the injury front, some bad news to report for a couple of players drafted in 2005. According to Notes from the Nat, fourth-rounder Jimmy Shull will undergo Tommy John surgery, and will certainly be out for the season. Meanwhile, 13th round pick Michael Massaro (OF) broke his knuckle sliding into a base. The injury to Massaro doesn't seem to be as serious, although he will sit out 4-6 weeks. Shull was pitching well in Stockton (16 K in 11 1/3 IP), and Massaro was in Kane County.

Jeremy Brown (can you believe he's 26 already?) had been advancing fairly slowly, last year being his third full year in AA. He's been splitting time with John Baker in AAA this year (although Brown has been getting a majority of the starts), and Brown's numbers are so far so good. After hitting a career high 20 home runs last season, he already has three through ten games in 2006. He has also walked five times, has a .412 average and .475 OBP. Few expect Brown to be an everyday player in the majors, but then again even fewer expected him to make it as far as he has.

So ladies and gentlemen, the question I pose before you this week: Will Jeremy Brown replace Adam Melhuse as the backup catcher in 2007?