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Monday Morning Minors

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To start I will touch on some injury stuff. Dan Putnam has been out since mid-May with a strained PCL, but his timetable has him returning in the next few weeks. Richie Robnett also went on the disabled list this week, but I've been told it isn't anything to worry about. I saw him taking batting practice a few days ago without any issues. Dallas Braden had off-season shoulder surgery, but threw in a game for the first time on Tuesday with Arizona, tossing two shutout innings. He will likely spend much of the remaining season getting back into playing shape.

A couple players starting to heat up are Brian Stavisky and Kevin Melillo in Midland. I mentioned Melillo last week, but he continued to play well this week too. After struggling in Sacramento and being sent down to Midland, Stavisky has started to put up solid numbers again. He is hitting .333 with 21 walks and 8 doubles in 132 at-bats, and has a hit in each of his last 12 games. Sacramento is loaded with Quad-A type players though, and it may be tough for him to get back there without an injury.

Scott Deal is pitching well in Vancouver. The 19 year-old 2005 draftee is 4-0 in four starts, allowing just four earned runs over 22 innings. His 11:5 strikeout to walk ratio leaves something to be desired, though. Inoel Deaza, a 20 year-old Dominican pitcher is also pitching well for the C's, putting up a 2.88 ERA in his first four starts in the States. In 26 games over the past two seasons with the Dominican Summer League, he posted a 2.26 ERA with 86 strikeouts and just 12 walks in 103 1/3 innings. Last season he walked just five batters in 13 games (nine starts).

The Canadians' 14-6 record wouldn't be possible without some good hitting as well. 2006 sixth-round selection Matt Sulentic has a .306 average with four doubles and a home run in 62 at-bats, but just two walks against 16 strikeouts. Fifth rounder, Jermaine Mitchell, is batting .329 with 13 walks (.432 OBP) and nine stolen bases in 73 at-bats, and 27th-rounder Larry Cobb has eight doubles in 66 at-bats to lead the team.

Chad Boyd, drafted out of high school in the ninth round of the 2004 draft, is playing well for Kane County but is still lacking power needed for a corner outfielder. Now 20, Boyd has just two homers as a professional in about 400 at-bats. In 57 games with Kane County he has produced seven doubles and has a .333/.397/.456 line. He has shown good patience at the plate, but needs to produce a power stroke to advance deep in the system.

His teammate in Kane County, third baseman Jeff Baisley, continues to rake, but really has nowhere to go. Above him in Stockton is former first-rounder Brian Snyder, and in Midland is Vasili Spanos, who is among the league leaders in many offensive categories in the Texas League, and is hitting .310 with 41 walks and 32 extra-base hits. Baisley is just getting older and has nothing else to prove in the Midwest League, so the A's need to figure something out for him.