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Monday Morning Minors

I know I'm not the only one who cries at the end of the movie Rudy.

I can understand the feeling that Jason Windsor is a "grass is greener" scenario. Saarloos hasn't been great, but who says Windsor will be better? Well of course there is no guarantee. He's unproven and inexperienced and has played just 12 games above Double-A. This year between Midland and Sacramento he allowed more than two earned runs in just five of 18 starts, and struck out 74 in 66 1/3 Triple-A innings. I guess we will find out. The first few starts can sometimes be the easiest for a young pitcher, but the true test is the second and third times facing a team. First thing's first though, get us a win tonight Jason.

Also down in Sacramento is Hiram Bocachica. He missed most of last year and some of this season recovering from a broken wrist. He is a veteran among veterans, playing for 11 minor league teams and four major league teams over his 12 year career. This year in Sacramento he is raking, hitting .344 with 12 home runs and eight doubles in 125 at bats. In his last 10 games he has six home runs and 19 RBI. There isn't much room for him in Oakland, as all five outfielders (four and a half now that Johnson has gone down and Swisher will be used more at first) are useful. He would be a nice replacement if there was an injury, though (knock on wood).

Travis Buck and Vasili Spanos are both day-to-day with injuries. Buck is suffering from a pulled groin, while Spanos bruised his thigh in a collision at first base during Wednesday's game. Both are expected back soon.

Starter Michael Rogers got called up to Midland this week and made his first start. He gave up five runs in five innings while striking out just one hitter. There wasn't much in his 18 starts at Stockton to suggest he would excel at a higher level (4.85 ERA with 16 home runs in 94 2/3 innings), but he did have 85 strikeouts in that span.

Dallas Braden is also continuing his rehab this year, striking out 12 over nine scoreless innings in his three starts with Arizona. His last outing was his longest, tossing four innings with six strikeouts. With Windsor going up to Oakland, the void of starting pitching prospects is becoming more apparent. To have Braden recover would be a huge boost to the system.

I hate to end this on a sour note, so I'll instead leave it with a useless piece of information. A regulation baseball has exactly 108 stitches. I told you it was useless.