There is good news from the Oakland A's farm on Sunday, as shortstop Franklin Barreto is in the lineup for the second straight day for the Double-A Midland RockHounds. The 20-year-old is No. 2 on our preseason Community Prospect List, but is widely considered the club's top youngster and one of the top 50 prospects in the entire minors.
Barreto left Thursday's game after fouling a ball off his leg in his first at-bat, and without any updates from the team we were all left to our imaginations about what may be wrong or how much time he might miss (amputation, out indefinitely?). Fortunately, he appeared the next night as a pinch-hitter, suggesting he must not be hurt too badly. He started at shortstop on Saturday and is back in the leadoff spot on Sunday, so any lingering fears can be put to rest now. Breathe easy, Athletics Nation.
Barreto, 2016: .252/.316/.374, 3 HR, 7 BB, 28 Ks, 7 SB, 97 wRC+ (117 PAs)
After going 20-for-46 over a torrid 10-game hot streak, he's now 0-for-11 (4 BB, 3 Ks) since Tuesday. (Note: He went hitless in his first two at-bats while I was writing the rest of this). On the bright side, he's made only three errors in 22 games at shortstop after committing 34 last year.
Unfortunately, there is (unrelated) bad news out of Midland on Sunday:
Dylan Covey leaves the game with an apparent injury after a few warmup pitches. Trey Cochran-Gill will take the mound for the 'Hounds.— Midland RockHounds (@RockHounds) May 8, 2016
Covey was on a great run recently, allowing just two earned runs total in his last three starts. The Hounds rotation was already thin, too, after losing Daniel Mengden to a promotion, so if Covey has to miss time then it will be interesting to see who takes his place. (UPDATE: It's a left oblique strain. That's good news since his arm is fine, but an oblique can still cost you a month or two depending on how badly you pull it.)
Skye Bolt leaves early Friday
Our next bit of injury news comes from the Single-A Beloit Snappers, where Skye Bolt left Friday's game with what has only been described as a "lower body injury."
Beloit and @SBCubs do not score in the first.— SouthBend Cubs Radio (@SBCubsRadio) May 6, 2016
Pallares replaces Bolt in CF....looked like a lower body injury after running to 1B.
As you can see, minor league injury reports are about as detailed as those in hockey. The play occurred on Bolt's first at-bat, as he was trying to beat out a double-play grounder. If I were to take my best guess (I cannot stress enough that what follows is PURE SPECULATION), I'll bet he pulled a hammy running down the line. But it could be literally anything from a stubbed toe to his leg getting caught in a wood chipper so we'll just have to wait until more information is released.
Bolt is off to a strong start this season and is clearly one of the Snappers' best hitters. The center fielder was the club's fourth-round pick last summer, with flashy tools but plenty to prove on the field. It's great to see him making short work of Single-A, with a 147 wRC+ to go along with a low strikeout rate, a good walk rate, and some power and speed.
Highlights: Single-A Beloit Snappers
We last checked in with the Snappers last weekend, so while we're on the subject of Bolt let's also look at his teammates. They've had a couple of rainouts in the last week, and are currently riding a four-game losing streak that has dropped them to 14-15 on the year.
The hot pitcher last week was right-hander Boomer Biegalski. Last year's 14th-round pick made two starts, each time allowing just one run without a walk. He's emerging as the top hurler on Beloit's staff, although 25th-rounder Evan Manarino is close on his heels -- the lefty threw five scoreless innings on Monday to lower his ERA to a ridiculous 0.70.
On offense, Brett Siddall finally cooled down a little bit and is 0-for-11 over his last three games (1 BB, 3 Ks). Meanwhile, the next youngster to step up has been 19-year-old Jesus Lopez. The middle infielder, who has played primarily second base this year, is 10-for-28 over his last eight games (2 BB, 4 Ks, 5 XBH). That run has raised his average up over the Mendoza Line.
Brett Siddall, OF: .313/.391/.427, 0 HR, 11 BB, 18 Ks, 151 wRC+ (110 PAs)
Skye Bolt, OF: .291/.376/.430, 2 HR, 10 BB, 16 Ks, 3 SB, 147 wRC+ (101 PAs)
Chris Iriart, 1B: .225/.316/.422, 5 HR, 12 BB, 28 Ks, 127 wRC+ (117 PAs)
Steven Pallares, OF: .149/.323/.203, 1 HR, 19 BB, 13 Ks, 80 wRC+ (93 PAs)
Jesus Lopez, 2B: .202/.258/.298, 0 HR, 7 BB, 24 Ks, 70 wRC+ (95 PAs)
Small sample statistical oddity: Lopez's OPS is higher than Pallares' by 31 points (.556 vs. .525), but Pallares has the higher wRC+ (80 vs. 70). That goes to show the importance of getting on base, as Pallares' odd batting line is ridiculously heavy on walks/OBP and light on everything else.
Boomer Biegalski, RHP: 7 games, 2.16 ERA, 33⅓ ip, 32 Ks, 7 BB, 2 HR
Kyle Friedrichs, RHP: 7 games, 2.01 ERA, 31⅓ ip, 21 Ks, 3 BB, 2 HR
Angel Duno, RHP: 6 games, 2.17 ERA, 29 ip, 26 Ks, 2 BB, 1 HR
James Naile, RHP: 6 games, 4.39 ERA, 26⅔ ip, 20 Ks, 7 BB, 0 HR
Evan Manarino, LHP: 6 games, 0.70 ERA, 25⅔ ip, 21 Ks, 3 BB, 0 HR
In particular, I absolutely love the low walk rates I'm seeing out of these guys. On the downside, right-handers Jesus Zambrano (7.30 ERA) and Dustin Driver (15 BB, 7 Ks) are still on the disabled list.
Three affiliates are in action, with the Snappers getting a day off.
Triple-A Nashville: Won 3-2! Daniel Mengden dominant again (7 ip, 8 Ks, 0 BB)
Double-A Midland: LIVE vs. Frisco. Trey Cochran-Gill is in for the injured Covey.
High-A Stockton: LIVE! Zack Erwin vs. Modesto
Could Mengden be on track to reach Oakland this year? It sounds less crazy than it did a couple months ago, or even a couple weeks ago.