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Grant Holmes, Logan Shore make debut starts in Oakland A’s system

2nd-round pick Logan Shore is finally pitching in the A's system.
2nd-round pick Logan Shore is finally pitching in the A's system.
Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

The Oakland A's have added a lot of exciting prospects lately, both through the draft and the trade deadline. We already looked at acquisition Jharel Cotton's first game for Triple-A Nashville, but a couple more new pitchers have made their debuts in the A's system the last couple days as well: acquisition Grant Holmes in High-A, and 2nd-round draft pick Logan Shore in Low-A.

Shore was the No. 47 overall pick in the entire draft this year, but for whatever reason it took him a little longer than the rest of the guys to get signed and out on the field. The right-hander finally debuted on Thursday for Low-A Vermont, throwing two scoreless innings with the following line: 2 ip, 0 runs, 0 K, 1 BB, 1 hit, 30 pitches. It was a brief debut, just like with teammate A.J. Puk and many other draftees, but at least he's been on a mound and thrown a professional game. His career has begun. Just don't expect much this year, says A's special assistant Grady Fuson (via A's Farm):

Shore's going to be limited. He was a 100+ innings guy in college. He's going to go to Vermont and maybe pitch occasionally out of the bullpen. They may start him, but it's not going to be with any depth.

Click here for more on Shore.

Holmes, meanwhile, was the headliner in the deal that sent Josh Reddick and Rich Hill to the Dodgers. The right-hander is a Top 100 prospect and probably Top 3 in the A's system, but his debut for High-A Stockton on Friday was a bit rocky. His line: 4 ip, 6 runs, 4 ER, 1 K, 1 BB, 8 hits, 78 pitches. He's still having a solid year overall, and he's still a 20-year-old who is one of the youngest players in the whole Cal League, so a debut dud is nothing to actually worry about even though a gem would have made a much better first impression. Here is a recently updated scouting report from Baseball Prospectus to make you feel better:

The raw stuff has ticked up, though, and he's demonstrated the kind of growth and development you want to see this year. The pitches work well together, helping the sum of the package play up and offset a fringier fine-command profile. This is a quality starting pitching prospect with a relatively straight path to the middle of a big-league rotation.

Click here for more on Holmes.

Manarino promoted

Holmes isn't the only new face in Stockton, as Evan Manarino was called up from Single-A Beloit. The lefty starter was an All-Star for the Snappers this year, with a 2.15 ERA and five strikeouts for every walk. Manarino was a 25th-round pick in 2015, so frankly he's already exceeded expectations for his draft slot and it'll be great to see how he responds to this next challenge. He took the spot of right-hander Michael Murray (32nd round, 2015), who posted a 7.62 ERA in three starts for Stockton but is now headed back to Beloit.

Manarino made his High-A debut on Friday, in relief of Holmes -- it was a piggyback starter arrangement, with both throwing four innings. We saw Holmes' line above, but Manarino calmed things down when he entered and posted the following numbers: 4 ip, 0 runs, 5 Ks, 1 BB, 1 hit, 56 pitches. Manarino has already thrown a career-high 125⅔ innings this year, so we'll have to see what kind of workload they give to the 23-year-old from here on out. Can he show enough in High-A the rest of the season for the A's to fast-track him to Double-A to begin 2017?

Season stats

Hitters (thru 112 games)

Name Pos Avg/OBP/SLG HR BB% K% wRC+
James Harris OF .309/.386/.429 6 10.0% 21.3% 126
Sandber Pimentel 1B .251/.345/.484 20 11.2% 29.6% 124
B.J. Boyd OF .295/.354/.397 6 7.6% 16.3% 105
Seth Brown OF .232/.338/.344 5 12.6% 22.0% 92
Mikey White IF .241/.311/.347 4 7.8% 27.2% 83
Richie Martin SS .202/.291/.259 1 8.9% 20.0% 58

Pimentel is hot, with nine homers in 28 games since the beginning of July (he's 7-for-19 with 3 HR in August so far). On the other hand, Richie Martin. Dang.


Evan Manarino LHP 1 0.00 4 5 1 0 1.94
Casey Meisner RHP 23 4.20 96⅓ 76 47 12 5.29
Kyle Friedrichs RHP 13 4.71 72⅔ 59 7 8 3.87
James Naile RHP 3 4.86 16⅔ 17 5 1 3.33
Brett Graves RHP 22 5.00 117 67 37 11 4.90
Grant Holmes RHP 1 9.00 4 1 1 0 4.69
... Bullpen ...
Cody Stull LHP 29 1.74 46⅔ 55 11 2 2.73

Friedrichs has cooled off, with a 6.95 ERA in his last four starts (22 ip, 17 ER), but he's still only walked two batters in that span. With Daniel Gossett and Heath Fillmyer up in Double-A, and Zack Erwin back down in Single-A, there's been a bit of a changing of the guard here. The good news is that there are still names in this new rotation that are genuinely worth watching.

Saturday's games

All five affiliates are in action

Triple-A Nashville: 5:05 p.m., Daniel Mengden vs. Colorado Springs
Double-A Midland: 5:00 p.m., Corey Walter vs. Corpus Christi
High-A Stockton: 5:00 p.m., Brett Graves vs. San Jose
Single-A Beloit: 4:30 p.m., Zack Erwin vs. Clinton
Low-A Vermont: LIVE, Dakota Chalmers vs. State College

All five guys are interesting, to varying degrees. If Mengden does indeed pitch tonight, is that a hint that he's not joining Oakland's rotation anytime soon? (Certainly not for whenever they next need a fill-in early next week.)

Link to box scores