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Oakland A’s Minor League Notebook: Injuries strike RockHounds

Injuries have hit the entire Oakland A’s organization hard of late, and the Midland RockHounds were particularly impacted on Wednesday. Notes on Midland roster changes, Jesse Hahn’s rehab start and more…

Richie Martin / Photo by Kimberly Contreras
Richie Martin was hit in the face by a pitch on Tuesday. / Photo by Kimberly Contreras

Trio of RockHounds hit the disabled list

Injuries have hit the Oakland A’s minor league system hard of late, and the injury bug took a huge bite out of the Midland RockHounds on Wednesday. Shortstop Richie Martin, second baseman Max Schrock and right-handed starter James Naile all were placed on the disabled list on Wednesday.

Martin was beaned in the face by a pitch on Tuesday night and suffered a broken nose. According to Oakland A’s Director of Player Development Keith Lieppman, Martin will visit a specialist on Friday to determine if he needs surgery. Needless to say, Martin will be out for several weeks. Schrock returned to the field on Tuesday for the first time since May 24 and had a season-high four hits, but he aggravated a combo Achilles-hamstring injury. He has a nine-game hitting streak that began on May 16. Naile was scratched right before his May 20th start with an oblique strain and hasn’t pitched since May 14.

Replacing Martin, Schrock and Naile on the Midland roster were utilityman Jermaine Curtis, outfielder Kenny Wilson and catcher Beau Taylor. Curtis was a non-roster invite to A’s big league camp, but he suffered an injury during spring training and had been at Extended Spring Training until Wednesday. Taylor also joined the RockHounds from Extended. He completed his suspension for a violation of baseball’s prohibited substance policy. Wilson joined Midland from Nashville, where he was batting .248 with a 571 OPS.

The new-look RockHounds waited out a mid-game one-hour-and-20-minute rain delay but earned a 7-5 win over the Arkansas Travelers. Evan Manarino, in his Double-A debut, went six innings to earn the win. He allowed two runs on nine hits and didn’t walk a batter. The left-hander struck-out one.

Reliever Sam Bragg had a rare rough outing, allowing three runs in 1.1 innings. However, closer Kyle Finnegan kept the Travelers from drawing any closer, working 1.2 scoreless frames to earn his seventh save of the season. He struck-out two and lowered his ERA to 2.31.

The Midland offense pounded out 16 hits and every RockHounds’ hitter had at least one. Newcomers Taylor, Wilson and Curtis each had multi-hit games. Taylor had three hits, including a triple, while Curtis had two doubles and Wilson had a triple and a single.

Yairo Munoz got the game off to a good start for Midland with a first-inning homer. It was his third of the season. Munoz also walked and is now batting .287 with an 826 OPS after a slow start to his season. J.P. Sportman — playing second base in Schrock’s place — hit his sixth homer of the season as part of a three-hit night. He upped his average to .279. B.J. Boyd also had a two-hit game.

Hahn solid in Ports’ win

Oakland A’s right-hander Jesse Hahn had a successful rehab start for the Stockton Ports in their 3-2 win over the Lancaster JetHawks. Hahn worked 5.1 innings, allowing two runs on four hits and one walk. According to Ports’ broadcaster Zack Bayrouty, Hahn’s fastball sat 92-95 MPH.

Hahn allowed a first inning run when a two-out walk came around to score after a stolen base, a wild pitch and a single. That is all Hahn would allow until the final batter he faced in the sixth, Brendan Rodgers, who hit a long homerun. Hahn threw 75 pitches, 43 for strikes.

The Ports managed just seven hits on offense, but three were doubles. Sean Murphy‘s two-RBI double was the big blow in the three-run sixth for Stockton. Murphy has a nine-game hitting streak that began when he came off of the disabled list on May 17.

Will Gilbert took over for Hahn in the sixth and worked 2.2 scoreless innings to bridge the gap to the closer Nolan Blackwood, who worked a perfect ninth inning to earn his fifth save of the season. Gilbert got the win, his first for Stockton.

Longball chases Snappers in loss

The Beloit Snappers allowed four homeruns — two of them grandslams — in a 13-3 drubbing at the hands of the Clinton LumberKings.

Starter Mitchell Jordan allowed a grandslam in the first and another in the third. He allowed nine runs in three innings. Jesus Zambrano took over in the fourth and he mostly stopped the bleeding. He allowed a two-run homer in the fourth and a solo homer in the eighth but saved the bullpen by throwing 4.2 innings. Sam Sheehan threw 1.1 scoreless innings to round out the game.

There wasn’t much going on the offensive side of the ball for the Snappers, either, although Luis Barrera and Luke Persico each had two hits. Edwin Diaz also had a hit and two RBI. He is now batting .293 and has an 11-game hitting streak, but he left the game early after being hit by a pitch. Miguel Mercedes hit a solo homerun in the game, his 10th of the season.

Before the game, Snappers’ outfielder Mike Martin landed on the 7-day DL. Jean Carlo Rodriguez joined the Beloit roster from Extended Spring Training.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. James

    May 31, 2017 at 10:40 pm

    I saw Jesse in Stockton. He looked good. The curveball had a lot of bite.

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