The short-season portion of the minor league baseball schedule officially begins on June 3rd, when the Dominican Summer League kicks off its 2017 season. The short-season New York-Penn League begins its 2017 schedule on June 21 and the Arizona Rookie League follows with its Opening Day on June 24.
The A’s will have some well-known prospects on the rosters of all three short-season squads. The A’s Dominican Summer League team will open its season with high-profile international signings Lazaro Armenteros (“Lazarito”), Yerdel Vargas, Marcus Brito and George Bell on the roster, according to A’s Director of Player Development Keith Lieppman. All four players participated in the A’s US Extended Spring Training program and all four are expected to come back to the States and suit up for the A’s Arizona Rookie League team at some point later in the summer.
Right-hander Norge Ruiz, another high-profile international free agent signing, will also make his official minor league debut with the DSL A’s. Ruiz, a 23-year-old right-hander from Cuba, has been working out at the A’s Dominican Academy while trying to obtain a visa to play in the United States. It is looking likely that Ruiz will get that visa sometime in mid-June and he should report to the A’s minor league complex in Mesa, Ariz., not long after that. Until then, he will pitch for the DSL A’s. Once Ruiz arrives in the US, a determination will be made as to where he is assigned. Ruiz was projected to be at a Double-A level when he signed with the A’s in December.
A’s 2016 fourth-round pick Skylar Szynski won’t likely be on the short-season Vermont roster at the start of the New York-Penn League season. The right-hander experienced forearm soreness at the end of spring training and has been rehabbing the injury in Arizona.
In other system news, the Sounds placed RHP Raul Alcantara on the seven-day DL. Joel Seddon will make his Nashville debut on Wednesday in game two of the Sounds’ double-header with Colorado Springs.
Stockton Ports’ left-hander A.J. Puk was named the California League’s Pitcher of the Week on Tuesday. Puk has allowed just one hit over his last 10.1 innings (two starts) and he has struck-out 15 over that stretch. Puk has 69 strike-outs in 44.2 innings for Stockton this season.
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