The Arizona Fall League had its Opening Day on Tuesday, and the Mesa Solar Sox dropped a 7-4 decision on the road to the Scottsdale Scorpions in their opener.
None of the Oakland A’s AFL contingent pitched in the opener, but all three A’s position players started the game. Tyler Ramirez played right-field and batted lead-off for Mesa. He went 0-4 with a walk and three strike-outs. Sheldon Neuse was the DH and clean-up hitter. He went 0-3 with a walk and a run scored. Sean Murphy, who was the catcher, had a run-scoring double in four at-bats. He also had an error on a throw to second on a stolen base attempt.
The big blow in the game offensively for Scottsdale came off the bat of former A’s prospect and 2013 top pick Billy McKinney, who hit a three-run homerun in the third inning. McKinney, who is currently in the Yankees’ system, was the Scorpions’ DH. Yankees’ prospect Justus Sheffield got the start for Scottsdale and he dominated over five innings, allowing just a hit and striking out six.
Mesa plays Scottsdale again on Wednesday, this time at Sloan Park in Mesa.
Other Winter Notes:
— A’s reliever Josh Smith has been added to the Naranjeros de Hermosillo roster. Smith split the 2017 season between the A’s and the Nashville Sounds, posting a 4.89 ERA in 35 innings with the A’s and a 3.70 ERA in 41.1 innings with Nashville. He is currently on the A’s 40-man roster.
— A’s prospect Jorge Mateo joined the training camp for the Toros del Este of the Dominican Winter League this week, according to Dominican newspaper El Caribe.
— Left-hander Jhenderson Hurtado and right-hander Yordys Alejo are currently working out with Bravos de Margarita in the Venezuelan Winter League. The 21-year-old Hurtado pitched at three levels for the A’s this season (Low-A, short-season and Rookie AZL), while Alejo spent the season with Beloit. Alejo is currently a minor league free agent.
— Catcher Santiago Chavez, who spent the 2017 season with the Stockton Ports, is on the roster for the Charros de Jalisco of the Mexican Winter League along with former A’s outfielder Billy Burns.
— Outfielder Jake Smolinski, who appeared in only 13 minor league games and 16 major league games this year thanks to right shoulder surgery, will be suiting up for the Yaquis de Obregon of the Mexican Winter League this off-season to make-up for some of the time lost this year due to the shoulder injury.
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An interview with Oakland A's 2019 23rd-round pick Jack Cushing.
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Oakland A's affiliates went 3-1 on Opening Night.
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The Oakland A's released several minor league pitchers this week.