Today's match-up between the Oakland A's and Milwaukee Brewers had many familiar names and faces from their 2012 AZL teams.
The two organizations utilize their "fire league" teams differently; the Brewers see it as more of rehab league team with some younger and top draft picks, including their #1 pick, Washington State high school catcher Clint Coulter. The Green-and-Gold, however, maximize the opportunity to develop their players at every level, including in the hot Rookie League. The one advantage that I give to the Brewers is the players' names on their jerseys. What a difference it makes! Most don't do it, and it's understandable why not, but it sure makes things easier for the fans.
I walked up as Brewers RHP Mark Rogers was on the mound for the Brewers. Rogers, who made his MLB debut in 2010, has seen some time at that level the past few years while being mainly on the Triple-A roster. He was placed on the 15-day DL on March 26th with right shoulder instability. This rehab appearance is part of his path back to Nashville, the Brewers' Triple-A affiliate.
I didn't have a roster for the Brewers, but there was a right-handed pitcher who was in for 7th and 8th innings; I believe his name was Ryan Fasano. I remember him from the AZL. His wind-up is memorable, as he brings his hands above his head and then drops them to almost touch his shoulder each time. Looked good; good control. He faced Dayton Alexander, Melvin Mercedes, Andy Paz, and B.J. Boyd in the 7th. Paz was the only one to reach 1st.
Max Perlman, the 6'7" RHP out of Harvard looked good working with his catcher Beau Taylor.
Perlman was followed by RHP Deyvi Jimenez, who spent the 2012 season in Vermont. Taylor gave way to Paz, the 20-year-old who's listed as weighing 35 lbs less than Taylor. Paz, who was signed as a teenager out of France, played in the Dominican Summer League last year. I've seen Paz several times this spring. I love his quick release and accuracy of his throw to second base. Catcher Reynaldo Mateo also made a cameo appearance as a late-inning pinch-hitter.
The A's infield included Michael Soto at 1st, Melvin Mercedes at 2nd, Daniel Robertson (followed by 18-year-old Yairo Munoz) at SS, and Luis Baez at 3rd. Matt Hillsinger started in left and was followed by Dayton Alexander. B J Boyd got the start in center, and Vicmal De La Cruz and Kelvin Rojas split the game in right.
Antonio Lamas hit a three-run home run in the bottom of the 5th.
Nice to see manager Marcus Jensen leading the team again, too!
Between the wind, dust, and not having a restroom so I could take out my contacts, I left at the top of ninth. Hated to leave; so great seeing this group of talented young men. I'll be back as soon as possible.