Doolittle Signs Lengthy Extension
Over the past two seasons, Sean Doolittle has become one of the biggest fan favorites on the Oakland A's roster. The A's 2007 supplemental first-round pick made the journey from a talented but injury-prone position prospect to shutdown left-handed reliever in a remarkably short period of time (he debuted as a pitcher during the A's fall Instructional League in 2011 and was in the big leagues by early June 2012).
The A's announced on Friday that they had agreed to terms with Doolittle on a contract extension that will keep him with the organization for at least five seasons (2014-2018). There are also two option seasons (2019 and 2020).
Although he has been used mostly as a set-up man during his pro career, Doolittle could be the A's closer of the future. The hard-throwing southpaw has a career 3.10 ERA with a 129:24 K:BB in 125 innings. His career ERA+ is 123 and his career FIP is 2.56. His career WHIP is 0.99.
This season, Doolittle has a 3.12 ERA and a 9:0 K:BB in 8.2 innings. He has one save. Doolittle has allowed seven hits, including two homeruns.
Roster Moves Up And Down The Organization
Right-hander Tanner Peters was placed on the Midland RockHounds' disabled list on Friday, a day after he tossed six innings in a loss versus the San Antonio Missions. Peters allowed three earned runs (four total) on six hits and two walks. He struck-out three. In three starts for Midland, Peters has a 3.63 ERA in 17.1 innings, but his K:BB is an uncharacteristic 7:5.
Taking Peters' place in the Midland rotation is right-hander Shawn Haviland, who moves up from High-A Stockton. Haviland returns to Midland for the first time since he spent the 2011 and 2012 seasons in the RockHounds' rotation. Haviland injured his elbow during the 2012 Arizona Fall League and missed the entire 2013 season. He made three starts for Stockton this season and had a 3.24 ERA and a 14:4 K:BB in 16.2 innings. California League batters hit just .194 against him in those three starts.
Earlier in the week, Zach Neal earned a promotion from Midland to Sacramento, taking the spot in the River Cats' rotation vacated by the retired Joe Blanton. With Neal and Peters not available for Midland and Haviland joining the team, the RockHounds rotation now lines up Raul Alcantara, Chris Jensen, Drew Granier, Haviland and Nate Long. Alcantara allowed three runs in five innings in his start on Friday night. The RockHounds won the game, 4-3, in 11 innings. Long actually came on in relief in that game and was the winning pitcher after throwing two scoreless innings. The RockHounds won on a walk-off error by the Missions' reliever, Luis De La Cruz.
Earlier this week, outfielder D'Arby Myers landed on the disabled list with a fractured left wrist. He has returned to Phoenix to rehab at the A's minor league complex. The RockHounds also welcomed catcher Blake Forsythe to the team. Forsythe was acquired by the A's from the New York Mets' organization. A third-round pick of the Mets in 2010 out of Tennessee, Forsythe hit .192 with 10 homers in 88 games for the Mets' Double-A affiliate last season. He has yet to appear in a game this year. Forsythe's older brother is major league infielder Logan Forsythe.
Forsythe takes Jose Chavez's spot on the Midland roster. Chavez moved from Midland to Low-A Beloit, where he replaced Iolana Akau. Akau returned to extended spring training. Despite moving from Double-A to Low-A, Chavez is still the youngest player on the Snappers' roster (18).
There were several other moves on the Snappers' roster late this week. The Snappers placed right-hander Bobby Wahl on the disabled list on Wednesday with a strained oblique. Wahl walked six and allowed six earned runs (eight total) in 3.1 innings in his start on Tuesday. The A's also sent Snappers' reliever Trevor Bayless back to extended spring training. Bayless allowed seven runs in four innings over four appearances.
Joining the Snappers from extended spring training were right-handers Dominique Vattuone and Junior Mendez. Vattuone allowed two runs in one inning with three strike-outs in his Snappers' debut on Thursday. Mendez debuted on Friday and he tossed 2.1 scoreless innings. He struck-out three, walked two and allowed two hits.
It has been a struggle for the Snappers as a team over the past 10 days, but starters Kyle Finnegan and Ronald Herrera have provided bright spots. Finnegan has allowed just three runs in three starts this season (17 innings). He has just seven strike-outs, but he has allowed only 18 base-runners. Herrera has similar numbers. He has allowed three runs in two starts (12 innings). He has just six strike-outs, but he has allowed only 15 base-runners in 12 innings.
The Stockton Ports welcomed right-hander Hunter Adkins to the roster on Thursday. He replaces Haviland. Adkins began the year at extended spring training. He was a undrafted free agent signing last summer, but he impressed, posting a 3.24 ERA in 41.2 innings for the A's two short-season clubs last year. Adkins debuted for Stockton on Thursday and allowed two runs in 1.2 innings on one hit and one walk. He struck-out three.
Stockton is only 6-10 on the season, and they have already had to fight through a lot of injuries. They have dropped four games in a row, including a 10-5 loss to Inland Empire on Friday. A's 2013 top pick Billy McKinney hit his team-leading sixth homer in the loss.
Sacramento moved to 10-6 on Friday with a 4-2 win over the Fresno Grizzlies. Arnold Leon went a season-high six innings to earn the win. He allowed two runs (one earned) on six hits and two walks. Leon struck-out five. Paul Smyth, Jeremy McBryde and Evan Scribner each tossed a scoreless inning in relief of Leon. Smyth and Scribner have still not allowed a run this season. Kent Matthes hit two doubles in the win. Tyler Ladendorf reached base twice on a hit and a walk, but he saw his average actually go down to .410.