Whitaker Moves Up
After a standout first-half, outfielder Josh Whitaker is now just one step from the big leagues. Whitaker earned a promotion to Triple-A Sacramento on Thursday after posting a .320/.367/.523 line in 51 games with the Midland RockHounds. He hit nine homers and drove-in 42. Whitaker recently played in the Texas League All-Star Game.
This will be Whitaker's first stint at the Triple-A level. The A's 25th-round pick in 2010 has had some bad luck with injuries during his career, but when he has been healthy, he has been productive. In 403 career minor league games, the Georgia native has a .284/.352/.484 line with 62 homers. He also has one of the strongest throwing arms of any outfielder in the A's system.
Whitaker took catcher Blake Forsythe's spot on the River Cats' roster. Forsythe was only with the River Cats for a few days while they filled the hole left by an injury to back-up catcher Ryan Lipkin. The A's recently signed minor league free agent Luis Exposito and assigned him to Sacramento on Thursday (more on him later).
Sacramento also placed Tyler Ladendorf on the suspended list. MLB announced on Wednesday that Ladendorf would be suspended for 50 games for his second positive test for a drug of abuse. The River Cats will miss Ladendorf, who was batting .305/.387/.429 while playing excellent defense.
Whitaker's spot in the Midland roster will be taken by D'Arby Myers, who returned to the active roster on Wednesday. Myers had been out since April 15 with a broken wrist. He was hitting .324 with a 958 OPS at the time of the injury. Myers rehabbed with the A's Arizona Rookie League team and he had three hits and four walks in 10 at-bats.
A's Sign Veteran Catcher
With Ryan Lipkin on the DL and Stephen Vogt looking like a permanent member of the Oakland A's roster, the Sacramento River Cats were in need of a veteran Triple-A catcher to pair with Ryan Ortiz. The A's signed Luis Exposito to fill that role.
Exposito began the year in the Detroit Tigers' organization, but he was released after hitting .177 in 29 games with Triple-A Toledo. A Florida native, Exposito was the Boston Red Sox's 31st round pick in 2005. He hit .293 with 21 homers and an 838 OPS in 2008, his best season as a pro. Exposito posted OPSs of 778 in 2009 and 756 in 2010 before struggling with the bat in 2011.
In 2012, Exposito was claimed off waivers by the Baltimore Orioles and he made his major-league debut with the Orioles on May 4, 2012. He appeared in nine games with the Orioles and collected one hit and three walks in nine games played. He spent the rest of the 2012 season and all of the 2013 season with Triple-A Norfolk. A minor league free agent this off-season, Exposito signed a minor league deal with Detroit.
More Draft Picks on the Move
With a few professional innings under their belts, A's 2014 draft picks Brendan McCurry and Corey Miller are leaving Arizona. McCurry will join fellow 2014 picks Matt Chapman and Joel Seddon on Low-A Beloit. Miller will head to short-season Vermont.
McCurry threw 1.1 scoreless innings for Arizona. He struck-out two, walked none and allowed two hits. McCurry was the A's 22nd-round pick this season out of Oklahoma State. He served as the Cowboys' closer and is expected to be part of the Snappers' bullpen.
Miller was the A's 10th-round pick this year. The 6'3'' right-hander was a starter for Pepperdine and is likely to join the Vermont tandem-starting rotation. He made one appearance for the AZL A's, allowing two runs on two hits in 3.1 innings. Miller struck-out three and walked one.
Parrino Walks-Off For Sacramento
In a game televised nationally by CBS Sports, the Sacramento River Cats received some walk-off magic by the player aptly named the Magician. Andy Parrino is known mostly for his glove, but he has swung a hot back for Sacramento this season and that continued on Thursday when he hit a two-run, walk-off homer in the bottom of the 11th. The homer gave the River Cats a 7-5 win.
The homer was Parrino's fifth of the season. Shane Peterson had three RBI and Nate Freiman and Colin Walsh each had two hits in the win. Sacramento had a 5-2 lead heading into the eight, but Eric O'Flaherty allowed two runs in the eighth and Jeremy McBryde allowed a run in the ninth to send it into extras. Josh Lindblom had a strong start, allowing two runs in seven innings. He didn't walk a batter and he struck-out one.
Olson Homers Twice But Ports' Fall
The Stockton Ports' streak is over at nine wins. Despite a two-homer night from Matt Olson, the Ports couldn't hold off the Bakersfield Blaze and they fell, 7-5.
Olson's homers were his league-leading 21st and 22nd of the year. It was his third two-homer game since the end of the All-Star break. He has seven homers in those eight games.
Billy McKinney and Ryon Healy each chipped in with three-hit nights in the loss. McKinney also had a sacrifice.