Notes From Sacramento

Barton and the 'Cats took on Recker and the Ports.

As part of their final tune-ups for the season, the Sacramento River Cats and the Stockton Ports are playing a home-and-home scrimmage set against one another. On Tuesday, the A's affiliates were in Sacramento for a scrimmage. We have notes from that game, including updates on Javier Herrera, Justin Sellers and more...

- The game itself was played by minor league spring training rules, which is to say that there were a few unconventional aspects to the game. The teams worked with only two umpires and, at times, an inning would end before there were three outs if a pitcher had reached his allotted pitch total. The River Cats "won" the scrimmage by a score of 7-5.

- Javier Herrera, one of the A's top prospects, looks to be close to 100 percent in his recovery from Tommy John surgery. The five-tool outfielder was supposed to be limited in his throwing early in the season, but he didn't look limited in a fielding practice before the scrimmage. He launched a number of strong throws from center to homeplate, many coming in on a perfect line.

- Herrera also put on quite a show in batting practice, as he launched numerous balls well over the fence in left and straight-away center. He followed that with an opposite field gap double during the scrimmage against the River Cats. Herrera was later robbed off another double by Sacramento's Hiram Bocachica, who made a nice running catch in the alley in right-center.

- Bocachica and Lou Merloni both launched long homers for Sacramento during the scrimmage.

- The Ports batting order featured Cliff Pennington at the top of the order and Justin Sellers in the ninth spot, giving the Ports speed at the top and bottom of the oder.

- Pennington and Sellers are both traditionally shortstops, but it was Pennington at short and Sellers at second in the scrimmage. It appears that Sellers will play a lot of second base while Pennington is still on the Ports. Pennington appears to be completely recovered from his hamstring injuries from last season. He had a lead-off double to start the game and later legged out an infield hit.

- Lefty Ben Jukich got the start for Stockton and he pitched into the fifth inning. Jukich threw 70 pitches and if he stays on turn, he should make his first official start of the season on Sunday at Stockton.

- The River Cats used a series of relievers in the scrimmage, with Shawn Kohn "starting" the game, followed by a group of relievers that included Marcus McBeth, Santiago Casilla and Ron Flores.

- Sacramento's starting infield featured Kurt Suzuki behind the plate, Daric Barton at first, Kevin Melillo at second, Donnie Murphy at short and Lou Merloni at third. The River Cats roster could change early in the season, as the team awaits word on whether Antonio Perez (designated for assignment on Sunday) will pass through waivers.

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