During the off-season, we named our top-50 prospects in the Oakland A's system. Now that we have…
Oakland A's MLN: Gray Gets Call
For the fourth time this season, the Oakland A's are calling on the services of right-hander Jeff Gray. In each of his first two stints with the A's in 2009, Gray has made one appearance before being sent back to Sacramento. In total, he has faced five batters in the big leagues this season, retiring all five with one strike-out.
If Gray remains with the A's, he will be missed by the River Cats' bullpen. Gray has been outstanding this season for Sacramento, leading the team with 16 saves and posting a 1.54 ERA in 41 innings. He has allowed only 30 hits and six walks and has held opposing batters to a .200 average. Gray made his major league debut with the A's last September, when he allowed four runs in 4.2 innings.
Gray will be replacing Chad Reineke, who was optioned to Sacramento, on the A's roster. Reineke was called up on Wednesday to make a spot start for Dallas Braden, who is battling an inflamed infection on his ankle. Reineke allowed four runs in five innings against the Rangers in a game the A's would win, 7-5. Reineke is 5-4 with a 4.37 ERA in 94.2 innings for Sacramento this season.
We touched base with A's Director of Player Development Keith Lieppman to get some rehab updates on the following players:
Fautino De Los Santos: De Los Santos, who had Tommy John surgery last year, hasn't pitched in a game since July 10th, when he reported soreness in his elbow after a two-inning outing. According to Lieppman, De Los Santos is throwing bullpens and should be ready to make another appearance for the Arizona League A's soon. He is likely to pitch in the A's US Instructional League this fall.
Mychael Ynoa: Ynoa is also on-track to pitch in the A's US Instructional League this fall, according to Lieppman. Ynoa has missed the entire Arizona Rookie League season with a sore elbow. He isn't expected to pitch during the regular season.
Sean Doolittle: Doolittle is continuing to rehab his knee, according to Lieppman, and is actively looking to play in a winter ball league to make up for some of the lost at-bats from this season. He has been out since May with a tear in his patella tendon. It isn't clear whether Doolittle will get back onto the field during the regular season.
Andrew Carignan: Carignan has returned home to continue his rehab on a sore arm that has caused him to miss most of the season. The reliever is questionable to play in winter ball this season, according to Lieppman.
Josh Leyland: Leyland appeared in two Rookie League games after signing with the A's in late July, but he hasn't taken the field since July 28th. The 18-year-old catcher is battling a strained quad, according to Lieppman, and is day-to-day.
Other News and Notes
* Grant Desme continues to inch closer to the hallowed 30/30 plateau. The Stockton outfielder hit two homeruns on Wednesday night and now has 25 on the season. He has 35 stolen bases.
* James Simmons struck-out a season-best 11 batters in Sacramento's win on Wednesday over Oklahoma City. Simmons went six scoreless innings, allowing three hits and two walks. The River Cats wound-up striking out 16 OKC batters in the game. Since the All-Star break, Simmons is 3-0 with a 3.75 ERA and 23 strike-outs in 24 innings.
* Matt Carson had a big game in support of Simmons, going 3-4 with two doubles, a stolen base and two RBIs. Chris Denorfia added his fifth homer of the season and drove-in two. Brett Tomko made his River Cats' debut, tossing one perfect inning in relief. Sacramento won 7-1.
* A red-hot Chris Carter extended his hitting streak to a Texas League season-best 20 games on Wednesday. He is batting .468 with five homeruns and 21 RBIs during that streak. On the season, Carter is batting .329 with 19 homers, 84 RBIs and a 980 OPS for the Midland Rockhounds.
* Jemile Weeks has hit safely in his first three games for Midland. He went 2-5 on Wednesday night and is now 4-11 with a double and a walk.
* Since being signed out of the independent leagues two weeks ago, Kyle Middleton has made his mark with Midland. In three starts, Middleton has a 1.29 ERA and has allowed only 13 hits in 31 innings.
* Michael Spina hit his fifth homerun for Kane County and went 3-4 in the Cougars' 3-1 win on Wednesday. Spina is batting .276 with 18 RBIs in 24 games with Kane County.
* Scott Deal earned the win with two perfect innings in relief. He has a 3.00 ERA and a 43:16 K:BB ratio in 54 innings for Kane County this season.
* Conner Crumbliss raised his average to .329 with Vancouver by going 2-6 with a double and an RBI in the C's 3-2 loss on Wednesday. Crumbliss has a 908 OPS for Vancouver.
* On Tuesday, Ronny Morla struck-out a season-best 12 batters in only 5.2 innings for Vancouver. That included seven straight strike-outs at one point in the outing. He walked only one and allowed only one hit. Morla led the Northwest League in strike-outs last season. He has 38 in 34 innings this year.
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