Medical updates, roster moves, awards


by Charlie O. Mallonee

Alvarez shutdown for the season

The comeback of right-handed pitcher Henderson Alvarez has come to an abrupt halt after another disappointing development in his rehabilitation.

The A’s signed Alvarez expecting that he could return to pitching as soon as May as he recovered from shoulder surgery. There have been three attempts to get Alvarez ready in the minor leagues to make his major league comeback, but all have fallen short.

The next step is for Alvarez is to see Dr. James Andrews who will examine the shoulder and recommend further action. A recent MRI showed no structural damage but a second shoulder surgery looms as a possibility.

The 26-year-old Alvarez is under the A’s control for 2017, but a shoulder surgery would mean he would be unable to pitch next year. The A’s would have to decide if they would want to invest in a contract that would not pay off until 2018.

“I really feel bad for him,” Melvin said Tuesday. “This is a guy that’s worked so hard to get back with us and been right on the cusp a couple different times and had to go back and go through the rehab process again, which is very difficult to do, so my heart goes out to him.”

There is another Alcantara in the house

 The A’s have added another player to the expanded September roster. Infielder/outfielder Arismendy Alcantara was recalled from the Stockton Ports on Tuesday. This will be the fourth time Alcantara has been on the Major League roster this season.

Alcantara was used a pinch runner in the Tuesday night game versus the Angels. After Billy Butler singled in the eighth inning, Alcantara ran for Butler and scored the A’s second run of the game when Joey Wendle singled to right field.

A’s claim RHP off waivers from Tigers

 The A’s claimed right-handed pitcher Donn Roach off waivers from the Detroit Tigers. Roach was assigned to Triple-A Nashville. The Sounds will need pitching help for the Pacific Coast League Playoffs as they have lost three starting pitchers – Mengden, Alcantara and Cotton – to the A’s expanded Major League roster.

Roach started the season in the Seattle organization. He made four relief appearances for the Mariners and 17 starts for Triple-A Tacoma before being designated for assignment on August 6.

The TigerS claimed the 26-year-old Roach off waivers and assigned him to Triple-A Toledo. He made five starts for the Mud Hens and posted a 3-1 record with a 3.03 ERA.

Roach made his Major League debut in 2014 with the San Diego Padres. He has also pitched for the Cubs in the big leagues.

A’s nominate Doolittle for Clemente Award

 The Oakland A’s have selected relief pitcher Sean Doolittle as the A’s nominee for the 2016 Roberto Clemente Award for his outstanding efforts in the community.

Each Major League team nominates a player they believe deserves the award based on their service to the community.

Doolittle works to assist military families, is a leader among Major Leaguers in helping to create LBGT alliances  and hosted a Thanksgiving dinner for Syrian refugees at his home in Chicago.

The award is named after and is a tribute to the Hall of Fame baseball player and great humanitarian who lost his life in an airplane crash bringing aid to earthquake victims in Nicaragua in 1972.

Fans can vote for their favorite nominee by posting the nominee’s hashtag to @MLB on Twitter or on Doolittle’s hashtag is #VoteDoolittle.

Scarsone named PCL Manager of the Year

 Nashville Sounds manager Steve Scarsone has been named Pacific Coast League Manager of the Year. The award is given based the voting of the league’s managers and media representatives.

Nashville – which won the American Southern Division title – had 22 players spend time with the Sounds before being called up to the Oakland A’s this season. Of the Athletics’ current 25-man roster, 14 were with Nashville before being promoted to Oakland.

Scarsone is in his fourth season as the A’s Triple-A manager having been the skipper in Sacramento prior to the move to Nashville. He has been a manager in the A’s minor league system in Class-A and Double-A as well.

Scarsone played seven seasons in the Major Leagues as a utility infielder.

Christenson awarded Texas League Manager of the Year

 Midland RockHounds manager Ryan Christenson has been named Manager of the Year in the Texas League. He is currently trying to lead his team to its second consecutive Texas League Championship.

Christenson is in his second year as manager at Midland. He managed for the A’s minor league teams in Beloit and Stockton before being promoted to the Double-A RockHounds.

Christenson spent parts of six seasons in the Major Leagues with most of his games being played for the Oakland Athletics. He also spent time with Arizona, Milwaukee and Texas.

A’s minor league spotlight: Franklin Barreto



by Charlie O. Mallonee

The Oakland Athletics will be looking for prospects just like the one who is in out minor league spotlight this week as they move veteran players to playoff contenders between now and August 1st. Infielder Franklin Barreto is ranked the number one prospect in the A’s minor league system and he was acquired from the Toronto Blue Jays as a part of the Josh Donaldson trade that also brought Kendall Graveman to the Athletics.

Barreto was originally signed by Toronto for $1.45 million in 2012. Barreto began to catch everyone’s attention in 2014 when he led the Northwest League in multiple categories. He had a .311 batting average and .384 on base percentage. Barreto was seen as a major piece of the Donaldson trade.

After joining the A’s organization, Barreto was assigned to Advanced Class-A Stockton in the California league. He immediately found success at the plate hitting .302 with an OBP of .333. Barreto had 13 home runs and 22 doubles in 90 games, but his season was cut short when he suffered a wrist contusion in late July that put him on the disabled list for the rest of the year.

The scouts rank Barreto as an above average hitter with average power but some see him with more than average power. He is rated as a average runner. Barreto is said to have an outstanding arm but is considered to be a below average fielder.

Barreto is currently assigned to Double-A Midland of the Texas League. He has appeared in 87 games and currently has a .258 batting average with a .321 on base percentage and a .387 slugging percentage. Barreto has 17 doubles, two triples, seven home runs and 32 RBI. He 22-for-32 in the stolen base department. Based on his current hitting statistics, Barreto will probably be looking at spending at least the first half of the 2017 season back Midland.

Barreto has also struggled defensively. His original position was shortstop but there was a problem with to many errors being committed. At Midland this season, they have used Barreto at second base and at shortstop. He has committed three errors in 28 games at second and 14 errors in 56 games at short. With shortstop Marcus Semien in the majors and Triple-A All-Star shortstop Chad Pinder at Nashville, Barreto’s future may be at second base or at a corner spot in the outfield.

Barreto was selected to the Texas League South Division All-Star Team. He played second base and hit a double in the game that the South Division won 8-3.