5

A’s trade Dana Eveland to Toronto for player to be named or cash

The A’s just announced they’ve traded left-hander Dana Eveland to the Toronto Blue Jays for a player to be named later or cash considerations. Eveland was designated for assignment Monday along with infielder Gregorio Petit, and the A’s had 10 days from that point to trade, release or send each player to the minors if they cleared waivers. Petit’s status is still pending.

Eveland was part of the six-player package the A’s received from Arizona in the Dan Haren trade prior to the 2008 season. He opened each of the last two years in Oakland’s rotation. After going 9-9 with a 4.34 ERA in 29 starts in 2008, he struggled to find any kind of consistency in 2009, spending most of the season w/Triple-A Sacramento.

Just two of the six players received in that Arizona trade are still w/the A’s — Brett Anderson and Chris Carter. Shortly after that deal, a scout told me that if just two of the six players turned into impact major leaguers, the deal would be a success for the A’s. They have to be happy w/Anderson’s development at this point, and they’re obviously high on Carter’s potential. They’ve taken others received from that trade — Carlos Gonzalez, Greg Smith and Aaron Cunningham — and flipped them in deals that eventually netted a starting third baseman (Kevin Kouzmanoff) and highly rated outfield prospect (Michael Taylor).

How do you critique that Dan Haren trade to this point. Is the jury still out?

0

Crosby reinstated from DL; Patterson draws start in left field

Trevor Cahill takes the hill today as the A’s try to claim this three-game series against Kansas City. You have to like their chances based on how Cahill has pitched over his last four outings. If he is dialed in, it’ll be interesting to see how long Bob Geren sticks w/him. Out of all four of the rookies in the rotation, the A’s are most concerned with the innings Cahill and Brett Anderson are piling up. Cahill leads major league rookies with 153 1/3 IP.

No Scott Hairston in left field today after he aggravated his left quad last night. Geren thinks Hairston could return tomorrow or Friday, but Eric Patterson starts today, and it wouldn’t surprise me to see Patterson in left for the next couple of days. If Hairston doesn’t show signs of improvement, Geren said the A’s would consider calling up another outfielder (figure Travis Buck or Aaron Cunningham as leading candidates in that scenario). But I wouldn’t say there’s a ton of concern over Hairston right now. As for today, Geren said he’d like to try getting the running game going, so if Patterson gets on base, look for him to be active …

–Bobby Crosby was reinstated from the DL as expected, and you can expect to see him at third base in this weekend’s Seattle series. Adam Kennedy can flat-out use a break right now, wouldn’t you say? He hasn’t had an extra-base hit in his past 16 games, and with the Mariners starting left-handers Friday and Saturday, Geren said he’ll start Crosby at third one of those days. Geren even mentioned giving Crosby a possible start at first base over the weekend.

–No shocker here, as Geren said he’ll stick w/Edgar Gonzalez in the rotation based on last night’s solid outing. But Gonzalez’s next turn would fall on Monday’s day off, so there’s a possibility he could be skipped …

Today’s lineups

A’s
Kennedy 3B
Davis CF
Sweeney RF
Cust DH
Powell C
Ellis 2B
Barton 1B
Pennington SS
Patterson LF

Cahill RHP

Royals
DeJesus LF
Bloomquist 2B
Callaspo 3B
Jacobs 1B
Pena C
Guillen DH
Maier RF
Betancourt SS
Anderson CF

Bannister RHP

0

Cunningham optioned to minors to make room for Tomko; other pregame happenings

The expected media throng is here for the Yankees’ only visit to Oakland this season. We’ll see how big of a crowd shows up for these three games, and (as is always the case) how many are actually rooting for the home team as opposed to the Pinstripes.

Brett Tomko takes the hill tonight after getting called up from Triple-A Sacramento. It was interesting to see him take the field and stretch w/the team before batting practice. Normally, a starting pitcher just chills in the clubhouse and gets ready on his own schedule. But you figure Tomko showed up today probably not knowing most of his new teammates. He probably wanted to shake as many hands as possible, rather than take the mound w/a bunch of strangers around him. But this is Tomko’s ninth team, and he’s making his 261st start, so he knows the drill.

Surely he won’t lack motivation, being he was released by the Yankees on July 29 after making 15 relief appearances. The A’s have been stretching him out as a starter since signing him, but he won’t pitch very deep tonight. Bob Geren said he’d be happy if Tomko gave him five innings. Geren also mentioned that Dallas Braden (left ankle) probably wouldn’t be ready to start next time through the rotation, so Tomko could get more than one turn if he’s decent tonight. …

–Outfielder Aaron Cunningham was optioned to Sacramento to make roster room for Tomko. It was an odd stint with the big club for Cunningham, who was up for seven games and got just one start and seven at-bats. Granted, he dropped a fly ball yesterday, but he hardly got a look. And Cunningham, a quiet and very good-natured guy, was shocked by the news. The A’s also didn’t notify him until long after he arrived at the clubhouse, after he had already started preparing for the game, which is never a good way to handle things …

–Former Athletic and current Yankee Nick Swisher remains as nutty as ever. He spent some time in the A’s clubhouse socializing with his old friends, and was smiling and shaking hands like a politician.

There’s also been a Reggie Jackson sighting. He’s working for the Yanks these days …

Here’s tonight’s lineups, featuring Bobby Crosby at first base instead of Tommy Everidge, who’s struggled of late. It’s a mental and physical day off, as Geren put it:

A’s
Kennedy 3B
Davis CF
Suzuki C
Hairston LF
Sweeney RF
Ellis 2B
Cust DH
Crosby 1B
Pennington SS

Tomko RHP

Yanks
Jeter DH
Damon LF
Teixeira 1B
Rodriguez 3B
Posada C
Cano 2B
Swisher RF
Cabrera CF
Pena SS

Burnett RHP

0

Nomar activated from the DL

Just before first pitch tonight, the A’s announced that infielder Nomar Garciaparra was activated from the disabled list. Outfielder Aaron Cunningham was optioned to Triple-A to make room for him. Obviously the results from Garciaparra’s recent MRI must have been encouraging, though reporters weren’t given much information on the topic.

Garciaparra isn’t starting, and I’m not sure when we’ll see him get his first start. But he’s definitely a pinch-hitting option tonight, and could play defensively if he’s part of a double switch …

0

A’s 4, Twins 3

Just a quick update on the A’s outfield corps, which has suddenly gotten pretty thin. Aaron Cunningham left tonight’s game with a concussion after he was beaned in the helmet by an Anthony Swarzak fastball. Cunningham was taken to the hospital for X-rays, but there was no further update on his condition. The A’s were already down to four outfielders, because Ryan Sweeney went on the DL and they chose to promote first baseman Daric Barton rather than another outfielder. A trip to the DL would certainly seem possible for Cunningham, but we’ll know more tomorrow.

–Anyone out there got any thoughts on who the A’s will choose with the 13th pick in the draft tomorrow? The common logic is it will be a pitcher, since the top of the draft is so deep with pitching. I threw out a few candidates in my notebook for tomorrow’s paper, so check that out.

A couple names I didn’t throw out:

–Arizona State right-hander Mike Leake. The A’s drafted this kid out of high school back in 2006, and now he’s one of the top right-handers in this year’s class after a standout career as a Sun Devil. He doesn’t blow up the radar gun, but he’s said to have great command, and we know the A’s often value that more than velocity (see James Simmons: 2007).

–We’re talking a real dark-horse candidate here, but keep the name Mike Trout in mind. He’s a high school center fielder from New Jersey that Baseball America projects will go in the first round. I know GM Billy Beane was in New Jersey doing some scouting recently, though he could have been checking out any number of prospects. Anyway, this is a longshot, since the A’s haven’t taken a high school position player in the first round since Eric Chavez in 1996. But scouts think Trout is a five-tool guy, and his competitiveness draws comparisons to Aaron Rowand.
Just throwing this one out there.

When it comes to outfielders, they could also consider Sacramento State’s Tim Wheeler or Notre Dame’s A.J. Pollock. Or, they could just do the expected thing and grab a pitcher. We’ll find out tomorrow …

0

Buck placed on DL

It figured that roster moves were coming down today. The A’s placed Travis Buck on the 15-day DL with a strained left oblique muscle and optioned reliever Jeff Gray to the minors. Infielder Gregorio Petit and outfielder Aaron Cunningham were recalled from Triple-A Sacramento.

Jack Cust? It looks like he’ll avoid the DL, although he’s not in the lineup today. He says his back spasms have calmed down, but that one more day of rest might have him 100 percent by tomorrow. “I probably shouldn’t have played yesterday,” said Cust, who only lasted one at-bat before having to be replaced.

How bad is this injury situation? There wasn’t even a lineup posted in the A’s clubhouse by the time players hit the field to stretch. And during his media chat, Bob Geren had difficulty remembering the lineup he finally settled on, because he scribbled out so many drafts based on who might/might not be available.

I didn’t catch Buck before BP to discuss his injury. He had said he thought he’d be available today. … Cunningham and Petit each return for their second stint w/the big club, and Cunningham is starting in right field tonight. Petit played some third base in his latest stint w/Sacramento, and I’d expect he’d get some time there w/the A’s. He provided a nice spark earlier this season (he had that game-winning RBI in Seattle, when Bobby Crosby plowed over the catcher). I could see him playing third against left-handed pitchers, particularly when Crosby plays first and Jason Giambi is DH …

The A’s are back to 12 pitchers (seven relievers) and 13 position players. That gives Geren four position players off the bench, although Cust probably isn’t much of an option tonight …

Tonight’s lineups:
A’s — Cabrera SS; Kennedy 2B; Holliday LF; Giambi DH; Suzuki C; Sweeney CF; Cunningham RF; Hannahan 3B; Crosby 1B; Anderson P.

Rangers – Kinsler 2B; Young 3B; Hamilton DH; Jones LF; Cruz RF; Blalock 1B; Byrd CF; Saltalamacchia C; Andrus SS; McCarthy P.

0

A’s minor league recap: Weeks hits his first HR

Here’s a brief look at what happened down on the farm Thursday for the A’s affiliates:

Second baseman Jemile Weeks, the A’s No. 1 draft pick last June, has quickly made his presence felt with the Stockton Ports. Weeks went 3-for-6 and hit a home run, and is now 4-for-12 overall in just two games.

The 22-year-old second baseman had been rehabbing at extended spring training while recovering from a torn hip flexor that ended his season last July 29 at Low-A Kane County. He was also battling other minor leg ailments this spring.

Fans in the Bay Area can get their first look at Weeks beginning Sunday in San Jose when the Ports begin a four-game series against the Little Giants. You wouldn’t get them to admit it, but the A’s probably envision Weeks spending much of his career in San Jose.

SACRAMENTO (Triple-A)

RiverCats 9, Iowa (Cubs) 1: Story l Boxscore

In finishing off Iowa, Sacramento closed its road trip winning seven of eight and has now won 14 of its last 17 overall.

Dana Eveland had his second straight solid start. The lefty allowed just one earned run in 6 2/3 innings, striking out nine. He still struggled with his control, walking four. Still, Eveland has permitted just one earned run in his last two starts, covering 12 2/3 innings, and has given up just five hits while striking out 12.

Loaded question, to be sure, but am I the only one who feels Eveland still has some value?

Aaron Cunningham is hitting .315 after going 3-for-5 with a homer and double.

Daric Barton, who hit his second HR on Wednesday, had two hits and a walk and is now hitting .215.

Danny Putnam hit a grand slam in the ninth for his RiverCats HR. He had seven for Double-A Midland before being promoted. The ex-Stanford star had three hits Thursday night.

The Cats added Henry Rodriguez to their bullpen. Rodriguez worked in three games for Stockton, allowing no runs in five innings and striking out 11.

MIDLAND (Double-A)

RockHounds 12, NW Arkansas (Royals) 8: Story l Boxscore

First baseman Chris Carter drove in three runs and now has 38 RBI, second to Tommy Everidge, who homered for the seventh time and now has 43 RBI. Carter, by the way, would just as soon play all of his games at Midland’s Citibank Ballpark — he’s hitting .384 at home and just .182 on the road.

Adrian Cardenas went 0-for-4 with an RBI. The second baseman came into the game hitting .403 after going 10-for-19 since being sent down from Sacramento.

Corey Brown went 2-for-4 and is hitting .345. In his last six games, the center fielder has gone 13-for-29 (.448).

Carlos Hernandez from Santa Clara picked up his second win in as many Double-A starts. He gave up three runs in six innings.

STOCKTON (High Single-A)

Bakersfield (Rangers) 6, Ports 5: Story l Boxscore

Jemile Weeks had three hits in his last four at-bats Thursday night, including an opposite-field homer while batting left-handed. The switch-hitting Weeks has batted second in both of his games.

Weeks’ home run followed a blast by Jermaine Mitchell, who now has two homers.

Todd Johnson went 2-for-3 with a homer and a pair of RBI.

The Ports had runners in scoring position in the eighth, ninth and 10th innings, but weren’t able to capitalize. Stockton lost on Timothy Smith’s RBI single in the bottom of the 11th.

KANE COUNTY (Low Single-A)

Cougars 5, Great Lakes (Dodgers) 4: Story l Boxscore

Jason Christian drew a bases-loaded walk in the top of the 10th inning that allowed the Cougars to improve to a season-high 11 games above .500 (29-18).

Shortstop Dusty Coleman, one of the more pleasant surprises for Oakland, hit his team-leading eighth homer, a three-run blast to provided a 4-3 lead in the seventh.

Jeremy Barfield, the 20-year-old son of ex-Blue Jays star Jesse Barfield and the brother of Indians infielder Josh, had three hits and is now hitting .295 in 27 games.

Grant Desme had a pair of hits. The 2006 A’s second-round pick is hitting .278.

Pitcher Kenny Smalley, a 24th-round draft pick last year, struck out a career-high nine batters. Smalley went five innings and was charged with two runs when reliever Mike Hart allowed a three-run homer.

0

Cunningham sent down to make room for Breslow

It’s a pretty odd situation today with a 4:08 p.m. start (East Coast time) for the A’s-Rays series finale. Not really a day game, not really a night game. …

The A’s just announced that outfielder Aaron Cunningham was optioned to Triple-A to make room for new reliever Craig Breslow, who arrived today. This was a surprise to me, as I figured another reliever would go down. This gives the A’s an eight-man bullpen — highly unusual — but with Russ Springer’s status iffy after he hurt his forearm last night, I guess they felt like they had to play it safe. Bob Geren spoke w/reporters before this news came down.

Lost in the shuffle of last night’s exciting finish: Brad Ziegler’s first save opportunity since April 25. But how many will he get in the coming games? Geren reiterated before the game that he’s not naming an official closer, and that he’ll choose his ninth-inning man based on matchups. He added: “I told (Ziegler) I could use him at any time of the game. Bailey could take (the ninth), or he could take it, based on the matchup.”

Bailey had thrown two innings on Tuesday, which made Ziegler the only logical choice to close last night.

Jason Giambi is at DH today. “He was in need of staying off the field,” Geren said. “DH is the most he could do for me today.” Once Nomar Garciaparra returns, maybe Giambi can get a full day off. He could use one, as he enters today hitting .198, the second lowest batting average in the American League.

A’s lineup:
Cabrera SS; Suzuki C; Cust RF; Holliday LF; Giambi DH; Kennedy 2B; Sweeney CF; Crosby 1B; Hannahan 3B; Braden P.

Rays lineup:
Upton CF; Crawford LF; Longoria 3B; Pena 1B; Bartlett SS; Aybar DH; Iwamura 2B; Kapler RF; Navarro C; Garza P.

0

A’s in rain delay in Detroit

(From Joe Stiglich):

Sorry for the delay in posting today, folks. Big-time computer/Internet issues. We’re in a rain delay at the moment at Comerica Park. It’s rained some, but not heavily. I believe the delay is more in anticipation of a heavy storm that may or may not hit Detroit. They just announced that we’re going to start at 8:05 p.m. local time here …

Outfielder Aaron Cunningham was recalled from Triple-A Sacramento and reliever Santiago Casilla was activated from the DL. Relievers Jerry Blevins and Jeff Gray were optioned to make room for them.

Cunningham is starting in right field tonight ahead of Travis Buck. The left-handed hitting Buck is hitting just .200 in 20 games but his playing time has been pretty spotty. He would typically play tonight with righty Edwin Jackson starting for Detroit, but the right-handed hitting Cunningham gets the call.

In other news, Dallas Braden says his hand feels good enough to start tomorrow. Trevor Cahill goes Sunday. Bob Geren hasn’t announced starters for Monday and Tuesday, but he said its likely to be Josh Outman and Sean Gallagher or vice versa.

A’s lineup: Cabrera SS, Suzuki C, Giambi 1B, Holliday LF, Cust DH, Sweeney CF, Kennedy 2B, Crosby 3B, Cunningham RF, Anderson P.

Tigers lineup: Granderson CF, Polanco 2B, Thomas RF, Cabrera 1B, Ordonez DH, Inge 3B, Raburn LF, Laird C, Everett SS, Jackson P.

0

A’s minor league recap: Unsteady Eveland gets win for RiverCats

Here’s a brief look at what happened down on the farm Wednesday for the A’s affiliates:

SACRAMENTO (Triple-A)

RiverCats 6, Albuquerque (Dodgers) 5: Story l Boxscore

Dana Eveland picked up his first win since being sent down to Sacramento, but he still had some command issues as he walked four in six innings and threw just 57 of his 101 pitches for strikes.

Aaron Cunningham provided some offense by hitting a two-run home run. Cunningham has two homers and is hitting .375. Danny Putnam had a pair of hits and is now 3-for-7 since being recalled from Double-A Midland.

Meanwhile, Daric Barton is slowly getting things together. He has a hit in nine of his past 10 games (10-for-36) and is hitting .196.

Albuquerque got a hitless inning of relief from former Granada High standout Erick Threets, the hard-throwing lefty who was originally drafted by the Giants.

Thursday night’s game features a pitching matchup of Gio Gonzalez and the Isotopes’ Shawn Estes.

MIDLAND (Double-A)

RockHounds 7, San Antonio (Padres) 4: Story l Boxscore

Tommy Everidge drove in five runs, including three on a long home run to lead the first-place RockHounds’ offense. The ex-Sonoma State standout is second in the league with 32 RBI and is hitting .311 while transitioning from a first baseman to a third baseman.

Travis Banwart improved to 4-1 after allowing two runs in 6 1/3 innings. Banwart, the Texas League’s top starting pitcher statistically, allowed just two baserunners after San Antonio scored single runs in the first and second. Closer Sam Demel notched the save.

Chris Carter and Corey Brown each had a hit, but each also struck out twice. Carter and Brown are both battling to overcome their propensity for strikeouts.

Josh Donaldson, who has also played some third base, was back behind the plate. He went 1-for-3 and his average is at .261, thanks to a recent hot streak (7-for-16).

STOCKTON (High Single-A)

Inland Empire (Dodgers) 6, Ports 5: Story l Boxscore

Craig Italiano struck out eight in six innings, but the bad news was he gave up nine hits and five runs to absorb the loss.

Christian Vitters went 2-for-4 and is 3-for-8 in his two games since joining Stockton from extended spring training. However, the third baseman grounded out with two runners aboard in the ninth to end the game.

KANE COUNTY (Low Single-A)

Wednesday: Cougars vs. Burlington (Royals), ppd., rain

Thursday: Cougars vs. Burlington (Royals) doubleheader