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Mazzaro shines

I know the A’s 12-3 win over the Kansas City Royals on Tuesday was quite a sight for those starved to see the A’s bats. But the organization’s best news came up the freeway. Vin Mazzaro, who had yet to win this season, followed Santiago Casilla’s rehab start with eight one-hit innings for Triple-A Sacramento. That’s the kind of performance that has led some to speculate he might be the best of the three (Brett Anderson and Trevor Cahill being the other two).

Interesting note on Aaron Cunningham in this morning’s Sacramento Bee game story.

The bad news: Tonight brings a Dana Eveland sighting.

Oh, one more thing on the River Cats. Brad Kilby walked four straight hitters to lose a game last week,something that should never happen on the professional level. But after reading this, I have no reason to question his committment to getting better.

DOUBLE-A MIDLAND

— Told you the other day that Matt Spencer was bucking for a promotion from Single-A Stockton, and sure enough, he was called up to replace Danny Putnam after Putnam was moved up to Sacramento. Spencer immediately did something positive.

SINGLE-A STOCKTON

— Mazzaro wasn’t the only A’s product doing some dealing last night. Carlos Hernandez was pretty darn good, too. By the way, interesting figure on the mound for San Bernardino in the same game.

SINGLE-A KANE COUNTY

— Huge night for the son of a former major leaguer.

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A’s minor league recap: Cunningham injures shoulder

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

SACRAMENTO (Triple-A)

The bad news from Sacramento isn’t that the River Cats dropped three of four to Tacoma (Mariners) following Sunday’s 6-3 defeat, it was the loss of outfielder Aaron Cunningham, who is out with a separated right shoulder.

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A’s minor league recap for Opening Night

Other than Vin Mazzaro’s dazzling performance, there wasn’t a lot of positive news coming out of Opening Night for the A’s minor league affiliates.

All four A’s farm teams that played on Thursday night lost, including Triple-A Sacramento, which wasted Mazzaro’s eye-opening start.

Here’s a brief look at how the A’s minor leaguers fared:

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Here’s where the A’s top prospects will begin the season

Here’s a quick look at which affiliates the A’s top prospects have been assigned to for the start of the minor league season, which begins Thursday night for most:

SACRAMENTO (TRIPLE-A)

Aaron Cunningham, OF
Gio Gonzalez, LHP
Daric Barton, 1B
Sean Doolittle, 1B/OF
Vin Mazzaro, RHP
James Simmons, RHP
Henry Rodriguez, RHP
Jared Lansford, RHP
Cliff Pennington, SS
Anthony Recker, C
Gregorio Petit, SS

MIDLAND (Double-A)

Adrian Cardenas, SS
Chris Carter, 1B
Corey Brown, OF
John Donaldson, C
Sam Demel, RHP
Javier Herrera OF
Arnold Leon, RHP
Josh Horton, SS
Corey Wimberly 2B
Danny Putnam, OF

STOCKTON (High Single-A)

Tyson Ross, RHP
Craig Italiano, RHP
Daniel Thomas, RHP
Matt Spencer, OF

KANE COUNTY (Low Single-A)

Brett Hunter, RHP
Jason Christian, SS
Petey Paramore, C
Dusty Coleman, SS
Pedro Figueroa, LHP

Extended spring training (many will head to Vancouver for short-season rookie league)

Jemile Weeks, 2B
Andrew Carignan, RHP
Rashun Dixon, OF
Michael Ynoa, RHP
Fautino De Los Santos, RHP
Jeremy Barfield, OF
Nino Leyja, SS
Matt Sulentic, OF

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Denorfia’s walkoff HR snaps losing streak

Chris Denorfia lined a two-run homer to left field off Franklin Morales in the bottom of the ninth to lift the A’s past Colorado 7-6 today. That snapped the A’s 10-game Cactus League losing streak, their longest in spring training since records started being kept in 1986.

–Sean Gallagher wasn’t his sharpest in five innings, and both he and Bob Geren said he was leaving too many pitches over the plate after getting ahead of hitters. Gallagher got a not-so-subtle hint that he needs to pull it together, as GM Billy Beane grabbed him for a private chat as reporters were showing up to the clubhouse to talk to him. “Just basically lighting a little fire under the butt,” Gallagher said of the conversation. Gallagher is on turn to pitch Friday’s Bay Bridge Series game against the Giants, and would then pitch the third game of the regular season if the current rotation holds. I don’t see an obvious replacement for him if he wasn’t in the starting rotation. Josh Outman is an option, but he’s coming off a poor outing.

–The A’s sent six players down to the minors after the game. They optioned reliever Chris Schroder, infielder Gregorio Petit and outfielder Aaron Cunningham to Triple-A, and reassigned right-hander Edgar Gonzalez, catcher Joel Galarraga and infielder Corey Wimberly to minor league camp.

The biggest news there involves Gonzalez, who had pitched his way out of contention for the starting rotation but still could have been a long relief candidate. The A’s will keep at least one long reliever (Geren hasn’t ruled out two), and Outman and Gio Gonzalez are the top contenders for that …

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September at last

Had the privilege to share a post-game table with A’s second baseman Mark Ellis and clubhouse man Steve Vucinich at the team’s hotel during the visit to Seattle last week. It’s a lost art among the print media, and it really can give you insight, even if the bulk of it may never see the public light of day.

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Woe the “O”

More evidence to indicate just how bad the A’s offense is right now (so bad that you can make the argument this is the worst offense they’ve ever had). Check out this from Elias:

“The A’s have scored 17 runs over their past nine games [through Wednesday, all losses]. The last time the A’s had a nine-game span without a win with 17 runs or fewer was over 30 years ago. In June 1978, the A’s scored 11 runs over the final nine games of an 11-game losing streak.”

But on the bright side, Midland’s Aaron Cunningham (acquired in the Dan Haren trade) is fifth in the Texas League with a .899 OPS, and Chris Carter (also acquired for Haren) has 30 home runs, 87 RBI at Single-A Stockton. See, the A’s do have good hitters. It’s just that none of them are up here, yet.