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A’s minor league recap: Oakland’s system rated No. 1

More praise rained down on the A’s organization Wednesday when The Hardball Times rated Oakland’s farm system as the most valuable in all of baseball. THT’s Victor Wang developed a formula for assessing value to each team’s minor league system and, after crunching the numbers, the A’s overall depth won out.

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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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More on A’s Cactus League opener

A few leftovers from the A’s 3-3 tie with Milwaukee, a 10-inning affair that kicked off the Cactus League:

–The A’s went through eight pitchers, so the game couldn’t really continue past 10 innings. The last pitcher was Cal product Tyson Ross, so scratch what I said earlier about him possibly pitching tomorrow in Tempe against the Angels.

–Newcomer Chris Schroder and Jeff Gray each threw scoreless innings. Jerry Blevins gave up the two runs that tied the game in the eighth, but he can’t take all the blame. With two outs, third baseman Joe Dillon lost a foul pop-up in the sun. That allowed Chris Duffy to continue his at-bat and bloop a game-tying single.

–Jared Lansford, son of former Athletic and current Giants hitting coach Carney Lansford, pitched an inning. With the game 3-3 in the bottom of the ninth, he put two runners on but got a 4-6-3 double play to escape the jam.

–New Brewers closer Trevor Hoffman entered the game with his ninth-inning theme song “Hell’s Bells” blasting — only this came in the seventh inning Wednesday. Bizarre, but that’s spring training for you …

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Chavez close to Cactus League debut

Not much coming out of A’s camp this morning before they hop a bus to Maryvale to play the Brewers. A quick recap:

–Bob Geren said Eric Chavez will probably DH tomorrow against the Angels in Tempe, and he’s on target to make his debut on defense March 3, with five innings at third base. I’d say that’s still written in pencil, but A’s fans should be encouraged that Chavez has been feeling good through the early workouts.

–Still no word on when Justin Duchscherer will get back on the mound, but he threw long toss yesterday and his elbow felt good.

–Josh Outman gets the start today on the mound. If you’re heading to Tempe tomorrow, Sean Gallagher will start. Highly touted lefty Brett Anderson and Tyson Ross, the former Cal star, will also go (there’s a chance Ross pitches today, but they probably won’t need him). In Friday’s first game at Phoenix Muni, Dana Eveland starts, w/Brad Ziegler and newcomer Russ Springer among those following him.

Today’s lineup is same as Geren projected yesterday:
Buck RF
Sweeney CF
Holliday LF
Giambi 1B
Suzuki C
Crosby SS
Hannahan 3B
Patterson 2B
Outman P