December 14, 2019

Oakland Takes Three More Atlantic Leaguers, Building Recent Total to Five and Passing Phils

May 29, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

It seems a little like a runaway freight train the way Oakland has swooped into the Atlantic League for player talent, and all of a sudden the Athletics have moved past Philadelphia as the major league organization with the most players out of the 13-year-old league active in their farm system.

Oakland has purchased the contracts of five Atlantic Leaguers in recent days with a sixth rumored to be in the works, and the way the first two have performed in their early days at Triple-A Sacramento the scouts for the American League West contenders are likely to pick off even more players.

Veteran major league and Southern Maryland southpaw John Halama and Lancaster first baseman Brett Harper, the son of former big-leaguer Brian Harper, were the first to go west.  Halama, who has been plucked away from the Blue Crabs three years running, debuted in the Pacific Coast League with seven innings of six-hit shutout baseball against division-leading Nashville (Milwaukee) Wednesday to earn an 8-1 victory for the River Cats, who are well under .500.  Harper has driven in seven runs in eight games for Sacramento although he is only hitting .214.

Oakland hit York with a double whammy Thursday, signing league earned run average leader Jesus Sanchez (4-1, 1.63) for Sacramento and outfielder Val Majewski for Class AA Midland, TX. The Athletics also took another outfielder, Matt Watson, from Lancaster for their top farm club.

Sacramento also has a former Atlantic Leaguer in its bullpen in Jon Hunton (2-0, 2.77), who was at Lancaster briefly in 2007 and Somerset for a short time the next season.

* * * *WANT MORE INDEPENDENT BASEBALL COVERAGE?  Check out                  www.AtlanticLeagueBaseball.com and www.IndyBaseballChatter.com * * * *

First Start in 286 Appearances Pays Off

Butch Hobson has an interesting candidate to replace ace John Halama in Southern Maryland’s rotation.  Connor Robertson “wants more innings” Hobson told writer Dallas Cogle earlier this week, and the older brother of the New York Yankees’ David Robertson proved, at least for one night, that he could work longer than the relief pitcher he had been for every one of his previous 285 professional appearances dating back to 2004.  The right-hander, 28, started and hurled five shutout innings in an 8-1 triumph over Bridgeport Thursday, allowing only a double and two singles and striking out four.  The effort lowered Robertson’s already stingy earned run average to 0.52 with only nine hits in 17.1 innings.

(These are excerpts from the Atlantic League Notebook. Subscriptions to the Notebook are available on a monthly or full season basis via www.AtlanticLeagueBaseball.com or www.WirzandAssociates.com.  Bob Wirz also writes a weekly column, the Independent Baseball Insider, as well as a blog, www.IndyBaseballChatter.com. The author has 16 years of major league baseball public relations experience with Kansas City and as chief spokesman for two Commissioners and lives in Stratford, CT.)

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