A.J. Griffin set to make 2nd rehab start

On Sunday, June 7th, Oakland Athletics starting pitcher A.J. Griffin is slated to make his second rehab appearance with the Stockton Ports. In his first appearance Griffin was lights out pitching 3 innings, giving up only one hit while striking out three against the Lake Elsinore Storm. He is scheduled to throw 4 innings on Sunday with a pitch count around 60 pitches.

The Ports will be on the road in Modesto where they will be going to the series sweep. The Ports are winners of their last five games and have outscored the Nuts 28 to 11 in the first 3 games of this series.

The Ports will return home for a brief 3 game home stand where they will host the Inland Empire 66ers beginning on Monday.

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Rehab appearances and autographs

The relocation of the Oakland Athletics’s AAA club to Nashville has been a blessing for the Stockton Ports fans. As of June 5th there have been 7 players to make rehab appearances with the Stockton Ports.

The first came on opening night, Josh Reddick rehabbed with the Ports as they opened the season in San Bernadino against the Inland Empire 66ers. Jarrod Parker soon joined the Ports for a couple of rehab starts. This was during a road trip that took them through Visalia and Bakersfield to face the Rawhide and the Blaze. Unfortunately both Reddick’s and Parker’s rehab assignments were on the road.

Coco Crisp was the first home rehab assignment for the Stockton Ports. On May 3rd and 4th Crisp played for the Ports. On Sunday, May 3rd I was able to get a MLB ball and 2 cards signed by Crisp. On Monday, May 4th I was able to get one more card signed a 2015 Topps cards (not pictured).

Coco Crisp autographed ball and cards from rehab appearance with the Stockton Ports on May 3, 2015

Coco Crisp autographed ball and cards from rehab appearance with the Stockton Ports on May 3, 2015

On May 14th and 17th Oakland Athletics’s closer Sean Doolittle made his rehab appearances with the Ports. These were home games, May 14th was a Thursday day game so I couldn’t go due to work. On Sunday, May 17th, I got to see Doolittle pitch, but I was unable to get his autograph because he did not come out to the bullpen until the 3rd inning.

A couple of days later on a road trip to Visalia second baseman Ben Zobrist joined the Ports for a couple of rehab games. On May 23rd Zobrist joined the Nashville Sounds, who happened to be on a West Coast road trip, for a couple for rehab games. I went to the game in Fresno against the Grizzlies and was able to get Zobrist to sign a ball for me.

Ben Zobrist autographed baseball from rehab appearance with Nashville Sounds on May 24, 2015.

Ben Zobrist autographed baseball from rehab appearance with Nashville Sounds on May 24, 2015.

Sunday, May 31st saw the 6th different Athletic to make a rehab appearance with the Ports. Pitcher Drew Pomeranz threw 2 scoreless innings that day. Most recently former Stockton Port and current Oakland Athletic starting pitcher A.J. Griffin made his first rehab appearance coming off of Tommy John Surgery. He threw 3 innings on June 2nd against the Lake Elsinore Storm and before the game Griffin was nice enough to sign a ball for me.

A.J. Griffin autographed baseball from rehab appearance with the Stockton Ports on June 2, 2015

A.J. Griffin autographed baseball from rehab appearance with the Stockton Ports on June 2, 2015

In addition to all of the prospects that Ports fans get to see on a regular basis, we have been treated to quite a few Oakland Athletics rehab assignments this season. I want to thank the Sacramento River Cats for not wanting to be an Athletics affiliate anymore. Without their desire to switch Ports fans may not get to see as many rehab assignments.

 

Showoff Sunday: From the California League to the Major League, Part 1

The past 2 Showoff Sunday posts have been about former Major League players who are now coaches in the California League. Today we take the opposite approach and look at players in the California League that have made it to the Major Leagues. This is the first of 2 parts in this series.

I have only been collecting autographs in the California League since 2011 so not may have risen through the ranks. Here are some of the big names that have.

Dan Straily, Oakland Athletics
As many of my readers know, Straily is one of my favorites. I have many fond memories of him as a Stockton Ports. Not only watching him pitch, but being able to talk to him at time before games. Here are a couple of items I had autographed during his time on the Ports.

Dan Straily Autographed Cards

Dan Straily Autographed Cards

Dan Straily Autographed California League Game Used Ball

Dan Straily Autographed California League Game Used Ball

Dan Straily Autographed Ticket Stub

Dan Straily Autographed Ticket Stub

A.J. Griffin, Oakland Athletics
Griffin joined Stockton about 6 weeks into the 2011 season from the Burlington Bees, the Athletics Class A Full season affiliate before they moved to Beloit. He did so well that season he not only was moved up to AA Midland, but he pitched one game for the AAA Sacramento RiverCats.

A.J. Griffin Autographed Card

A.J. Griffin Autographed Card

A.J. Griffin Autographed Ticket Stub

A.J. Griffin Autographed Ticket Stub

Michael Choice, Texas Rangers
It pains me to list Michael Choice as a Texas Ranger. Choice was the 2010 No. 1 Draft Pick of the Oakland Athletics. There were high hopes for Choice to be a big part of Oakland’s future. However, a glut of outfielders and specific needs forced the Athletics to shop Choice this past off season. Fortunately, Michael Choice did make his Major League debut as an Oakland Athletic.

Michael Choice Autographed Card

Michael Choice Autographed Card

Michael Choice Autographed Ticket Stub

Michael Choice Autographed Ticket Stub

Grant Green, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Green was another No. 1 Draft Pick (2009) that the Athletics sent packing last year. Green was a highly touted prospect who never really settled into a position. His hitting was unquestioned, but the huge question mark was his defense. He didn’t really have a defensive home and that is why Oakland moved him last year.

Grant Green Autographed Card

Grant Green Autographed Card

C.J. Cron, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
I was surprised to find out that C.J. Cron made his major league debut this season. I had lost tabs on him and then I suddenly saw his name pop up in my Twitter feed. I remember watching him play for the Inland Empire 66ers in 2012, he was a legitimate threat back then. I was able to get these 3 cards signed by Cron.

C.J. Cron Autographed Cards

C.J. Cron Autographed Cards

TTM Success 03/17/2014: A.J. Griffin

A few weeks ago I received another Spring Training TTM success from Oakland Athletics starting pitcher A.J. Griffin. In his first full season A.J. was 13-10 with a 3.83 ERA. He accumulated 171 strikeouts in 200 innings pitched. He is currently on the DL and is on track to come back sometime in April.

A.J. signed 2 cards for me: 2013 Topps and 2012 Bowman Draft.

TTM Autographs of A.J. Griffin

TTM Autographs of A.J. Griffin

Spring Training TTMs

Today I mailed my second batch of Spring Training TTMs. This batch consisted of 10 envelopes. Most are to current Oakland Athletics.  Two were sent to former Athletics who are current MLB coaches in other organizations. One was sent to a non-Athletics player. Here are the Spring Training TTMs I have sent out.

Batch #1 – Tuesday, February 18, 2014
Ryan Cook
Sean Doolittle
Tommy Milone
Derek Norris
Jarrod Parker
Eric Sogard

Batch #2 – February 28, 2014
Jesse Chavez
Josh Donaldson
A. J. Griffin
Jed Lowrie
Josh Reddick
Evan Scribner
Dan Straily
Don Baylor, hitting coach for LA Angels of Anaheim
Steve Henderson, hitting coach for Philadelphia Phillies
Hector Santiago, pitcher for LA Angels of Anaheim

I will be posting updates as I receive these cards back. I am considering a third batch of Spring Training TTMs. Not sure for who, but will likely be mostly non-Athletics since I have already sent to most on the Athletics who are confirmed signers. If you have any suggestions please post them in a comment!

Athletics walkoff over Angels keep AL West lead at 6.5

Before the game began on Tuesday night the Athletics knew they would receive no help from the Tampa Bay Rays.  The Texas Rangers beat the Rays 7-1.  So in order for the Athletics to reduce the magic number they would have to take matters into their own hands.  This is not always an easy task against the Angels.  Athletics/Angels games are always competitive.  The two teams seem to rise to the occasion and Tuesday night was no exception.

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Athletics take 2 of 3 from Twins, set sights on Rangers

On Thursday the Oakland Athletics wrapped up a successful start to their road trip.  The Athletics, led by A.J. Griffin, won by a score of 8-2 over the Minnesota Twins.  Griffin picked up his 14th win of the season as he went 7 innings allowing only 1 run on 2 hits while striking out out 8 batters.  A.J. is now 14-9 with a 3.81 ERA.  The offense was led by Josh Reddick who is returning from a wrist injury that sidelined him for about 2 weeks.  Josh slammed a 2 run home run in the 8th inning off Brian Duensing.  Yoenis Cespedes also drove in a pair of runs as he hit his 4th triple of the season.

The Athletics begin a 3 game series with the Texas Rangers on Friday.  The upcoming series with the Rangers is huge as the Athletics will have a chance to put even more distance between them and the Rangers.

Series recap:
Tuesday, September 10th
Oakland Athletics 3
Minnesota Twins 4
W: Anthony Swarzak (2-2)
L: Ryan Cook (6-4)
SV: Glenn Perkins (34)

Wednesday, September 11th
Oakland Athletics 18
Minnesota Twins 3
W: Sonny Gray (3-3)
L: Mike Pelfrey (5-12)

Thursday, September 12th
Oakland Athletics 8
Minnesota Twins 2
W: A.J. Griffin (14-9)
L: Scott Diamond (5-11)