Kirby-Jones, Granier Take Home League Honors
It was an award-filled Monday in the Oakland A's system, as two players took home league honors. Stockton first-baseman/DH A.J. Kirby-Jones was named the California League's Player of the Week and Burlington Bees' right-hander Drew Granier was named the Midwest League's Pitcher of the Week.
Kirby-Jones took home the Cal League honor after batting .375 with three homeruns, two doubles, five walks and eight RBIs for the week of April 16th. All three of those homers and five of those eight RBIs came in one game on April 18th versus Lake Elsinore. Kirby-Jones is off to a fantastic start with the Ports. In 15 games, he is batting .377/.484/.679 with four homers. Kirby-Jones was the A's ninth-round draft pick in 2010.
Granier earned the pitcher of the week award for the week of April 16th after allowing only one unearned run in 13 innings spread over two starts. One start was a seven-inning complete game (it was part of a double-header). Granier is the second Bees' player to earn league honors. Dusty Robinson took home the player of the week award for the first week of the season. Granier, in four starts this year, has a 1.23 ERA and a 3-0 record. His K:BB ratio is 17:4 and he has allowed 16 hits in 22 innings pitched.
Donaldson Demoted To Make Room For Hughes
The Oakland A's announced on Monday that third baseman/catcher Josh Donaldson was being optioned to Triple-A Sacramento to make room on the team's 25-man roster for the newly acquired Luke Hughes. Hughes was claimed off of waivers by the A's from the Minnesota Twins on Sunday.
Donaldson won the A's starting third base job this spring after incumbent starter Scott Sizemore was lost for the season with a torn ACL during a spring training drill. Donaldson had been primarily a catcher during his time in the A's organization, but the former collegiate third baseman made a relatively smooth transition to third base this spring. His bat failed to get on track during the regular season, however. In 32 at-bats, he had only three hits and no walks with 13 strike-outs.
Hughes is expected to receive the majority of the playing time at third base for the A's for now, although Eric Sogard should continue to receive some starts at third versus right-handed pitchers.
There have been several roster moves made throughout the A's organization over the past week.
The Sacramento River Cats' roster has seen a number of changes since last Monday. In addition to Donaldson, the River Cats have added outfielder Collin Cowgill, relievers Andrew Carignan and Neil Wagner and starter Graham Godfrey from the A's, and pitcher Bruce Billings from Double-A Midland. During that same stretch, Sacramento has lost reliever Pedro Figueroa and starter Tyson Ross to promotions to Oakland. Starter Jarrod Parker is slated to be promoted to the big leagues on Wednesday. Sacramento has also seen left-hander Carlos Hernandez sent down to Double-A and has placed outfielder Jeff Fiorentino on the disabled list.
In Midland, the changes have been less significant. Infielder Tyler Ladendorf spent a week on the disabled list with an injured groin, but he returned to the active roster on Thursday. Ladendorf's roster spot had been taken by infielder Michael Fabiaschi, who was returned to extended spring training upon Ladendorf's activation. Billings' promotion to Sacramento left a spot on the Rockhounds' roster that was filled by Hernandez.
In Burlington, the Bees added outfielder Aaron Shipman last Monday after he began the year rehabbing an injury at extended spring training. Shipman is three-for-21 to start the season with the Bees. He replaced pitcher Nathan Kilcrease on the Bees' roster. Kilcrease was placed on the disabled list.