Link-O-Rama: Big Papi ties Big Hurt (sort of)

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* Last night David Ortiz tied Frank Thomas for the most homers ever at designated hitter with 269. The big difference between Big Papi and Big Hurt is that Thomas had 252 non-DH homers while Ortiz has just 43.
* San Diego is sending out DVDs to NL managers in an effort to boost Kevin Kouzmanoff’s chances of winning an undeserved Gold Glove, which is something I preemptively railed against last month. There’s a lot more to defense than errors.
* Raul Ibanez homering twice yesterday made the Phillies just the 12th team in baseball history with at least four 30-homer hitters. Interestingly, just one of those dozen teams came before 1995 and four of them called Coors Field home.
* Remember last week, when I wondered why Matt Murton hasn’t been able to stick in the majors? I’m still wondering, but after another strong season in the minors he’s at least back in the big leagues as a bench player in Colorado.
* In a move that was first reported several months ago, the Red Sox have finalized an $8.2 million contract with 19-year-old Cuban shortstop Jose Iglesias. As part of the deal he’s been added to the 40-man roster and will play in the Arizona Fall League next month. Baseball Prospectus called him “Ryan Theriot with better hands” while Baseball America described Iglesias as an “Orlando Cabrera clone.”

Three A’s rookies hit their first big league home runs on Saturday

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The Athletics followed Friday’s 3-0 shutout with a rookie-led home run derby on Saturday afternoon, watching not one, not two, but three rookies belt their first major league home runs off of the White Sox’ James Shields.

Right fielder Matt Olson was the first to strike, taking Shields deep on a first-pitch, two-run blast in the first inning for his first home run in 49 major league plate appearances:

Fellow outfielder Jaycob Brugman duplicated his teammate’s results in the second inning with a solo home run, his first extra-base hit of any kind since he made his debut on June 9:

In the third, with a comfortable 4-0 lead backing two scoreless frames from Oakland right-hander Daniel Gossett, Franklin Barreto took his shot at Shields. After getting the call several hours prior to Saturday’s game, he became the fastest of the three rookies to record his first big league homer, going yard on a 2-2 changeup and driving in Bruce Maxwell to give the A’s a six-run advantage.

The Athletics currently lead the White Sox 8-2 in the top of the sixth inning.

Athletics call up top prospect Franklin Barreto

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The Athletics called up their top prospect on Saturday, inserting shortstop Franklin Barreto into the lineup for their second game against the White Sox. Barreto was originally scheduled to make his major league debut on Sunday, but got a head start after Jed Lowrie sustained a minor knee sprain in Friday’s 3-0 win and was scratched from Saturday’s lineup.

Barreto, 21, has been rapidly climbing the rungs of the A’s minor league system after getting dealt by the Blue Jays in 2014. He got his first taste of Triple-A action late last year, going 6-for-17 with three RBI and getting caught stealing in two attempts. He fared little better this spring, slashing .281/.326/.428 with eight home runs and a .754 OPS through his first 309 PA in Nashville.

While his minor league production has been solid, if underwhelming for a prospect of his caliber, the A’s are expected to give the rookie infielder a long leash with both Marcus Semien and Chad Pinder sitting on the disabled list. Pinder landed on the 10-day DL after suffering a left hamstring strain on Friday. Semien, meanwhile, is still working his way back from the 60-day DL with a right wrist fracture and likely won’t rejoin the team until he completes a rehab assignment with High-A Stockton.