It used to be that we’d only get eye roll-worthy minor league promotions once or twice a season. Now it seems they come every week.
The latest: the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp — the Double-A affiliate of the Marlins — will be handing out free pregnancy tests to celebrate “You Might Be the Father’s Day” for this evening’s game against Pensacola.
The night is part of their “Thirsty Thursdays” promotions, which caters to college kids and young single folks. While it’s sort of low-key on their website and while the team does not appear to be tweeting about it, if you click on their schedule, it’s listed there and is described thusly:
You Might Be The Father’s Day!
In honor of You Might Be The Father’s Day, the Jumbo Shrimp will be distributing pregnancy tests so you’ll know if you need to return for Sunday’s Father’s Day game… It will be an evening filled with suspense, intrigue and manila envelopes.
Not that this is the only Father’s Day promotion they’re doing. On Saturday, they’re doing an “IChoose Family” night, presented by the Florida Department of Health’s “Sexual Risk Avoidance Program.”
One would think that this promotion should go BEFORE the pregnancy test one, but no one asked me.
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.
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.