Saturday, May 3, 2014
Raul Alcantara done for 2014
Announced this evening, Oakland's #1 overall pitching farmhand in Raul Alcantara shall undergo Tommy John surgery after receiving a MRI in Arizona following a DL assignment for the ever ominous "elbow soreness". For Alcantara, the 21 year old Dominican Andrew Bailey trade acquisition, it signifies a devastating blow to the organization after his offseason 40 man amnesty to avoid Rule 5 suitors from nabbing him and breakthrough 2013 campaign between Stockton and Beloit in which Alcantara amassed a 2.91 FIP within Wisconsin (77 1/3 IP) and a 4.21 marker with the Ports (79 IP) after an abysmal 2012 attempt with Burlington as a 19 year old. Hailed as possessing the best developing changeup in the organization, while bolstering that with a plus fastball, the 6'3" righty dispatched any opposing competition consistently through 2013 while walking a mere 24 batters amongst 649 faced (3.7% BB%) to earn honors as the most precision precise pitcher within the Oakland organization. And aside from a 3 HR contest versus Rancho Cucamonga, Raul was exquisite with limiting hard hit and home run contact, accumulating a 1.72 GB/FB ratio between the two affiliates.
Having sufficiently convinced the organization of his standing, Alcantara was bestowed with a Midland assignment five months past his 21st birthday following his first initial MLB spring camp and would impress with an eight inning effort (8 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 K) en route to a victory. In his second outing, the strikeout percentages rebounded for the 180 pounder, going 6 2/3 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 7 K to secure the Texas League pitcher of the week honor prior his most recent performance. Unfortunately, Alcantara would encounter his first roadbump of his Rockhound tenure as the youngster went 5 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 BB, 2 K against San Antonio and threw only 49 of his 84 pitches for strikes. It was the first contest since June 23rd, Alcantara's California League debut, in which he walked more than he struck out and his first 3+ BB effort after only walking three or more twice throughout 2013. It would be revealed that Alcantara was suffering from discomfort though, contributing to his struggles, and was promptly placed upon the disabled list and shipped to Arizona where it has been discovered that he shall have to take part in reconstructive UCL surgery should he ever wish the pitch again. Raul ought to be eligible by May 2015 at the earliest, but could be absent for all of the 2015 season as well depending upon his recuperation. He'll likely be assigned to Midland once more when prepared.
For Oakland, already witnessing the other top pitching prospects in Michael Ynoa and Bobby Wahl land upon the DL a month into the season, it serves as a brutal loss to an organization already ailing