Notes: A's keeping tabs on Roemer
Oakland could grab Cal State-Fullerton righty with 26th pick
OAKLAND -- Scouting director Eric Kubota isn't about to tip his hand regarding the players the A's are targeting with their first pick in the First-Year Player Draft, which starts Thursday.
But it's no secret that Kubota and his staff have kept a close eye on Cal State-Fullerton righty Wes Roemer all year, and Roemer just might be available when the A's are on the clock for the 26th pick overall.
"I'm sure there's a lot of teams on him," Kubota said while holding court in the home dugout at McAfee Coliseum before the second game of Oakland's four-game series with the visiting Red Sox. "But he's probably [going to be available] in that area."
Roemer was Collegiate Baseball's co-National Player of the Year as a sophomore in 2006, when he earned Big West Conference Player of the Year honors by winning 13 games, posting a 2.38 ERA and has a strikeouts-to-walks ratio of 145:7 over 155 innings.
And while Roemer's numbers have dipped as a junior (10-6 with a 3.33 ERA and a strikeouts-to-walks ratio of 136:22 over 127 innings through Monday), Kubota doesn't think his draft stock has.
Roemer pitched a seven-hitter last Friday to beat Minnesota in the NCAA Regional playoffs.
"When you're that good as a sophomore, it's hard to match that the following year," Kubota said. "I'm not sure if his stock has risen or dropped, to tell you the truth. We'll see."
The A's have a number of organizational connections to Fullerton. Center fielder Mark Kotsay led the Titans to a national title in 1995, and in 2004 the A's used their second- and third-round picks on catcher Kurt Suzuki and righty Jason Windsor, who helped the Titans wins another national title that spring.
According to the school's Web site, Roemer's favorite big-league pitcher is A's righty Rich Harden.
MLB.com will broadcast every pick of the 2007 First-Year Player Draft, which will take place Thursday and Friday at Disney's Wide World of Sports complex in Orlando, Fla. Day 1 coverage begins at 11 a.m. PT with a simulcast of ESPN2's broadcast of the first round and compensation picks. Video coverage of the remaining rounds on Day 1 will air on MLB.com, with live interviews and analysis from Orlando by Casey Stern, Jonathan Mayo and Perfect Game USA's Dave Rawnsley.
Day 2 of the Draft will get under way at 8:30 a.m. PT and continue through Round 50, if necessary. Every pick on Day 2 can be heard live on MLB.com with analysis from Mayo and Perfect Game USA's Allan Simpson.
Also once again this year, fans can follow every pick with MLB.com's live Draft Caster, a searchable database of every Draft eligible player featuring biographical data, statistics, scouting reports and rare scouting video.
Casilla climbing: Righty reliever Santiago Casillla, called up from Triple-A Sacramento on Sunday, picked up his first big-league win Monday with a scoreless innings of work in Oakland's 5-4 victory in 11 innings.
Casilla, 26, also pitched in Sunday's win over the Twins, striking out three of the four batters he faced, and he might be moving up the ladder of responsibility in Oakland's depleted bullpen.
During brief stints with the A's in 2004, 2005 and 2006, Casilla flashed plenty of talent but had a difficult time controlling the running game. And while he gave up two quick stolen bases on Sunday, A's manager Bob Geren, who managed Casilla in the Dominican Winter League in 2005, said Casilla has shown marked improvement in that area.
"Last night, he did a tremendous job," Geren said. "Everything [bench coach Rene Lachemann] put on -- slide steps, throwing over -- he did it the way we want him to do it.
"He still has to be reminded constantly, but he's come a long way."
Meyer in the mix? Should the A's decide to give someone else a shot as their No. 5 starter, lefty Dan Meyer looks like a strong candidate.
Acquired in the 2004 trade that sent Tim Hudson to the Braves, Meyer missed large chunks of the next two seasons with injuries, but he had surgery late last year to remove a quarter-sized bone chip from his shoulder and has re-emerged as a top prospect.
On Tuesday against visiting Round Rock, Meyer struck out 11 over six innings of three-hit work to lower his ERA to 3.00 in eight starts for the River Cats. Meyer, who is 2-0, did not get a decision in the game, which ended with a walk-off homer by Kevin Melillo, who went 3-for-6 with two RBIs and fell a triple short of hitting for the cycle.
Meyer, 25, has struck out 20 in 11 innings over his past two starts.
"I still have a little way to go, but I feel like I'm on the right track," Meyer told rivercats.com. "I'm feeling stronger, and every day I pitch, I'm getting better and better."
Dribblers: Outfielder Milton Bradley, out with a calf strain, was available to pinch-hit Tuesday and might start Wednesday. ... Designated hitter Mike Piazza, on the disabled list with a shoulder sprain since May 3, has started doing some light hitting in the indoor cage. When he went down, the A's said he'd be out about six weeks, but it doesn't look like he'll be back any time soon. "If that meant [six weeks] until he's ready for baseball activities, it's probably right on," Geren said. ... Oakland's pitchers were on the field about 3 1/2 hours before the game working on fielding drills and bunt plays, partly in anticipation of the round of Interleague Play in National League parks that starts Friday with the opener of a three-game series at San Francisco. ... The pitchers have been hitting, as well. Geren said Dan Haren has looked the best, but he added, "All the guys look pretty good." ... Outfielder Bobby Kielty (calf strain) has been taking part in regular batting practice with the team and should be ready to return when he's eligible for reinstatement from the 60-day disabled list late this month. ... For much of the second half last season, catcher Jason Kendall batted leadoff and Kotsay batted second. Kotsay and Kendall, who are extremely close friends, batted eighth and ninth Tuesday. "We're inseparable," Kotsay cracked. ... Outfielder Chris Snelling, on the DL with a left knee contusion, went 0-for-2 with a walk Monday in his first rehab game with Sacramento.
Up next: A's lefty Joe Kennedy (1-4, 3.30 ERA) will get the ball Wednesday opposite Red Sox righty Tim Wakefield (5-6, 4.24 ERA). The first pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. PT.
Mychael Urban is a national writer for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.