A’s announce ALDS roster
DETROIT — The A’s on Saturday morning released their American League Division Series roster, which notably includes starter Brett Anderson, a decision that reflects confidence in the team’s belief that the lefty will indeed pitch in the series.
Anderson, the most veteraned member of the starting staff at age 24, suffered a right oblique strain less than three weeks ago but said just Friday that he felt good enough to take the mound for Tuesday’s Game 3 in Oakland should the A’s ask him to, which seems like a strong possibility.
Joining Anderson on the roster were Game 1 and 2 starters Jarrod Parker and Tommy Milone, along with the pitcher who is likely to start a potential Game 4, A.J. Griffin.
In the bullpen, righty Jim Miller proved to be the odd man out, as the A’s went with Grant Balfour, Travis Blackley, Jerry Blevins, Ryan Cook, Sean Doolittle, Pedro Figueroa, Evan Scribner and, in an inspiring move, Pat Neshek.
The right-handed Neshek, a key cog in the bullpen down the stretch, rejoined the team Friday in Detroit just two days after the sudden passing of his 1-day-old son, Gehrig John, at the urging of his wife, Stephanee, who also made the trip.
As of Friday afternoon, it was unclear whether an emotional Neshek would pitch in the ALDS, but manager Bob Melvin very much left open the possibility.
“We’re proud of the fact that he did get here and wants to be with us, wants to be on the roster, wants to pitch,” Melvin said. “So we will support that as completely as we possibly can.”
Outside of the 12 pitchers, the A’s are fielding a roster of position players that boasts no surprises. First baseman Daric Barton, second baseman Jemile Weeks and outfielder Collin Cowgill, all of whom were not seen in Detroit on Friday, were left off the roster, as expected, as the A’s opted for more relief pitching over added speed in Weeks and Cowgill or a first-base defensive replacement in Barton.
Chris Carter and Brandon Moss will continue to split duties at first base, as will Cliff Pennington and Adam Rosales at second base, next to Stephen Drew at shortstop and Josh Donaldson at third. It’s Derek Norris and George Kottaras behind the plate, with Yoenis Cespedes, Coco Crisp and Josh Reddick in the outfield. Seth Smith and Jonny Gomes will share time at designated hitter.
Pitchers: Anderson, Balfour, Blackley, Blevins, Cook, Doolittle, Figueroa, Griffin, Milone, Neshek, Parker, Scribner
Catchers: Kottaras, Norris
Infielders: Carter, Donaldson, Drew, Moss, Pennngton, Rosales
Outfielders: Cespedes, Crisp, Gomes, Reddick, Smith