A’s roster taking form
A’s Opening Day is exactly two weeks away. Answering a few roster questions….
Jesse Chavez gets the road start on Tuesday against the White Sox. Dan Straily will pitch Wednesday, and it’s Tommy Milone throwing in a Minor League game on the off-day, giving us an idea of how Oakland’s rotation is lining up for the season. The A’s already know they’ll be without A.J. Griffin at season’s start, and if they also don’t have Jarrod Parker, who is being examined by Dr. James Andrews today, this is how their rotation sets up, with Chavez slotting right into Griffin’s spot: Sonny Gray, Scott Kazmir, Chavez, Straily and Milone, in that order.
It’s too early for news on Parker, but the righty was in good spirits ahead of his trip and confident that his forearm strain is just that, nothing more.
Craig Gentry took part in all baseball activity for the first time since suffering lower back spasms this morning, and the outfielder’s next step is likely a simulated game. It’s possible he doesn’t get into a Cactus League game until a week out from Opening Day. Whether that gives him enough time to be ready for the season is unclear, though, as a part-time player, he likely doesn’t need a full complement of spring at-bats. The A’s can slowly work him into the season. On the flip side, they have another excellent fourth outfielder candidate in Sam Fuld, who will almost assuredly take Gentry’s Opening Day roster spot if Gentry begins the season on the DL.He has an opt-out date at the end of the month, and the A’s don’t want to lose him.
Michael Taylor is out of options, yes, but he doesn’t profile as the part-time outfielder the A’s need, whereas Fuld has plenty experience in this role. Equally important is Fuld’s ability to play center field.
For those wondering if the A’s would carry both, it’s not likely. They’re only planning on taking four outfielders (Brandon Moss can act as a fifth outfielder) because they’ll probably have seven infielders in tow: Moss, Daric Barton, Alberto Callaspo, Eric Sogard, Nick Punto, Jed Lowrie and Josh Donaldson.
Ryan Cook threw live batting practice on Sunday, and his next step is a simulated game on Wednesday. He might need two of those before getting into an exhibition game; maybe not.
Today’s lineup vs. a split-squad Cubs team, with Kazmir on the mound: Crisp CF, Jaso C, Reddick RF, Moss 1B, Callaspo 3B, Vogt DH, Punto SS, Fuld LF, Sogard 2B