With Opening Day just one day away, the Oakland A’s have finalized their roster. With a few more additions and some designated for assignment or optioned for Triple-A, its seems as though the Athletics are ready for the regular season. Let’s take a look at the moves that happened today.
As expected, Sam Fuld made the roster as the Athletics’ fifth outfielder. With backup outfielder Craig Gentry starting off the season on the DL with a back injury he has been dealing with all spring, Fuld will fill in when needed for the Athletics. He has done well this spring with a .271 batting average and a .348 OBP. Fuld was even better defensively and had a 1.00 fielding percentage in the outfield this spring. If starters Coco Crisp, Yoenis Cespedes or Josh Reddick ever need a night off, Fuld will a solid fill-in player in the outfield.
There was some talk about who would fill the last bullpen spot. With the multiple pitchers succumbing to injuries this spring, pitchers were dropping and being added daily. Many thought that left-handed pitcher Joe Savery would fill the last spot in order to add another left-handed reliever to the bullpen. However, it was lefty Drew Pomeranz that was chosen as the last bullpen addition, which was definitely a surprise for many.
Pomeranz is usually a starter and will most likely act as a long reliever for the Oakland A’s. Since the Athletics’ usual long reliever, Jesse Chavez, now holds a spot in the starting rotation, Pomeranz will probably act as his backup if Chavez finds himself in some sticky situations in the later innings of a game. Pomeranz had a 2.84 ERA this spring with 20 strikeouts over 12.2 innings. Even though his stay in the Athletics bullpen might be short since reliever Ryan Cook will assume a spot in the bullpen once he comes off the DL, Pomeranz will be a pitcher the Athletics can rely on to pitch multiple innings if the starter has to come out early.
Sadly, catcher Stephen Vogt was optioned for Triple-A despite spending the second half of the 2013 regular season with the Athletics and having a great spring. During spring training, Vogt had three home runs and 12 RBIs for a .364 AVG. Vogt expressed his disappointment to the press since he feels as though he is truly a part of this MLB team. Even though many would love to see Vogt on the roster for 2014, there was just no room for three catchers in the dugout this year.
Speedy Billy Burns who stole 16 bases during spring training this year will head back to Double-A for the start of the regular season. Even though he impressed his teammates and the A’s coaches, he has never played above Double-A. He will need to gain a little bit more experience before coming up to the Major Leagues. However, Burns demonstrated that he is a great prospect for the A’s in the years to come.
After winning against their Bay Area rivals, the San Francisco Giants, on Thursday and Friday during the Bay Bridge Series, it seems as though the Oakland A’s are ready for the regular season. And it seems as though their fans are ready too. It was announced on Friday that Opening Day at the O.co Coliseum - home of the Oakland Athletics – was sold out. So, here’s to the start of the season and the best of luck to the Oakland A’s!