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A's Preliminary AFL Roster Announced

The preliminary roster for this years' Arizona Fall League has been released.  While the A's are required by Major League Baseball to provide 6 players to the AFL, the A's AFL affiliate, the Desert Dogs, only listed three A's Jemile Weeks, Corey Brown, and Grant Desme.

Here are the rules for eligibility:

Each Major League organization is required to provide six players subject to the following requirements:

  • All Triple-A and Double-A players are eligible, provided the players are on at least a Double-A level roster no later than Aug. 1.
  • One player below the Double-A level is allowed per Major League team.
  • One foreign player is allowed, as long as the player does not reside in a country that participates in winter ball, as part of the Caribbean Confederation or the Australian winter league.
  • No players with more than one year of credited Major League service as of August 31 are eligible, except a team may select one player picked in the most recently concluded Major League Rule 5 Draft.
  • To be eligible, players on Minor League disabled lists must be activated at least 45 days before the conclusion of their respective seasons.

Every other team that feeds the Desert Dogs has contributed three pitcher, including the Nationals Stephen Strausberg, except for the Oakland A's.  Usually, top pitching prospects don't go to the AFL as it increases innings and with the dry air, pitchers get battered around a bit.  Tyson Ross would seem like a good candidate, but he has already pitched 125 innings this year after only 92 innings at Berkeley and in the A's system last year.  Capra could be the one exception for being under AA, and he pitched a fair number of innings last year. However, his 135 innings this year is probably pushing how much mileage the A's are going to put on his arm.  FDLS will need innings but I would think that the A's would want to control those more than they could in the AFL.  Carlos Hernandez would be an interesting choice if they were going to try to fast track him, but again he has thrown 147 innings.

Here are my guesses at the A's pitching component:

Henry Rodriguez:  Being on the 40 man roster means that he needs to get to the bigs soon, and is under his innings numbers from last year.

James Simmons:  He is under his innings from last year and the A's are going to need him to be ready for the inevitable injury next year, and if not to hopefully rebuild his trade value.  He will be rule 5 eligible at the end of the 2010 anyway so he will need to be placed on the roster.

Clayton Mortensen:  He is exactly like Simmons except for being on the 40 man.  If Eveland doesn't make the team out of spring training it is likely he will be lost on waivers. If that is the case Mortensen will likely be the first starter called up to fill in for injury.  Otherwise the A's are going to need to try to boost his trade value which isn't that high right now.

Who are your picks?

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