Triple AAA Sacramento

For those who know me, I love to rosterbate. While we pretty much know what the A’s 25 man roster will look like, baring any more acquisitions, it is interesting to look down a level. We know that with the A’s long history of injuries, as well as the long list of accident prone peoples on the big club, that the health of Sacramento is also the health of Oakland.

And with the latest in a series of moves and expected promotions, I thought it was logical to go and take a look at what the Sacramento roster might end up looking like. According to the Biz of Baseball, AAA Rosters are limited to 24.

 

 

The Starting Catcher will likely be, once again, Josh Donaldson, as the A’s most advanced top catching prospect. Behind Donaldson will likely be Anthony Recker, and perhaps Joel Galarraga, the fabled catching prospect the A’s signed out of the Mexican league, who promptly got injured en route to the Majors. The catching depth in AAA could very well be important, as Iron Man Kurt Suzuki has caught an amazing amount of games, and might be worn out sooner rather than later, and Landon Powell cannot handle every day duties, and may find himself on the disabled list himself.

At first base, if he is still alive, Sean Doolittle will likely make an appearance, either at 1B or Designated Hitter, depending on the shape of his remaining knees. Chris Carter could also make an appearance at 1B, though it seems more likely that he would end up in the corner outfield, preparing for the Majors if one of Willingham, DeJesus or Crisp got injured. It is also possible that Andy LaRoche will end up here if he gets squeezed out of the infield.

The rest of the infield is where the problems get trickier. The A’s have a lot of infield depth at AAA. Two top prospects are likely to be in the infield in Adrian Cardenas, who can play 2B or 3B, and Jemile Weeks, the oft-injured Second Baseman. I expect to see Weeks as the starting 2B and Cardenas as the starting 3B, but that also leaves a few other players in limbo. The A’s recently signed Andy LaRoche, the foiled top 3B Prospect to a minor league deal. Tolleson went unclaimed and passed through to be designated to AAA, and Eric Sogard performed great at AAA last year to earn a prospect status. One of the three, likely either Tolleson or Sogard, will play SS (of which I am actually leaning towards Sogard, as he has the higher prospect status, and as preparation for a bench role in Oakland if Rosales or Pennington get/stay injured), and the other two will be on the bench, though it is also possible that LaRoche could be moved to 1B if Doolittle, as is likely, is not ready when the season begins.

In the outfield, the A’s no longer have Corey Brown waiting in the wings after the trade with Washington, which leaves the A’s without a clear prospect centerfielder in AAA, especially after Wimberly was sent to Pittsburgh. The A’s could potentially convert Weeks to Center Field, with the hope that he would stay healthier at the position, which would also free up room in the infield. Another possibility is to play Michael Taylor in Center Field, as happened off and on last year. Its either that, or play Jai Miller or Matt Carson in Center, and play Chris Carter and Michael Taylor at the corners.

In the starting rotation, I expect to see a lot of potential filler for the A’s major league rotation or bullpen if the need arises. Tyson Ross will most definitely be there. Bobby Cramer has likely earned a spot as well. Newly acquired Guillermo Moscoso will likely end up in AAA, so he is another guy who will fill out the rotation, which can probably be filled out with players like Travis Banwart and Graham Godfrey.

The bullpen will likely end up with a mix of the rest of the rest. There might be a couple losers or rehabbers from the A’s bullpen battles, such as Jerry Blevins or Joey Devine. The rest of the bullpen will likely be fillers or fliers.

My prediction for the 2011 Sacramento Rivercats?

C1 Josh Donaldson
1B Andy LaRoche
2B Jemile Weeks
3B Adrian Cardenas
SS Eric Sogard
LF Chris Carter
RF Michael Taylor
CF Jai Miller
DH Steve Tolleson

BN Anthony Recker
BN Matt Carson
BN Adam Heether
BN Jermaine Mitchell

SP Tyson Ross
SP Bobby Cramer
SP Josh Outman
SP Guillermo Mososco
SP Travis Banwart

RP Fernando Cabrera
RP Justin Souza
RP Graham Godfrey
RP Danny Faquir
RP Jared Lansford
RP Brad Kilby

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