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A’s, River Cats’ & RockHounds’ Roster Projections

USA TODAY Sports

We’re now just a few days away from opening day, and Jemile Weeks has been optioned to Sacramento, Adam Rosales has been placed on the disabled list, and Hiro Nakajima has been struggling and is now dealing with a strained hamstring. And thanks to these recent developments, it looks like the A’s opening day roster may now be rounding into shape – and along with it, the Sacramento River Cats’ and Midland RockHounds’ rosters too.

This week on my blog, Athletics Farm, I projected the likely opening day rosters for the A’s, River Cats and RockHounds. And you can check out my projections below, along with those of Guessatomo, a devout minor league follower and regular commenter here on Athletics Nation.

There are two big question marks affecting the rosters at all levels. The first has to do with the status of Hiro Nakajima. At this point, it’s highly unlikely that he opens the season on the A’s active major league roster. So the question is, does Hiro open the season on the River Cats active roster when their season begins next Thursday, or does he open the season on the disabled list – after which, he could then join the River Cats. Guessatomo assumes he opens the season on the disabled list but, since he still hasn’t officially been disabled at this point, I consider him as still active and have added him to the River Cats roster.

If Nakajima does open the season on the disabled list, I think that probably opens a spot on the River Cats roster for third baseman Tommy Mendonca, whereas Guessatomo thinks it might give an opportunity to middle infielder Darwin Perez. But whoever would ultimately get bumped up to Sacramento, it would most likely open up a spot on the Midland roster for one of Stockton’s outfielders – Myrio Richard, Josh Whitaker or Dusty Robinson.

The other big question has to do with the abundance of quality relievers at the higher levels of the A’s minor league system. There are a dozen relievers who could easily be on the River Cats roster – Okajima, Norberto, Figueroa, Thomas, Scribner, Ekstrom, Simmons, Leon, Gordon, Fisher, Perez and Newby - but there’s probably room for no more that eight of them. I have James Simmons and Arnold Leon in the River Cats bullpen and Brian Gordon and Carlos Fisher in the RockHounds bullpen, but it could just as easily be reversed.

Some of you might be happy to note that neither of us has projected former A’s starting first baseman Daric Barton ending up on any of these rosters, as both of us believe his days with the organization are numbered – and that’s probably a single digit number! Of course, nothing is etched in stone and plenty can still change before opening day. There haven’t been any sort of official announcements from the team yet and there probably won’t be until about 24 hours before opening day. But check out our projected rosters for the A’s and their Triple-A and Double-A affiliates based on what we think we know at this point, and let us know what you think…

ATHLETICS FARM’S ROSTER PROJECTIONS

PROJECTED 2013 OAKLAND A’S ROSTER

--CATCHERS--

John Jaso C

Derek Norris C

--INFIELDERS--

Brandon Moss 1B

Nate Freiman 1B

Eric Sogard 2B

Scott Sizemore 2B

Jed Lowrie SS

Josh Donaldson 3B

--OUTFIELDERS--

Yoenis Cespedes OF

Coco Crisp OF

Josh Reddick OF

Chris Young OF

Seth Smith OF

--STARTING PITCHERS--

Brett Anderson LHP

Jarrod Parker RHP

Tommy Milone LHP

A.J. Griffin RHP

Dan Straily RHP

--RIGHT-HANDED RELIEVERS--

Grant Balfour RHP

Ryan Cook RHP

Pat Neshek RHP

Chris Resop RHP

--LEFT-HANDED RELIEVERS--

Sean Doolittle LHP

Jerry Blevins LHP

Travis Blackley LHP

(Bartolo Colon – SUSPENDED)

(Fernando Rodriguez – DL)

(Adam Rosales – DL)

PROJECTED 2013 SACRAMENTO RIVER CATS ROSTER

--HITTERS--

Luke Montz C

David Freitas C

Hiro Nakajima SS (if not on DL)

Jemile Weeks 2B

Andy Parrino SS-3B-OF

Grant Green 2B-3B-OF

Josh Horton 3B-SS-2B

Scott Moore 1B-3B-DH

Shane Peterson OF-1B

Conner Crumbliss OF-2B

Michael Choice OF

Michael Taylor OF

--STARTING PITCHERS--

Sonny Gray RHP

Andrew Werner LHP

Jesse Chavez RHP

Bruce Billings RHP

Travis Banwart RHP

--RIGHT-HANDED RELIEVERS--

Evan Scribner RHP

Mike Ekstrom RHP

James Simmons RHP (possibly at AA)

Arnold Leon RHP (possibly at AA)

--LEFT-HANDED RELIEVERS--

Hideki Okajima LHP

Jordan Norberto LHP

Pedro Figueroa LHP

Justin Thomas LHP

PROJECTED 2013 MIDLAND ROCKHOUNDS ROSTER

--HITTERS--

Beau Taylor C

Ryan Ortiz C

Anthony Aliotti 1B-DH

Tommy Mendonca 3B-DH (promoted to AAA if Nakajima on DL)

Miles Head 3B-1B

Jefry Marte 3B-1B

Dusty Coleman SS

Darwin Perez 2B-SS

Tyler Ladendorf 2B-SS-OF

Jeremy Barfield OF

Chad Oberacker OF

D’Arby Myers OF

--STARTING PITCHERS--

Carlos Hernandez LHP

Murphy Smith RHP

Josh Bowman RHP

Sean Murphy RHP

Jacob Brown LHP

--RIGHT-HANDED RELIEVERS--

Brian Gordon RHP (possibly at AAA)

Carlos Fisher RHP (possibly at AAA)

Kyler Newby RHP

Darren Byrd RHP

Paul Smyth RHP

Nate Long RHP

Sergio Perez RHP

--LEFT-HANDED RELIEVERS--

Frank Gailey LHP

GUESSATOMO’S ROSTER PROJECTIONS

Oakland A’s

SP

Brett Anderson

Jarrod Parker

Tommy Milone

AJ Griffin

Dan Straily

RP

LR-Travis Blackley

ROOGY-Pat Neshek

MR-Chris Resop

MR-Jerry Blevins

SU-Sean Doolittle

SU-Ryan Cook

CL-Grant Balfour

C

John Jaso

Derek Norris

INF

Josh Donaldson

Jed Lowrie

Nate Freiman

Brandon Moss

Eric Sogard

Scott Sizemore

OF/DH

Coco Crisp

Chris Young

Yoenis Cespedes

Josh Reddick

Seth Smith

DL

Adam Rosales

Fernando Rodriguez

Suspended

Bartolo Colon

Sacramento River Cats

SP

Sonny Gray

Jesse Chavez

Bruce Billings

Andrew Werner

Travis Banwart

RP

Justin Thomas

Jordan Norberto

Mike Ekstrom

Pedro Figueroa

Arnold Leon (could begin in AA if stretched out to start again)

Hideki Okajima

Evan Scribner

James Simmons

C

Luke Montz

Ryan Lipkin

(I believe Steven Hill retired)

INF

Andy Parrino

Jemile Weeks

Josh Horton

Darwin Perez

INF/OF

Conner Crumbliss

Scott Moore

Grant Green

OF

Michael Choice

Michael Taylor

Shane Peterson

DL

Andrew Carignan

Hiro Nakajima

Midland

SP

Josh Bowman

TJ Walz

Carlos Hernandez

Murphy Smith

Jacob Brown

RP

Shawn Haviland

Frank Gailey

Paul Smyth

Brett Hunter

Darren Byrd

Kyler Newby

Sergio Perez

Brian Gordon

C

David Freitas

Beau Taylor

INF

Miles Head

Jefry Marte

Dusty Coleman

Anthony Allioti

Tommy Mendonca

INF/OF

Tyler Ladendorf

OF

Jeremy Barfield

D’arby Myers

Chad Oberacker

Josh Whitaker

You may notice that Daric Barton isn’t listed anywhere. I believe that he will be put on waivers, whether he makes it through or not, I don’t know.

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