March 31st Prediction: Vogt Odd Man Out

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

If you're going to make a major league roster out of spring training, you shouldn't do something careless like have options left. As spring training unfolds and you follow the buzz, it appears more and more likely to me as if Stephen Vogt will become a victim of his versatility -- specifically, the A's ability to shuttle Vogt on the I-80 between Oakland and Sacramento.

Bob Melvin has echoed David Forst's Fanfest insistence that John Jaso is coming to camp primarily as a catcher, and while Jaso figures to get plenty of DH time Melvin's recent comments suggest that Jaso will also get ample consideration behind the plate against RHP.

In that scenario I just don't see room for Vogt, who would become insurance against an in-game injury or a platoon-based pinch hitting at the catcher position. Granted, you don't really want Josh Donaldson in play as an emergency 3rd catcher, but if the final roster spots come down to Vogt, Callaspo, Freiman, and Barton it's hard to see the A's letting Vogt sit on the bench while Barton is exposed to waivers.

Vogt and Freiman can be stashed at AAA, while Callaspo and Barton cannot. For the same reasons, I expect Fernando Abad to make the Opening Day roster ahead of Joe Savery, who has an option remaining. All these guys will likely see time in the big leagues in 2014, but in order to avoid exposing any of these players to waivers, here's how I'm seeing the roster take shape at the moment:

SP: Parker, Gray, Kazmir, Straily, Griffin
RP: Johnson, Gregerson, Doolittle, Cook, Otero, Abad, Chavez
INF: Jaso, Moss, Sogard, Lowrie, Donaldson
OF: Cespedes, Crisp, Gentry, Reddick
Bench: Norris, Punto, Callaspo, Barton

AAA: Vogt, Freiman, Milone, Savery along with Burns, Elmore, Pomeranz...

Does that seem right to you?

Also, kind of an auspicious development for Tommy Milone, noted in today's Chronicle. Milone has developed a 2-seamer to augment his 4-seamer, cutter, and changeup, and it has gotten rave reviews so far. I mentioned many times in game threads last season that I thought Milone needed to add a pitch that had sinking action, and that is precisely what he is doing.

We'll see how it plays out but when I said, long ago, that I thought Milone's upside was that of a #3 SP, it was based on him developing one more wrinkle to supplement his plus-changeup and pinpoint control and the belief that Milone might be able to continue developing his repertoire. Time will tell, but to me this is an exciting development similar to spring training 2010 when Russ Springer showed Dallas Braden how to throw a cutter and Braden took to it almost immediately. Hey, "Spring hopes eternal," right?

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