The Athletics optioned pitchers Arnold Leon and Raul Alcantara, and reassigned invited non-roster pitchers Angel Castro, Jim Fuller, and Rudy Owens to minor league camp this morning. The A's also reassigned catcher Bruce Maxwell to minor league camp, according to the San Francisco Chronicle's Susan Slusser.
This reduces the number of players in major league camp from 64 to 58, the number of pitchers from 34 to 29, and the number of catchers from six to five. None of the players reassigned had a significant chance of earning a place on the opening day roster.
Raul Alcantara's optional assignment is interesting because he is recovering from Tommy John surgery performed last April. An injured player can be placed on optional assignment if he has not yet been placed on the disabled list, and from there placed on the minor league disabled list. Players on the major league disabled list accrue service time while players on the minor league disabled list do not. However, placement on a minor league disabled list still counts against the 40-man roster limit.
Alcantara, 22, was going to the minor leagues once he completed his recovery anyway, so the loss of an option year is not a big deal. He has two option years remaining, including this year's. He was formally assigned to Double-A Midland.
Arnold Leon, 26, appeared in three games this spring, pitching four innings in relief, striking out two, walking two, and allowing two hits and no runs. Leon pitched extensively in winter ball, which may have led Oakland to keep it easy.
Melvin says Leon a difficult player to send out but his big workload last year plus winter ball meant no starts for him this spring.— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) March 15, 2015
He was assigned to Triple-A Nashville.
Angel Castro, 32, made four spring appearances, pitching 4⅔ innings in relief, striking out three, walking three, and allowing three hits and one earned run. The A's acquired Castro from the St. Louis Cardinals for an international slot last August.
Jim Fuller, 27, made four spring appearances, pitching 3⅔ innings in relief. He struck out four, walked two, and allowed one hit and two runs (one earned). Fuller has never pitched higher than Double-A for the New York Mets and Minnesota Twins.
Starting pitcher Rudy Owens, 27, made three appearances totaling five relief innings. #99 struck out one and walked no batters, conceding six hits and five earned runs in the process. Owens made one start for the Houston Astros last September, but has otherwise been toiling away for the Triple-A teams of the Houston and Pittsburgh Pirates systems for the last four seasons.
Catcher Bruce Maxwell, 24, appeared in just three games, making only two late game plate appearances, striking out once. He reached Double-A Midland last season.