The Oakland Athletics reassigned Matt Olson, Joey Wendle, Brad Mills, Ryan Verdugo, Fernando Rodriguez, Kevin Whelan, and Carson Blair to minor league camp after Sunday's game. With two weeks to go in spring training, there are 39 players left in camp plus the four pitchers not expected to be available in the opening weeks of the season.
A's top prospect first baseman Matt Olson got far more plate appearances than he might have expected thanks to spring training injuries that caused Mark Canha to play a lot more outfield and kept Ike Davis out of about a week of games. He came to the plate 45 times, going 8-for-41 with a home run, four doubles, and 14 strikeouts. He will not need to be added to the 40-man roster to be protected from the Rule 5 draft until after the 2016 season.
Second baseman Joey Wendle, acquired in the Brandon Moss trade, was extremely impressive in camp. Susan Slusser reports in the San Francisco Chronicle that many A's coaches and advisers freely made favorable comparisons to Mark Ellis. Wendle came to the plate 38 times, going 10-for-35 with a double, a triple, three walks, and seven strikeouts.
Fernando Rodriguez was thought to have an outside chance of reclaiming his place in the bullpen after clearing outright waivers in December following Oakland's acquisition of left-hander Eury De La Rosa from the Arizona Diamondbacks. Rodriguez made six spring appearances, striking out seven but walking five and conceding one earned run in 5⅓ innings. He generally faced Double-A and Triple-A batters this spring.
The others--starting pitcher Brad Mills, relievers Ryan Verdugo and Kevin Whelan, and catcher Carson Blair--were not going to crack Oakland's roster barring an injury crisis.
All seven of the players reassigned were non-roster invitees, so 31 players in camp expected to be available for opening day are on the 40-man roster, with eight non-roster invitees remaining. The A's will continue to borrow players from minor league camp as substitutes in spring games.
- Starting pitchers (8): Chris Bassitt, Jesse Chavez, Kendall Graveman, Sonny Gray, Jesse Hahn, Scott Kazmir, Drew Pomeranz, Barry Zito*
- Relievers (9): Fernando Abad, R.J. Alvarez, Tyler Clippard, Ryan Cook, Eric O'Flaherty, Dan Otero, Evan Scribner, Brock Huntzinger*, Pat Venditte*
- Catchers (4): Josh Phegley, Stephen Vogt, Bryan Anderson*, Luke Carlin*
- Infielders (11): Billy Butler, Mark Canha, Ike Davis, Nate Freiman, Tyler Ladendorf, Brett Lawrie, Marcus Semien, Eric Sogard, Ben Zobrist, Max Muncy*, Andy Parrino*
- Outfielders(7): Billy Burns, Coco Crisp, Sam Fuld, Craig Gentry, Alex Hassan, Josh Reddick, Jason Pridie*
- Injured (5): Sean Doolittle, Sean Nolin, Jarrod Parker, A.J. Griffin, Taylor Thompson
An asterisk indicates a player is a non-roster invitee.