MESA, Ariz. -- Oakland Athletics outfielder Sam Fuld will be out at least three weeks with a "moderate [left] shoulder sprain," says A's manager Bob Melvin. Melvin says that "makes it tough" for him to be available for the Opening Day roster.
While the news is unfortunate for Fuld, who was hitting .364/.481/.591 with one home run in 27 plate appearances, it does give the A's the opportunity to postpone a difficult roster decision for the out-of-options Fuld. Bob Melvin had suggested earlier this spring that there still might be room for Fuld on the 25-man roster because of his plus-plus defense despite the additions of Khris Davis and Chris Coghlan, but it's difficult to figure out a 25-man roster that includes others that the club has suggested will be on the 25-man roster, including Coco Crisp, Billy Butler, and Mark Canha.
If I were to guess at where things will stand on Opening Day, the 13 position players would be something like this (positions by the official spring training roster):
- Catchers (2): Josh Phegley, Stephen Vogt
- Infielders (6): Yonder Alonso, Billy Butler, Mark Canha, Jed Lowrie, Marcus Semien, Danny Valencia
- Outfielders (5): Billy Burns, Chris Coghlan, Coco Crisp, Khris Davis, Josh Reddick
The five healthy position players on the 40-man roster that are still with major league camp that would be optioned to the minor leagues would be Eric Sogard, Tyler Ladendorf, Max Muncy, Andrew Lambo, and Jake Smolinski.
If Fuld goes on the disabled list, his stay can be backdated up to nine days before the start of the major league season on Sunday, April 3, so he would be first eligible to return on Saturday, April 9, the sixth game of the regular season.