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Oakland A's roster cuts: Jake Smolinski optioned, Carson Blair reassigned to minor league camp

Jake Smolinski was optioned to minor league camp after Sunday's game.
Jake Smolinski was optioned to minor league camp after Sunday's game.
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The Oakland Athletics announced two cuts from their major league camp following Sunday's win against the Kansas City Royals. Outfielder Jake Smolinski was optioned and assigned to the Triple-A Nashville Sounds and non-roster invitee catcher Carson Blair was reassigned to minor league camp as well.

Thirty-one members of the 40-man roster remain on the active roster in major league camp, though starter Henderson Alvarez (shoulder surgery recovery), reliever R.J. Alvarez (arthroscopic elbow surgery), and outfielder Sam Fuld (sprained shoulder) are all expected to start the year on the disabled list.

Six non-roster invitees remain, including catchers Bruce Maxwell and Matt McBride. Maxwell has impressed at the plate and behind the plate this spring, hitting .263/.333/.579 with two home runs in 21 plate appearances and throwing out four of seven attempted base stealers. It's become clear that has star has risen this spring, having dropped weight and given up drinking, according to a San Francisco Chronicle profile.

It's a big deal for Matt McBride that he's the fourth catcher sticking around with the major league team. While he's had only limited opportunities, going 1-for-15, he also plays in the outfield and at first base. That versatility, especially in the outfield, will be extremely valuable for a Nashville Sounds club that will be overloaded with infielders.

The A's are also retaining Andrew Lambo, who remains on the outside looking in for the opening day roster. He's hitting 13-for-40 with two home runs, two doubles, and four walks this spring (.325/.386/.525) and as a left-handed batter plays on the heavier side of a potential platoon if the A's need a call up.

Jake Smolinski appeared in 21 games this spring, hitting .316/.349/.500 with a home run and four doubles in 43 plate appearances. He's a strong contender for a call up if the A's need an extra corner outfielder, especially one who hits lefties well, though he was crowded out by the acquisitions of Khris Davis and Chris Coghlan.

Carson Blair appeared in 13 spring games, going 4-for-18 with a walk and eight strikeouts in 19 plate appearances (.222/.263/.278). He had one caught stealing in four stolen base attempts against him.