The Oakland Athletics have selected the contract of catcher-outfielder-first baseman Matt McBride from Triple-A Nashville, optioning reliever Andrew Triggs to Triple-A Nashville. To create room for McBride on the 40-man roster, pitcher Felix Doubront was transferred to the 60-day disabled list (Tommy John surgery).
McBride becomes the third catcher on Oakland's 40-man roster, and the San Francisco Chronicle A's beat writer Susan Slusser has an informed guess as to why the call up here:
I presume McBride called up so both Vogt and Phegley can be used without fear of needing an emergency catcher.— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) April 27, 2016
In addition, Phegley has been playing with some left wrist soreness after blocking a lot of pitches recently.— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) April 27, 2016
However, that wrist soreness isn't stopping the A's from starting Phegley tonight against Justin Verlander, with Vogt on the bench after making three straight starts. Billy Butler is the designated hitter primarily because he has 1.004 career OPS against Justin Verlander in 94 plate appearances, the second highest of any active hitter with more than 50 plate appearances against him (Joe Mauer has him beat by five points).
I suspect that Butler will stay in the game until Verlander is relieved, and then Vogt will come in to pinch-hit against a right-handed reliever unless Butler is already 2-for-2 or has a home run on the night. With both catchers in the lineup, the A's have McBride available in case they want to pinch hit for Phegley without putting Vogt behind the plate.
McBride has options remaining, so if this is just for a couple of days until the A's call up Jesse Hahn or Sean Manaea to start on Friday, it makes perfect sense. The bullpen was greatly aided last night by Rich Hill's seven-inning performance against the Tigers, so having an eighth reliever in Triggs is less important for the next day or two than having a third catcher.
With Felix Doubront going on the 60-day disabled list, there are still a couple of players who could be moved to the 60-day disabled list in case they want to add Sean Manaea to the roster to start on Friday. Eric Sogard might not be back from knee surgery until around the All-Star break, and Sam Fuld has not made progress from his shoulder injury.
Andrew Triggs made his major league debut in Monday's loss to the Detroit Tigers, tossing a scoreless eighth inning that also served to give an overworked bullpen a break. He did it in front of his parents, who flew up from his hometown in Nashville. Here's Triggs completing his first major league strikeout:
I think we'll be seeing Andrew Triggs again this season.