Today is the day! Oakland A’s pitchers and catchers officially reported to spring training today, which is the first tangible step toward a new baseball season. Position players will arrive by Saturday, and the first full squad workout is Sunday.
I’m excited and I’m not sure what to do with my hands. I’m just going to start writing things about spring training and we’ll see what I come up with.
Here’s a link to the A’s Cactus League schedule. The first game is Saturday, Feb. 25 at 12:05 p.m., against the Cubs. That’s a bit earlier than usual, to make room for the World Baseball Classic. The spring will wrap up with the normal three-game Bay Bridge Series against the Giants, from March 30 to April 1.
As for the WBC, that tournament will run from March 6-22. The A’s have nine players representing six countries.
And of course, we’ll do our Spring Training Game Thread Auditions again in the FanPost section. Look for the intro/signup post by Monday at the latest.
Soooo who is on the A’s now? Here’s the 40-man roster! Players in bold are absolute locks to make the team, barring injury. Players in italics almost certainly will not make the team out of spring, either because they’re already injured or because their presence on the roster isn’t a sign that they’re ready for MLB yet.
I put 20 players in bold, which means there are five spots left: two starters, one reliever, and two hitters (probably both outfielders, but not necessarily). The 12 players not in bold or italics are the key guys to watch this spring — some are fighting for imminent jobs for which they are currently front-runners (like Cotton and Triggs) while others are likely outside the bubble but are still auditioning for future consideration (like Olson and Nunez).
Sonny Gray (R)
Sean Manaea (L)
Kendall Graveman (R)
Andrew Triggs (R)
Jharel Cotton (R)
Raul Alcantara (R)
Jesse Hahn (R)
Daniel Mengden (R)
Frankie Montas (R)
Chris Bassitt (R)
Paul Blackburn (R)
Ryan Madson (R)
Sean Doolittle (L)
Ryan Dull (R)
Liam Hendriks (R)
Santiago Casilla (R)
John Axford (R)
Daniel Coulombe (L)
Bobby Wahl (R)
Stephen Vogt (L)
Josh Phegley (R)
Bruce Maxwell (L)
Ryon Healy (R)
Trevor Plouffe (R)
Yonder Alonso (L)
Mark Canha (R)
Matt Olson (L)
Renato Nunez (R)
Jed Lowrie (S)
Adam Rosales (R)
Joey Wendle (L)
Chad Pinder (R)
Marcus Semien (R)
Franklin Barreto (R)
Yairo Munoz (R)
Khris Davis (R)
Rajai Davis (R)
Matt Joyce (L)
Jake Smolinski (R)
Jaycob Brugman (L)
And while we’re at it, here are the non-roster invites (including veteran minor league free agents, top prospects getting some experience, and other depth guys).
The key names to watch here (click the links for full writeups on each) are Alejandro De Aza, who could be fighting for an outfield spot; Matt Chapman, one of the team’s top prospects and hopefully our 3B of the near future; Jaff Decker and Chris Parmelee, a couple of mildly interesting depth guys; and of course you should always keep the no-name relievers in the corner of your eye just in case one of them starts to unexpectedly emerge.
Players listed in italics are some of the A’s top prospects, but are still relatively low in the minor league system and are only here to gain some experience (rather than meaningfully compete for an MLB job in 2017).
Ross Detwiler (L)
Felix Doubront (L)
Daniel Gossett (R)
Heath Fillmyer (R)
A.J. Puk (L)
Michael Brady (R)
Simon Castro (R)
Tucker Healy (R)
Aaron Kurcz (R)
Chris Smith (R)
Josh Smith (R)
Tyler Sturdevant (R)
Cesar Valdez (R)
Trey Cochran-Gill (R)
Ryan Lavarnway (R)
Matt McBride (R)
Sean Murphy (R)
Matt Chapman (R)
Jermaine Curtis (R)
Max Muncy (L)
Chris Parmelee (L)
Rangel Ravelo (R)
Josh Rodriguez (R)
Alejandro De Aza (L)
Jaff Decker (L)
Andrew Lambo (L)
Kenny Wilson (R)
Click here to catch up with all the offseason moves throughout the AL West. (Last updated Feb. 6, so I’ll take another look at it later today.)
Sights and sounds of spring!
Just sit back and enjoy these.
Here we’ve got prospects Daniel Gossett (78) and Frankie Montas (72).
I believe in this sound.
Bullpen catcher Phil Pohl rubbing up some balls:
This is a great bench.
And here’s the kind of stuff they do on the first day.
OK I could go on all day but I don’t want this article to crash your browser.
The beat writers have already posted a few interview clips. I’m just going to link these, so click through to watch:
- Bob Melvin on the 34 pitchers in camp (link)
- Sonny Gray talks about stuff and things (link)
- Jesse Hahn looks to bounce back in 2017 (link)
- Stephen Vogt responds to low expectations for the A’s (link)
- Andrew Lambo on his return from cancer (link)
And finally, some updates on the injury front.
Phegley says he is full go for camp, no restrictions. Also about 10 pounds lighter, and he looks trimmer. #Athletics— Joe Stiglich (@JoeStiglichCSN) February 14, 2017
Click here for more on Phegley from Susan Slusser of the S.F. Chronicle.
Felix Doubront, who had Tommy John surgery 10 months ago, threw his first bullpen session today. Went great he says.— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) February 14, 2017
Chris Bassitt (Tommy John) also threw off the mound for the first time today. He's been using rehab time to completely overhaul mechanics.— Jane Lee (@JaneMLB) February 14, 2017
Good news in A's camp: Andrew Lambo got the all-clear from his oncologist in mid-Dec after dealing with testicular cancer last year.— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) February 14, 2017
Click here for more from Slusser on Doubront, Bassitt, and Lambo, as well as updates on Daniel Mengden’s foot injury.
Other misc notes
We’ll explore some of these odds and ends in full posts this week, but just to whet your appetite:
Vogt and Phegley have both caught Jesse Hahn in Az and say he looks terrific. Vogt thinks he has a chance at 5th starter spot.— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) February 14, 2017
Jesse Hahn says he needed to clear his head this winter after rough 2016. He is back to his old arm slot, says that old FB movement back.— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) February 14, 2017
Click here for more on Hahn from Joe Stiglich of CSN.
Melvin says w/ four relievers w/ extensive closer experience, the A's have luxury of using one reliever late for 1 2/3 IP, 2 IP some games.— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) February 15, 2017
Frankie Montas will be brought along as a starter this spring but more cautiously than rest of group, Melvin says.— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) February 15, 2017
Sonny Gray excited about possibility of pitching in WBC, but wouldn't join Team USA until 2nd round. #Athletics— Joe Stiglich (@JoeStiglichCSN) February 14, 2017
And finally, Melissa Lockard of Oakland Clubhouse has a rundown on the prospects who are playing in minor league camp this spring (specifically pre-spring mini-camp, for now).
HAPPY FIRST DAY OF SPRING TRAINING, ATHLETICS NATION!!