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Oakland A’s spring training 2017: Second round of cuts from MLB camp

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This post was updated at 5:30 p.m. PT.

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Every team enters spring training with way more players than it will end up needing. Between the 40-man roster and a slew of prospects and other non-roster invitees, the Oakland A’s began with 70 players, and they’ll have to cut that number down to 25 by Opening Day. Their first round of cuts last weekend took them down to 63, and on Sunday morning they reassigned nine more players to minor league camp to drop down to 54:

  • LHP Felix Doubront
  • RHP Tyler Sturdevant
  • SS Richie Martin
  • IF Jermaine Curtis
  • IF Max Muncy
  • IF Rangel Ravelo
  • IF Josh Rodriguez
  • OF Andrew Lambo
  • OF Kenny Wilson

We’re still early in this process, and none of these names are surprises. No one on this list was remotely close to challenging for an Opening Day roster spot, and I can’t even guarantee that there’s a place in Triple-A for all of them. None of them are on the 40-man roster.

The two key names here are Doubront and Martin. The former is still recovering from Tommy John surgery and hasn’t played this spring, so his reassignment feels more like a formality as he aims for a midseason return. However, Doubront is also the player on that list most likely to actually wear an A’s uniform this season, once he does get back on the mound. As for Martin, he’s a top prospect slated for Double-A this year, so he was presumably in camp for the big league experience as much as anything.

After Doubront, Sturdevant is my pick for having the next-best chance to wear green and gold this year. The reliever reached MLB last year, and he should be part of a wide assortment of bullpen depth options in Triple-A. As for Lambo, his quest for a Moss-like breakout last year was halted by a bout with cancer. He’s recovered now and back on the field, where it’s at least feasible he could hit his way into Oakland’s thin outfield sometime this summer (though it would require some extreme circumstances).

The rest of these guys currently fall into the category of pure org filler. Muncy and Ravelo were DFA’d this winter but cleared waivers (meaning no team wanted them for free), and they both carry “tweener” profiles that make it tough to see where they fit into the A’s future. Rodriguez is a 32-year-old MiLB journeyman utilityman, while Curtis and Wilson are offseason signings who can plug some holes in minor league lineups.

Lambo, Ravelo, and Wilson all homered in the Cactus League this spring. Muncy, Rodriguez, and Martin barely played, and Curtis never got into a game. Sturdevant pitched only one game (yesterday), and of course Doubront didn’t pitch at all due to injury.

UPDATE: After Sunday’s game against the Cubs, the A’s made two more cuts, thinning the squad down to 52:

  • 3B/LF Renato Nunez
  • RHP Zach Neal

Both players debuted in MLB last year. Nunez is the first member of the 40-man roster to be sent packing, so rather than being “reassigned to minor league camp” the proper terminology is that he was optioned to Triple-A. He made a good showing this spring, going 6-for-18 with 2 HR, a double, 1 BB, and 5 Ks, and he’ll have the chance to earn his way up to the bigs this year if he hits well in Triple-A. Neal is a swingman who can serve as emergency depth in either the rotation or the bullpen, but he was never a threat to make the team out of spring.

There are now 52 players in MLB camp, though that doesn’t necessarily mean much for game purposes because extras are often borrowed from minor league camp. For example, on Saturday the 9th inning was pitched by Logan Shore and the walk-off hit was notched by Max Schrock, a pair of minor league top prospects who are “assigned to [the] Oakland Athletics” according to the team’s transaction logs (along with 16 more prospects) but don’t count toward that total of 52.

This isn’t yet big news, but hereafter every round of cuts will get more relevant and interesting.

Here’s the full spring training squad. Players in italics are non-roster invitees. Players in strikethrough have been reassigned to minor league camp.

Pitchers Hitters
Starters

Sonny Gray (R)
Sean Manaea (L)
Kendall Graveman (R)
Andrew Triggs (R)
Jharel Cotton (R)
Daniel Mengden (R)
Raul Alcantara (R)
Jesse Hahn (R)
Frankie Montas (R)
Chris Bassitt (R)
Paul Blackburn (R)
Ross Detwiler (L)
Felix Doubront (L)
Daniel Gossett (R)
Heath Fillmyer (R)
A.J. Puk (L)


Relievers

Ryan Madson (R)
Sean Doolittle (L)
Ryan Dull (R)
Liam Hendriks (R)
Santiago Casilla (R)
John Axford (R)
Daniel Coulombe (L)
Bobby Wahl (R)
Michael Brady (R)
Simon Castro (R)
Tucker Healy (R)
Aaron Kurcz (R)
Zach Neal (R)
Chris Smith (R)
Josh Smith (R)
Tyler Sturdevant (R)
Cesar Valdez (R)
Trey Cochran-Gill (R)
Catchers

Stephen Vogt (L)
Josh Phegley (R)
Bruce Maxwell (L)
Ryan Lavarnway (R)
Matt McBride (R)
Sean Murphy (R)


Infielders

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)
Matt Chapman (R)
Jermaine Curtis (R)
Max Muncy (L)
Rangel Ravelo (R)
Josh Rodriguez (R)
Richie Martin (R)
Max Schrock (L)


Outfielders

Khris Davis (R)
Rajai Davis (R)
Matt Joyce (L)
Jake Smolinski (R)
Jaycob Brugman (L)
Alejandro De Aza (L)
Jaff Decker (L)
Andrew Lambo (L)
Chris Parmelee (L)
Kenny Wilson (R)

This post was updated at 5:30 p.m. PT to reflect the additional cuts after Sunday’s game.