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. They began that process on Sunday by reassigning seven pitchers to minor league camp, with no particular surprises among them:
- RHP Michael Brady
- RHP Trey Cochran-Gill
- RHP Heath Fillmyer
- RHP Tucker Healy
- RHP Aaron Kurcz
- LHP A.J. Puk
- RHP Josh Smith
Puk pitched on Sunday and was reassigned after the game, while the other six were sent down in the morning before the day’s action.
None of those players were in serious contention to make the Opening Day roster, especially the younger prospects Puk and Fillmyer who were mostly there to gain experience — though it’s not impossible that Healy or Smith could reach Oakland later this season. Cochran-Gill, Kurcz, and Smith each got torched in their brief spring appearances, and Healy struggled with walks, but Brady was effective in his two outings.
There are now 63 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 Sunday the 9th inning was pitched by Ben Bracewell, a minor leaguer who is “assigned to [the] Oakland Athletics” according to the team’s transaction logs (along with 16 more prospects) but doesn’t seem to count toward that total of 63.
Anyway, this isn’t big news, and none of these names will shock you, but it’s the first step in a long process toward slimming the roster to 25. How about a game for the comments: Pick three players who you think will be in the next round of cuts, and see how many you can get right!