clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Oakland A’s roster will have a new look next week

New, comments
Bruce Maxwell is on the way!
Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

The Oakland A’s are expected to call up catcher Bruce Maxwell from Triple-A on Monday, reports Susan Slusser of the S.F. Chronicle. Slusser notes that the corresponding move will probably involve a pitcher, meaning the team will return to the normal setup of 12 arms on the staff and four position players on the bench.

Maxwell, 26, made his MLB debut last season after a breakout year in the minors, and he held his own on both sides of the ball in 33 games. The lefty hitter brings strong plate discipline and a bit of power with the bat, and he gives Oakland a third option behind the plate along with Stephen Vogt and Josh Phegley.

When this move becomes official, Maxwell will be the third player promoted in a three-day span. Outfielder Jaff Decker tapped in for the struggling Mark Canha on Saturday, and infielder Chad Pinder was added in place of the injured Marcus Semien on Sunday.

The A’s faced many questions entering 2017, but one certainty was that change would come quickly and frequently as needed. It only took two weeks for the roster turnover to begin, as the horde of prospects and breakout candidates in Triple-A has begun to emerge. Here is how the position player portion of the roster will look, assuming it’s a pitcher sent down and they return to 13 hitters.

Catchers (3)

  • Stephen Vogt (L)
  • Josh Phegley (R)
  • Bruce Maxwell (L)

Corner Infielders (3)

  • Yonder Alonso (L)
  • Ryon Healy (R)
  • Trevor Plouffe (R)

Middle Infielders (3)

  • Jed Lowrie (S)
  • Adam Rosales (R)
  • Chad Pinder (R)

Outfielders (4)

  • Khris Davis (R)
  • Rajai Davis (R)
  • Matt Joyce (L)
  • Jaff Decker (L)

Disabled list: SS Marcus Semien, 2B Joey Wendle, OF Jake Smolinski (60-day)

Triple-A: IF Franklin Barreto, 1B Matt Olson, DH Renato Nunez, OF Mark Canha, 3B Matt Chapman (DL), OF Jaycob Brugman (DL)

Here it is in depth chart form:

Hot take: This is a great move. The eight-man bullpen was a questionable idea from the start, and even what little sense it had made on Opening Day had already gone by the wayside. Adding a fourth bench player at all is a good move, before we even get to who it is.

The fact that it’s Maxwell is also smart. He’s probably the best defender of the A’s three catchers, and his presence hopefully means that Vogt can get some at-bats somewhere other than behind the plate. That means a defensive upgrade for the catching position, and perhaps an offensive upgrade for DH or wherever Vogt ends up contributing when he’s not wearing the mask.

The A’s have been short on lefty bats this year, and on top of that Vogt’s own bat could potentially benefit from less time taking a beating behind the plate. With a third catcher in addition to the spare first baseman they already had, the A’s are still a bit light on up-the-middle infielders and outfielders. However, they at least have a backup for each key position, between Pinder and Decker, and the latter already impressed in his first game with the team.

The important thing is that the prospects are beginning to come up, because the sooner they get their chances the sooner they’ll stick, and that’s when The Future™ truly begins.