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Oakland A’s promote No. 1 prospect Franklin Barreto; Chad Pinder to disabled list

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The top prospect from the Josh Donaldson trade will soon make his major league debut for the Oakland Athletics.

Oakland Athletics Photo Day Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The Oakland Athletics have promoted consensus No. 1 prospect Franklin Barreto to the 25-man roster. Chad Pinder was placed on the 10-day disabled list after suffering a left hamstring strain in Friday night’s shutout win over the Chicago White Sox.

Barreto, 21, was one of the key prospects acquired in Oakland’s trade of Josh Donaldson to the Toronto Blue Jays in the 2014-15 offseason. Playing shortstop, Barreto joined the A’s system with the High-A Stockton Ports at the age of 19, he’s advanced approximately one level per year up to Triple-A Nashville in 2017.

At the moment, Barreto was borne to the big leagues more out of the needs of the 25-man roster than his performance in Triple-A. His strikeout rates have spiked this year to nearly 30 percent, up from 18 percent in Double-A Midland. Barreto is still hitting for extra bases when he does put it in play, however, with a .282/.328/.432 line with eight home runs, four triples, and 10 doubles in 304 plate appearances.

Whether Barreto stays up is a tricky question that probably depends on when or whether Jed Lowrie is traded and how long Adam Rosales remains in the A’s employ. In the near-term, the A’s want Barreto to be playing as much as possible. Pinder will be out for at least 10 days and Marcus Semien is just starting what will be a rehab assignment that will be near the maximum 20-day length, Barreto should get the starts ahead of Adam Rosales.

Looking past the next few weeks, there are a few pathways to deal with Pinder and Semien’s return. If Barreto performs beyond what his Triple-A numbers would suggest, the A’s could let Adam Rosales go once Pinder returns. By that point, the A’s might also be well on their way to trading second baseman Jed Lowrie, at which point Barreto could stay up at second base or the club could return Barreto to Triple-A and let Adam Rosales take the role.

Barreto was already on the 40-man roster to protect him from last winter’s Rule 5 Draft, so he was already using an option year and no 40-man move was required to add him to the 25-man roster.

Update (9:30 am PDT): Franklin Barreto is not in the starting lineup after playing for the Sounds in Oklahoma City on Friday night, undoubtedly requiring an early morning flight to Chicago. Barreto was already in the clubhouse at 9:17 am PDT, according to the San Francisco Chronicle’s Susan Slusser.

Update (10:10 am PDT): The A’s have scratched Jed Lowrie from today’s start and will start Franklin Barreto to make his Major League debut at second base. No word yet on the reason for the late scratch.

Update (10:25 am PDT): Jed Lowrie twisted his knee a little bit yesterday, Bob Melvin tells the beat writers, and is out with a slight knee sprain.