The Oakland A’s announced a slew of roster moves on Friday afternoon. On the way up are pitcher Michael Brady and recent trade acquisition Boog Powell, and to make room outfielders Jaycob Brugman and Mark Canha were optioned back to Triple-A Nashville.
The highlight here is Powell’s promotion. The 75-year-old slugger hasn’t played since 1977 ... wait, wrong Boog. The 24-year-old outfielder came over from the Mariners in the Yonder Alonso deal, and after just three games for Nashville he’s already getting his chance in Oakland. His game is based around speed and plate discipline, and at his best he’s making a bunch of contact and getting on base. His Triple-A numbers this year in 61 games:
Powell, 2017: .333/.408/.477, 132 wRC+, 6 HR, 11 SB, 11.3% BB, 12.5% Ks
He plays a similar role to Brugman, and so it’s not a surprise to see one swapped out for the other. They are both lefty fourth-outfielder types, but Powell will likely carry the edge in speed, on-base ability, and CF defense — critical skills for the job they’re being asked to do on the current roster.
For his part, Brugman held his own in his first MLB trial. He stayed within striking distance of a league-average batting line, specifically by getting on base at a respectable clip, and even managed a few dingers. The defensive metrics hated his performance in CF, but he was never supposed to be an everyday player out there anyway; it still looked like he could handle backup duties if needed. We’ll surely see him again this season, and hopefully beyond.
Brugman, 2017: .266/.346/.343, 92 wRC+, 3 HR, 11.1% BB, 23.5% Ks (in 162 PAs)
This swap is a lateral move for the youth movement. One rookie outfielder taps out, and another one taps in. Powell even spent time with the rest of the core group in the lower minors, in his first stint in the A’s organization from 2012-14.
Meanwhile, Brady comes up to bring the bullpen back to eight arms. The young rotation is starting to hit a late-season wall, made worse by the subtraction of Sonny Gray, so at this point the extra arm in the pen is tough to argue against. His numbers from his first two MLB stints this year, working in a mop-up role:
Brady, 2017: 4.15 ERA, 17⅓ ip, 14 Ks, 5 BB, 4 HR, 5.73 FIP
Finally, Canha is the odd hitter out to make room for the pitching staff. He did his job in his brief duty in Oakland: 5-for-16, 1 HR, 1 BB, 2 Ks, plus a steal of home plate. That’s enough to keep him on the fringes of the depth chart, ready to step in once more if the need arises.
Canha, 2017: .210/.259/.410, 78 wRC+, 4 HR, 4.5% BB, 31.3% Ks (in 112 PAs)
The roster is finally starting to stabilize after the shakeups of the July trade deadline.
Sean Manaea (L)
Kendall Graveman (R)
Jharel Cotton (R)
Paul Blackburn (R)
Chris Smith (R)
Blake Treinen (R)
Santiago Casilla (R)
Liam Hendriks (R)
Ryan Dull (R)
Daniel Coulombe (L)
Simon Castro (R)
Josh Smith (R)
Michael Brady (R)
Bruce Maxwell (L)
Dustin Garneau (R)
Matt Olson (L)
Ryon Healy (R)
Jed Lowrie (S)
Marcus Semien (R)
Matt Chapman (R)
Chad Pinder (R)
Khris Davis (R)
Rajai Davis (R)
Matt Joyce (L)
Boog Powell (L)
10-day DL: C Josh Phegley
60-day DL: RHP Andrew Triggs, RHP Bobby Wahl, OF Dustin Fowler, OF Jake Smolinski