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Oakland A’s option Dustin Fowler to Triple-A

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The spring roster is now at 36 players.

Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The Oakland A’s optioned outfielder Dustin Fowler to Triple-A on Tuesday, the team announced.

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 A’s began with 63 players, and they’ll have to cut that number down to 28 for their Japan series (March 20-21) and 25 for their regular U.S. opener (March 28). That process continued this week, with pitcher Daniel Mengden being optioned on Monday and now Fowler as well. The spring roster is down to 36 players.

After an inconsistent rookie year in which he wasn’t able to make the permanent jump to MLB, Fowler enters 2019 looking upward at a crowded depth chart. The lefty had a decent spring, batting .293 and tying for the team leads with two homers and two steals, but there is a ton of competition in Oakland’s outfield right now. Fortunately, the 24-year-old still has plenty of time to put things together, and he’s now one more year removed from his scary 2017 knee injury and he gained a big chunk of experience last summer. If eligible, he’d still rank as one of the team’s Top 10 prospects.

For his part, Fowler was pleased with his performance this spring, reports Susan Slusser of the S.F. Chronicle. He’ll see time at all three outfield positions in Triple-A, per Martin Gallegos of the Mercury News, which is notable after he initially looked shaky in CF last year. If all goes well and he keeps hitting in Triple-A, then he could presumably be one of the first outfielders up when a need arises in Oakland.

As for Mengden, he’s one of the odd men out as the A’s decide on their Opening Day rotation. That doesn’t mean he’s out of the picture, though, just that he won’t be part of the first five to start the season. The A’s have quite a bit of depth for their rotation, and we saw last year how quickly the extra arms can come in handy. Manager Bob Melvin had this to say, via Slusser:

“He’s been demoted before, and he’s come back and responded and at times been as good a starter as we’ve had. He’ll be back at some point in time, but we are trying to create some depth as well. ... It’s a tough one because I’m pretty fond of him.”

In related news, one name we can expect to not see sent down in the next few days is Franklin Barreto. The 23-year-old ... utilityman, I guess? ... is having an excellent spring as he looks to earn a spot in the majors and finally deliver on his long-time top-notch prospect potential. The current plan is for him “to be active for the two regular season games against the Mariners in Japan,” reports Gallegos. That would put him on the special 28-man roster for those international games, though not necessarily the final 25-man roster for the U.S. home opener.

Here’s the updated spring roster. Players in italics are non-roster invitees, meaning they’re either CPL prospects or minor league free agent depth. Players in strikethrough have been cut and reassigned to minor league camp. Players with asterisks** have injuries that will keep them out for most of spring and/or past Opening Day. (See below for the 60-day injured list, which is not counted among the 36 players in camp.)

Oakland A's spring roster
Pitchers Hitters
Starters (8)

Mike Fiers (R)
Marco Estrada (R)
Brett Anderson (L)
Daniel Mengden (R)
Frankie Montas (R)
Tanner Anderson (R)
Chris Bassitt (R)
Paul Blackburn (R)
Aaron Brooks (R)
Jharel Cotton (R)**
Grant Holmes (R)
James Kaprielian (R)
-Parker Bridwell (R)
-James Buchanan (R)
-Parker Dunshee (R)
-Kyle Lobstein (L)
-Jesus Luzardo (L)
-A.J. Puk (L)
-Norge Ruiz (R)


Relievers (10)

Blake Treinen (R)
Joakim Soria (R)
Lou Trivino (R)
Fernando Rodney (R)
Ryan Buchter (L)
Yusmeiro Petit (R)
Liam Hendriks (R)
Andrew Triggs (R)
J.B. Wendelken (R)
Ryan Dull (R)
-Tyler Alexander (L)
-Jerry Blevins (L)
-Kyle Crockett (L)
-Kyle Finnegan (R)
-Dean Kiekhefer (L)
-Miguel Romero (R)
-Brian Schlitter (R)
-Wei-Chung Wang (L)
Catchers (4)

Chris Herrmann (L)**
Josh Phegley (R)
-Nick Hundley (R)
-Jonah Heim (S)
-Sean Murphy (R)
-Beau Tayor (L)


Infielders (7)

Matt Chapman (R)
Matt Olson (L)
Marcus Semien (R)
Jurickson Profar (S)
Franklin Barreto (R)
Jorge Mateo (R)
-Eric Campbell (R)
-Corban Joseph (L)
-Sheldon Neuse (R)
-Cliff Pennington (S)


Outfielders (7)

Khris Davis (R)
Stephen Piscotty (R)
Ramon Laureano (R)
Robbie Grossman (S)
Chad Pinder (R)
Mark Canha (R)
Nick Martini (L)**
Dustin Fowler (L)
Luis Barrera (L)
Skye Bolt (S)

60-day IL: RHP Daniel Gossett (TJS), LHP Sean Manaea (shoulder)

Previous cuts: 1st round | 2nd round | 3rd round