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Oakland A’s make first round of spring cuts from MLB camp

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Four players were sent to the minors, but no surprises.

A.J. Puk still isn’t quite back from Tommy John surgery.
Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

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 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).

They began that process on Saturday with their first round of cuts, trimming the spring roster to 59 by sending four pitchers back to the minors. None of them were realistically factors for the Opening Day squad, so there are no surprises here:

  • RHP James Kaprielian
  • RHP Parker Dunshee
  • LHP A.J. Puk
  • LHP Tyler Alexander

Note: Since Kaprielian is on the 40-man roster, he was officially optioned to Triple-A while the other non-roster invitees are were all simply reassigned to minor league camp.

For Kaprielian and Puk, this is merely a procedural move. Both are still recovering from major surgeries and have not yet pitched in any games this spring, and Kaprielian hasn’t even begun throwing at all after opening camp with a minor setback. Both are talented enough to make the Top 10 of our Community Prospect List despite their injuries, but they were never in the mix to make the team just yet. (Click for more on Puk and Kap.)

Meanwhile, Dunshee also cracked the Top 10 of our CPL, as a sleeper prospect who has dominated up through Double-A. He’s got a chance to reach MLB later this year, but he still hasn’t even pitched in Triple-A yet so he’s got something left to prove. The right-hander made two appearances this spring, getting knocked around once and then throwing a scoreless inning the next time.

Finally, Alexander was signed as a minor league free agent, bringing along a fascinating comeback story. The lefty is likely here as a reliever, which is a particular area of need among a bullpen that’s mostly right-handed, but considering he spent the last four years in independent leagues he was always going to have to re-prove himself in the minors first. He made it into a Cactus League game on Friday, tossing a scoreless inning.

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 59 players in camp.)

Oakland A's spring roster
Pitchers Hitters
Starters (16)

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 (17)

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 (6)

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

Infielders (10)

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 (10)

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)