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Elephant Rumblings: San Jose a possibility for Oakland A’s alternate training camp

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Grant Holmes
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Good morning, Athletics Nation!

Now that the Oakland A’s full squad is cleared to work out at the Coliseum, after completing initial screening tests for coronavirus, the next question is where to locate the alternate training site for their minor leaguers.

In 2020, with no minor league season for their reserves and prospects to play in, each team gets an alternate site where those backups can stay warm. The A’s were initially going to hold theirs in Stockton at the home of their High-A affiliate, Banner Island Ballpark, but that idea lost favor when San Joaquin County saw an increase in virus cases. Now they’re looking at San Jose, reports Susan Slusser of the S.F. Chronicle.

The site in question is San Jose’s Municipal Stadium, officially called Excite Ballpark, home of the Giants’ High-A club. The Giants won’t need it because their camp will be in Sacramento at their Triple-A park.

It’s not a done deal yet, but the A’s are “close” to resolving this issue, says Slusser.

Wherever they end up, there will be 18 players initially reporting to alternate camp, out of the overall 60-man pool. They include starter prospects Grant Holmes, Daulton Jefferies, James Kaprielian, Tyler Baum, Parker Dunshee, and Brian Howard; relievers Wandisson Charles, and Miguel Romero; catchers Kyle McCann and Tyler Soderstrom; infielders Nick Allen, Logan Davidson, and Robert Puason; and outfielders Luis Barrera, Dustin Fowler, Brayan Buelvas, Greg Deichmann, and Buddy Reed.

That group will be joined by whoever else doesn’t make the Opening Day 30-man roster, out of the 42 players currently at the Coliseum.

The alternate site will be coached by the following list, per Melissa Lockard of The Athletic: Ed Sprague, Fran Riordan, Rick Rodriguez, Brian McArn, Tommy Everidge, Bobby Crosby, Javier Godard, Justin Whitehouse, Shane Zdebiak, Omar Aguilar, Henry Torres, Chad Yaconetti, and Thomas Miller.

Sprague is the A’s Director of Player Development, Riordan is their Triple-A manager, Rodriguez is their Triple-A pitching coach, and Everidge is their Double-A hitting coach. Crosby is the High-A Stockton Ports’ manager, and McArn is his hitting coach. Godard was set to be hitting coach at Single-A Beloit.

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