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A’s roster moves: 4 players out ahead of Toronto trip

One to IL, three to Restricted List

Colorado Rookies v Oakland Athletics
No his long hair didn’t grow back, it’s just an old photo
Photo by Michael Zagaris/Oakland Athletics/Getty Images

The Oakland A’s are headed to Toronto on Friday to begin a series with the Blue Jays, and a few players will sit out the trip amid the combination of international travel and public health restrictions.

The A’s announced that they placed outfielder Stephen Piscotty on the COVID-19 injured list, and also placed three others on the Restricted List:

  • LHP A.J. Puk
  • LHP Kirby Snead
  • C Austin Allen

There is no official report beyond the facts that those players have gone on those lists, so file the next two paragraphs under I don’t know it for a fact, I just know it’s true.

For Piscotty to go on this version of the IL could mean lots of things. He might have tested positive, or simply showed some kind of symptoms, or even be totally fine but just have been deemed a close contact to somebody else who’s sick. Perhaps this is merely the product of extra strict vetting before crossing the border to another country, or perhaps it’s coincidental timing and he’s not feeling well today, but one way or other we hope he’s OK.

For the others, going on the Restricted List immediately before a Canada trip likely means they’re unvaccinated, as players must be vaxxed and boosted to enter the country. It could be another reason, but the identity of their replacements (as we’ll see in a moment) means this is a COVID-related transaction of some sort. Assuming this is the case, all three will be able to return to action for the team’s next series, which will be at home in Oakland on Monday.

To fill in, the A’s added four players to the active roster:

  • RHP Ryan Castellani
  • LHP Zack Logue
  • C Christian Bethancourt
  • IF Drew Jackson

Only Logue was a member of the 40-man roster, but there is a special exception for COVID substitutes. They can be temporarily added to the 40-man and then sent back down without using options or passing anybody through waivers, so teams pretty much get a free pass to just grab whomever from their minors for a few days with no repercussions.

Logue was one of the prospects acquired from the Blue Jays in the Matt Chapman trade last month, and he worked as a starter last summer in Toronto’s upper-minors, with a full scouting report available here. Castellani signed as a minor league free agent over the winter after a career as starter in the Rockies system, with brief MLB experience in 2020-21, and a scouting report here.

The position players were also minor league free agent signings, who spent the spring as non-roster invitees and had impressive Cactus League performances. The 30-year-old Bethancourt has a bit of MLB experience, though not recently, and also some defensive versatility including pitching. At the plate the right-hander showed some power this spring and already hit a couple dingers in Las Vegas.

Meanwhile, the 28-year-old Jackson is a Bay Area product, born in Berkeley with high school at Miramonte in Orinda and college at Stanford. His utilityman game revolves around defensive versatility and getting on base, and he showed both traits this spring. He’s spent most of his pro career on the middle infield, primarily shortstop, but he can help out anywhere including the outfield.

Of this group, Logue is the only one yet to debut in MLB. Castellani appeared most recently last summer, while Jackson saw a few games for the Orioles in 2019, and Bethancourt last reached the majors with the Padres in 2017.

Here’s the updated 28-man roster.

Oakland A's 28-man roster
Pitchers Hitters
Starters

Frankie Montas (R)
Cole Irvin (L)
Daulton Jefferies (R)
Paul Blackburn (R)
Adam Oller (R)

IL: James Kaprielian (R)
60-IL: Brent Honeywell (R)



Relievers

Lou Trivino (R)
Domingo Acevedo (R)
Ryan Castellani (R)
Justin Grimm (R)
Zach Jackson (R)
Dany Jimenez (R)
Adam Kolarek (L)
Jacob Lemoine (R)
Zack Logue (L)
Sam Moll (L)

RL: A.J. Puk (L)
RL: Kirby Snead (L)
60-IL: Deolis Guerra (R)

Catchers

Sean Murphy (R)
Stephen Vogt (L)
Christian Bethancourt (R)

RL: Austin Allen (L)

Infielders

1B: Seth Brown (L)
2B: Tony Kemp (L)
SS: Elvis Andrus (R)
3B: Kevin Smith (R)
Jed Lowrie (S)
Sheldon Neuse (R)
Drew Jackson (R)

Outfielders

Chad Pinder (R)
Cristian Pache (R)
Billy McKinney (L)

IL: Stephen Piscotty (R)
IL: Skye Bolt (S)
SL: Ramon Laureano (R)