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A’s roster moves: Jed Lowrie reinstated, Kevin Smith activated from injured list

Half an infield back in action!

Oakland Athletics v Tampa Bay Rays
Return of the Jedi!
Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

The Oakland A’s lineup is just about back to full strength.

The A’s activated two infielders on Friday, the team announced. Veteran Jed Lowrie was reinstated from the COVID-related injured list, and rookie Kevin Smith was activated from the 10-day injured list.

Lowrie was one of seven players to go on the COVID list a couple weeks ago, and missed nine games over 11 days. He is now the sixth of those players to clear health protocols and return to action, with only reliever Lou Trivino remaining out, though utilityman Drew Jackson later joined the list too.

Smith was hurt during the game on April 18, sliding feet-first into first base and suffering a bone bruise in his left ankle. Now he’s back after a minimum stint on the 10-day IL, missing only eight games during that span.

Before landing on the IL, Lowrie was off to another solid start to the season, batting 5-for-20 with a homer and a 133 wRC+ mark. Smith had started every game, mostly at third base, and despite some early struggles at the plate he was 5-for-15 with a pair of doubles over his last five contests.

With two players coming back, two had to move out. The reinstatement of Lowrie from the COVID list meant that one of the emergency COVID substitutes had to go, and the pick was pitcher Ryan Castellani. The right-hander made it into three games while here, working 2⅔ innings without an earned run while stranding four of his five inherited runners. He is now removed from the 40-man roster and back in Triple-A Las Vegas, but he didn’t need to pass through waivers to do so thanks to a special set of COVID rules.

To make room for Smith, outfielder Mickey McDonald was optioned to Triple-A. The San Mateo product made his MLB debut on April 20 and played four games while here, going 0-for-4 at the plate but drawing two walks for a respectable .333 OBP. He was called up in traditional fashion to replace the injured Smith, so now that he’s going back down, McDonald remains on the 40-man roster and this counts as an option. Players get three option years, of which this is his first, and starting this year they can only be sent down five times per season, but that practice doesn’t begin until May 2 so this won’t count as his first of 2022.

With two hitters coming in, and a hitter and a pitcher going out, the bullpen is down to nine relievers, which is where it began on Opening Day. Trivino was at the Coliseum on Friday, throwing a bullpen and then to live hitters, reports Matt Kawahara of the S.F. Chronicle.

Here’s the updated 28-man roster. There are two players on the COVID list (CV), three on the regular 10-day IL, two on the 60-day IL, and one on the Suspended List. Players marked with an asterisk* are specifically COVID substitutes called up under that special set of rules.

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

Domingo Acevedo (R)
Justin Grimm (R)
Zach Jackson (R)
Dany Jimenez (R)
Adam Kolarek (L)
Jacob Lemoine (R)
Sam Moll (L)
A.J. Puk (L)
Kirby Snead (L)

CV: Lou Trivino (R)
60-IL: Deolis Guerra (R)

Catchers

Sean Murphy (R)
Christian Bethancourt (R)
Austin Allen (L)

IL: Stephen Vogt (L)

Infielders

1B: Seth Brown (L)
2B: Tony Kemp (L)
SS: Elvis Andrus (R)
3B: Sheldon Neuse (R)
3B: Kevin Smith (R)
DH: Jed Lowrie (S)
UT: *Nick Allen (R)

CV: *Drew Jackson (R)

Outfielders

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

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