As spring training winds down, the A's roster is starting to come into clearer focus. With the team leaving for Japan in less than a week, we take our best crack at projecting the 25-man squad.
Catchers: Nick Hundley, Josh Phegley
Chris Herrmann's knee injury makes this a pretty easy decision for Oakland. Herrmann was expected to represent the left-handed side of a platoon, but he appears to be headed for surgery on his right knee and there is no timetable for his return. That leaves Hundley and Phegley splitting time behind the plate, at least to start the season.
Infielders: Matt Chapman, Jurickson Profar, Matt Olson, Marcus Semien
No surprises here. Chapman and Olson anchor a strong defensive infield, with Semien and Profar forming a stellar double play pair up the middle. Of course, all four swing the bat well too, both for average and power.
Outfielders: Mark Canha, Robbie Grossman, Ramón Laureano, Chad Pinder, Stephen Piscotty
Grossman, Laureano, and Piscotty figure to form the starting outfield trio, with Canha platooning in left and Pinder serving in a utility role. Nick Martini had a chance to make the squad before spraining his right knee last week. Franklin Barreto and Dustin Fowler have also performed well this spring, but both have minor league options remaining, hurting their chances.
Designated hitter: Khris Davis
Is an explanation even needed here? The only question is whether Davis finally makes the All-Star Game after multiple snubs.
Starting pitchers: Brett Anderson, Marco Estrada, Mike Fiers, Daniel Mengden, Frankie Montas
Fiers will likely be Oakland's Opening Day starter, with Estrada and Anderson following in the two and three slots. Mengden and Montas are both out of options, which means the A's would risk losing them on waivers if left off the roster. Top prospect Jesús Luzardo still has a realistic chance to make the squad, but the A's have said they want to take things slowly with him. Right-handers Chris Bassitt and Paul Blackburn have made solid cases this spring, but they both have options remaining and will likely start the season in Triple-A.
Relief pitchers: Jerry Blevins, Ryan Buchter, Liam Hendriks, Yusmeiro Petit, Fernando Rodney, Joakim Soria, Blake Treinen, Lou Trivino
Right-handers J.B. Wendelken, Andrew Triggs, and Ryan Dull are also in the mix, but we expect veteran southpaw Jerry Blevins to lock down the final spot, joining Ryan Buchter as the only left-handers in the Oakland bullpen. Treinen, Soria, Trivino, and Rodney will anchor the unit, which should be one of the best in all of baseball.