The A's were allowed to bring 30 players on their trip to Japan before cutting the Opening Day roster to 28, including three inactive players. Oakland announced that roster Tuesday, and while there were no major surprises, we did see an interesting development in the bullpen.
The A's selected Nick Hundley from Las Vegas, placed Jharel Cotton and Nick Martini on the 10-day IL and placed Chris Herrmann on the 60-day IL. Brett Anderson, Chris Bassitt and Aaron Brooks will be inactive for the Seattle series. The complete Opening Day roster: pic.twitter.com/JP4okWyQCT— AthleticsPR (@AthleticsPR) March 20, 2019
Right-handers Ryan Dull and J.B. Wendelken both made the active roster, while left-hander Jerry Blevins was nowhere to be found. Now that doesn't mean his tenure with the A's is over. The 35-year-old signed a minor-league deal with Oakland this offseason and has an opt-out option at the end of next month, the San Francisco Chronicle's Susan Slusser reported.
Oakland was hoping Blevins would emerge as a second left-hander in the bullpen, joining Ryan Buchter, but the veteran had a dismal spring. Blevins allowed eight earned runs in just three innings, surrendering three home runs. It appears Wendelken, after a strong outing in the season opener, may be the favorite to claim the eighth and final bullpen spot.
Meanwhile, the A's placed Jharel Cotton and Nick Martini on the 10-day IL and Chris Herrmann on the 60-day IL. Herrmann underwent arthroscopic knee surgery earlier this month and clearly won't be back for a while. That means Nick Hundley and Josh Phegley will split the catching duties to begin the season.
Hundley started the opener with Phegley replacing him in the late innings.
Oakland's first four starting pitching slots will be occupied by Mike Fiers, Marco Estrada, Brett Anderson, and Frankie Montas. The fifth starter job remains open, with top prospect Jesús Luzardo still a strong possibility.
Luzardo didn't make the trip to Japan but continued his normal throwing routine in Arizona following a terrific spring training.
The A's will have to set their official 25-man roster before their March 28 home opener against the Angels.