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And Then There Were 46…

March 11, 2012

The A’s released this press release following today’s game against the Royals,

“The Oakland A’s optioned left-handed pitcher Sean Doolittle and outfielder Jermaine Mitchell to Triple-A Sacramento, the club announced today.  The A’s also reassigned 10 non-roster invitees to their minor league camp, including right-handed pitchers Edgar Gonzalez, Sonny Gray, Jim Miller and Merkin Valdez; left-handed pitcher Fabio Castro; catcher Max Stassi; and outfielders Michael Choice, Grant Green, Cedric Hunter and Jason Pridie

The A’s now have 46 active players in camp.  That includes 38 players on the 40-man roster and eight non-roster invitees.  The breakdown includes 22 pitchers, five catchers, nine infielders and 10 outfielders.  The A’s have 40 players on the 40-man roster plus Scott Sizemore, who is on the 60-day disabled list.”

For the two players being sent to Sacramento, by my count this is the second time Doolittle will have been optioned as he was added to the 40-man roster on November 19th, 2010 in advance of that year’s Rule V draft. Meaning next year really has to be the year he does something.  Doolittle in his first spring as a pitcher looked good in his 1 1/3 innings of work, walking one and striking out three. Mitchell who was nice enough to give me an autograph yesterday and who was added to the 40-man roster one year to the day after Doolittle was added, used up his first option. Mitchell did not appear in any spring contests as he is recovering from injury.

Gonzalez was considered a long shot and his 15.00 ERA in just two outings didn’t make a believer out of the A’s brass. Gray, who was not expected to make the big league club out of camp, though much is expected of him, had just one outing, an inning where he allowed two runs, walked two and K’d one – his move was the lone one announced prior to the game’s start. Jim Miller was pretty much as atrocious in his two outings, walking four and K’ing just one in two innings of work. Valdez did not make one appearance in the green and gold, so the A’s must take simulated games and stretching sessions as valuable opportunities to judge one’s ability. Castro was the best pitcher of the lot in the spring, appearing in two games, throwing three innings of 1.67 WHIP, 3.00 ERA baseball.

Stassi appeared in one game getting two trips to the plate and striking out in half of them. Choice looked good in limited time going 2-for-7. Green, hit a game-winning home run just a few days ago, but that was his only hit in six at bats. Hunter had limited action going 1-for-4 managing to swipe a bag in that time. Pridie, meanwhile did little this spring going 1-for-7, his one hit being a double, but more noteworthy was his earning himself a 50 game suspension for using a “drug of abuse”.

Combined the cut pitchers appeared in nine games, throwing 10 1/3 innings of work, allowing 14 hits, ten runs (all earned), despite no home runs, while walking and striking out nine batters. That adds up to a sloppy, 8.71 ERA with 7.8 K/9 and 7.8 BB/9, making for a surprisingly decent 4.07 FIP, nearly all of it on account of the zero home runs allowed by the bunch. Combined the cut hitters went 5-for-26 owning a .192/.233/.346 slash line with a double, home run, five runs batted in and one stolen base, while walking twice and striking out seven times.

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