Jun 30, 2020
Projection: Who will make the As 30-man roster?
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The Oakland Coliseum will look a little different this July.
A group of 42 A’s will descend into Oakland to, in theory, start a three-week training camp in preparation for the MLB’s 60-game regular season sprint, truncated to a third the typical baseball season’s size due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Per the temporary, new rules, each team can have a 60-player roster for Spring Training 2.0. Then, roster start to shrink. By July 26 or 27, the new opening day, all teams must whittle their roster down to 30 players. By the season’s 15th day, the roster must be whittled again down to 28. By the season’s mid-point, each team must have its typical 26 players on the active roster.
The A’s announced 42 players would be invited to Spring Training 2.0, or Summer Camp, on July 4. There are 12 players that will head to an alternate site within reasonable driving distance — maybe Banner Island Ballpark, home of the high-A Stockton Ports, if San Joaquin County — completing a 54-man roster to start.
That leaves six spots open — presumably for additional signings and current A’s players traveling back to the States from Latin America.
The As have announced their player pool for the 2020 season. The list includes 42 players who will report to Oakland on July 2, with the first workout scheduled for July 4. pic.twitter.com/1yMp6kcrhe
— AthleticsPR (@AthleticsPR) June 28, 2020
With the sun nearly set on any minor league season, this camp will provide an alternate space for prospects and young players to get key reps. Budding starting pitching prospects Grant Holmes, Daulton Jefferies, James Kaprielian and Parker Dunshee were expected to take strides this season with the triple-A Las Vegas Aviators.
It’s expected, per MLB.com and The Chronicle, that A’s first-round pick, 18-year-old Tyler Soderstrom and 17-year-old top INF prospect Robert Puason, are expected to receive camp invites for the summer. Expect to see outfielders Luis Barrera, Brayan Buelvas and reliever Wandisson Charles on the 60-man, too. Barrera is on the 40-man and should be headed to Oakland.
Who might make the initial 30-man roster? The A’s might not have to do too much whittling and adding, and position battles at second base and catcher obsessed over pre-pandemic in Mesa are practically moot, for now. The 32 of the 42 invited to Oakland are on the 40-man, and the rest will form a taxi squad of available players that can be shuttled in.
Here’s the A’s Summer Camp roster.
31 on the 40-man (+Mengden on IL). 10 invites to Oakland camp and 12 invites to alternate site. pic.twitter.com/6Jjc5WoYNU
— Shayna Rubin (@ShaynaRubin) June 28, 2020
This rotation is deep, versatile and comprised of pitchers hungry to prove themselves. The versatility mostly lies between A.J. Puk and Chris Bassitt. Since the A’s are expecting to keep up a every-fifth-day routine from the get-go, either one could shift into a more routine bullpen or piggybacking role.
Puk, who was out with a shoulder strain when spring training was cut short, is throwing off the mound. Where he’s at strength wise, compared to the rest of the rotation, will be determined at camp with a little help from Rapsodo and Trackman (pitch tracking technologies).
Situational hitting could be a bigger focus in a truncated season, so speed on the base paths will hold a little more weight on a roster. The second base conundrum — will the A’s keep Franklin Barreto or Jorge Mateo at risk of losing one of the tools-y hitters? — is on hold as both players will not only get an extended space to grow in the big leagues, but provide ample speed along with Tony Kemp. Chad Pinder’s versatility is key, too, as he can squeeze in as an outfielder or infielder at nearly every position.
The A’s need more left-handed hitters. Seth Brown provides that and some big league success. Left-handed hitting Luis Barrera and switch hitting Skye Bolt are possible options as a fifth outfielder.
Designated hitter (1)
The expanded roster could also allow the A’s to carry three catchers, in theory. Sean Murphy, who had knee surgery in October, will need some relief behind the dish even in a short season. Will it be necessary to carry three catchers? Probably not. Jonah Heim, a switch-hitting 25-yer-old prospect, wowed in spring. His shortened swing produced big numbers in his 85 games with the Midland RockHounds, then the Aviators. But, when rosters need to have as much space for versatility as possible, left-handed hitting Austin Allen should provide all the depth at this position needed. Heim is on the 40-man and will be close by, in case.
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News Source: mercurynews.com
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- Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.
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It is without a doubt, the most bizarre conclusion to an NBA season in the history of the league, but thanks to the social media feeds of many of the players, fans have been given an impressive look inside the bubble just a few days into its existence.
While some players were unimpressed with the meals being offered at the start of their quarantine in the bubble or the rooms they'd be calling home for the coming weeks, others were pleasantly surprised with the accommodations.
Take a look below to see what players are saying about the NBA bubble after a few days inside.