Green among four A's added to 40-man roster

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Green among four A's added to 40-man roster

OAKLAND -- The Oakland As selected right-handed pitcher Arnold Leon, infielder Grant Green and outfielder Shane Peterson from Triple-A Sacramento and right-handed pitcher Michael Ynoa from Single-A Vermont, the club announced today. To clear spots on the 40-man roster, the As outrighted right-handed pitcher Andrew Carignan to Sacramento and designated right-handed pitcher Jim Miller and infielder Brandon Hicks for assignment.

By adding them to the 40-man roster, the A's protect Leon, Grant, Peterson and Ynoa from being picked off by other teams in December's upcoming Rule 5 draft. The Rule 5 draft prevents teams from stockpiling minor leagues players that other teams would promote to the majors. Players are eligible for selection in the Rule 5 draft if they are not on their franchise's 40-man roster and either were signed at age 19 or older and have been in the organization for four years or were signed at age 18 or younger and have been with the team for five years.

Green batted .296 with 15 home runs and 75 RBIs in 125 games with Sacramento. He appeared in 49 games in left field, 30 in center field, 19 at second base, 19 at shortstop and 11 at third base. Green also played second base for Phoenix in the Arizona Fall League, hitting .273 with two home runs, 11 RBI and 10 walks in 17 games. The 25-year-old right-handed hitter was selected by the As in the first round of the 2009 First-Year Player Draft with the 13th overall pick. Originally a shortstop, Green converted to the outfield during the 2011 season at Double-A Midland. He is a .302 hitter in 388 games over four seasons in the minors.

Leon combined for a 4-1 record, one save and a 2.70 ERA in 44 relief appearances with Single-A Stockton, Midland and Sacramento. He allowed a .271 batting average and struck out 74 batters in 66.2 innings. Leon is currently pitching for Culiacan in the Mexican Winter League and is 1-0 with a 0.79 ERA in 12 relief appearances. The 24-year-old right-hander originally had his contract purchased by the As from Saltillo of the Mexican League March 15, 2008. He missed most of the 2010 and 2011 seasons following Tommy John surgery.

Peterson began the season at Midland and hit .274 with two home runs and 23 RBIs in 48 games before he was promoted to Sacramento July 2. He went on to bat .389 with seven home runs and 23 RBIs in 38 games with the River Cats for a .326 average overall. Peterson added 67 walks for a .460 on-base percentage. He was originally a second round pick of the St. Louis Cardinals in the 2008 First-Year Player Draft and was traded to the As with Clayton Mortensen and Brett Wallace for Matt Holliday July 24, 2009. The 24-year-old left-handed hitter has a .286 career average in 517 minor league games.

Ynoa combined for a 1-4 record and a 6.46 ERA in 14 games, 12 starts, with the As affiliate in the Arizona Rookie League and Single-A Vermont. He allowed a .258 opponents batting average, including .203 against right-handed hitters. The native of the Dominican Republic was originally signed by the As July 2, 2008 but pitched in just three games prior to this year. Ynoa missed the entire 2009 season with a right elbow strain and made just three starts in 2010 before undergoing Tommy John surgery. The 21-year-old right-hander missed the 2011 season as he continued his rehab.

Carignan was on the As Opening Day roster and went 1-1 with a 4.66 ERA in 11 relief appearances over three stints before undergoing Tommy John surgery on his right elbow June 19. Hicks was claimed off waivers from Atlanta March 13 and spent most of the season at Sacramento where he batted .244 with 18 home runs and 61 RBIs in 90 games. He also had two stints with the As, hitting .172 with three home runs and seven RBIs in 22 games. Miller had four stints with Oakland in 2012 and was 2-1 with a 2.59 ERA and .217 opponents batting average in 33 appearances. He also logged a 0-3 record, six saves and a 2.79 ERA in 16 relief appearances with Sacramento.

Oakland A's media services contributed to this report

A's spring training Day 43: Shore K's Trout in surprise big league start

A's spring training Day 43: Shore K's Trout in surprise big league start

TEMPE, Ariz. — Rather than join his minor league teammates for workouts like usual, Logan Shore got word Tuesday morning he would take the ball for the A’s against the Los Angeles Angels.

A few hours later, Shore was striking out Mike Trout to highlight his impressive four-inning outing. What an experience it was for Shore, a right-hander drafted last summer in the second round out of the University of Florida.

“It’s pretty cool,” he said. “There’s not really any words to describe that.”

The A’s scratched No. 5 starter Raul Alcantara, opting to throw him in a minor league game rather than let a division opponent get another look at him for scouting-report purposes. That presented Shore with a surprise opportunity.

He responded with four innings of one-run ball, holding the Angels to two hits. The game would take an ugly turn as the A’s bullpen got lit up in a 14-3 loss. But Shore’s outing was a glimpse of what Oakland might have to look forward to with the 22-year-old. The righty didn’t come out of college with the same hype as Florida teammate A.J. Puk, who the A’s drafted sixth overall last June. But he’s thought to be more polished than Puk at this stage.

Shore went 0-2 with a 2.57 ERA in seven starts with short-season Vermont in his pro debut. This spring, he’s been grouped with high Single-A Stockton, but he hasn’t received his official regular-season assignment yet.

“That’s the kind of lineup that gets your attention a little bit,” manager Bob Melvin said. “I thought he threw the ball really well. He had great command of his fastball, a backdoor sinker, good changeup, good slider. He probably got a little bit tired at the end, but he was very impressive. That’s the first time I got to see him throw.”

Shore pitched in relief for the A’s earlier this spring as a minor league extra, so that helped him keep his nerves in check Tuesday. Still, it was a different challenge tackling what closely resembled the Angels’ regular-season lineup, which features Trout and Albert Pujols in the meat of it.

Trout struck out and flied to right against Shore. Pujols flied to right and singled.

“I grew up watching all those guys, so it’s kind of cool to get to pitch against them,” he said.

HEALTH UPDATES: Left fielder Khris Davis and third baseman Trevor Plouffe, both nursing minor injuries, won’t return to the field until the Bay Bridge Series which starts Thursday night at AT&T Park, Melvin said. Plouffe has missed the past few games with a groin injury and Davis has a right quad issue.

“We’ll just bubble wrap them right now and send them home,” Melvin cracked.

Right-hander Chris Bassitt took another step in his Tommy John recovery with a 30-pitch session that included two sets of 15 pitches, simulating two innings with a break in between.

NOTEWORTHY: The A’s play their Cactus League finale Wednesday on the road against the Cubs, but most of the game will feature minor leaguers. All of the players who are heading north to face the Giants will be leaving for the airport sometime in the latter stages of the game.

On that topic, the A’s announced the 43 players that will make up their Bay Bridge roster. It includes 30 players from the 40-man roster, six non-roster invitees and seven extras from minor league camp. Oakland officially has 36 players still in camp, with Saturday the deadline to cut down to the final 25-man roster.

ODDS AND ENDS: After Shore left the game, the Angels struck for five runs in the fifth against Liam Hendriks. … The next inning, highly touted prospect Grant Holmes gave up five runs (four earned) in two-thirds of an inning. Holmes was one of three righties acquired from the Dodgers in the Rich Hill/Josh Reddick trade. Jharel Cotton and Frankie Montas were the others.

 

Revisiting the A's top 5 questions from the start of spring

Revisiting the A's top 5 questions from the start of spring

TEMPE, Ariz. — The A’s moving truck has already left the desert, and the team will be bolting for the airport after Wednesday’s Cactus League finale.

Spring training is quickly drawing to a close, with only the three-game Bay Bridge Series remaining before the games start to count. To mark that reality, here’s a look at the five most burning questions Oakland faced back when camp started in mid-February, and what kind of answers have materialized since …

1) Does Sonny Gray return to his old self?
The A’s absorbed their first major injury blow early when Gray, their potential Opening Night starter, went down with a strained lat muscle after a March 7 start. It wasn’t exactly what the right-hander had in mind coming off a 2016 season that sent him to the disabled list twice. Encouraging news came last week when Gray was allowed to start throwing again one week ahead of schedule.

When exactly he returns is tied to how soon he gets back on the mound. He’s been playing catch out to 105 feet, but manager Bob Melvin stressed the A’s aren’t going to rush things with Gray. Until further notice, the assumption is still that Gray will miss most of April.

2) Can a ‘healthy’ outlook be sustained?
Given what you read in the above item, obviously things haven’t gotten off to a great start in this department. Jake Smolinski, a candidate to make the team as an extra outfielder, showed up to camp with a sore right shoulder and required labrum surgery. Second baseman Joey Wendle, who was ticketed for Triple-A to begin with, also has been set back by a shoulder injury. But the focus, from an injury standpoint, is on Gray. If he were to miss just the first month of the regular season, that’s an absence the A’s should be able to cover. Any longer than that, and his presence really will be missed.

After last year’s roster-wide rash of injuries, better health is the most important first step in the A’s escaping the American League West cellar.

3) Who wins the closer’s job?
Six weeks of spring training has yet to reveal an answer here. If Melvin knows who his closer is, he isn’t saying publicly. Lefty Sean Doolittle, one of the veteran anchors of the relief corps, said Melvin hasn’t discussed roles yet with the relievers themselves. Expect more news on that during the Bay Bridge Series, which runs Thursday through Saturday. Of the four assumed ninth-inning candidates — Doolittle, John Axford, Santiago Casilla and Ryan Madson — none has been lights-out in Cactus League games.

The guess here is Madson, the A’s main closer last season, gets the first crack at the role this year as well.

“I don’t even think it’s on anybody’s radar,” Doolittle said Tuesday. “That’s one of the things that makes our bullpen effective. We’re not as attached to those roles as people might think.”

4) Where does Ryon Healy fit into the puzzle?
He fits in a little at first base, a little at third base and a little at DH. What we know is that Healy’s bat will be in the lineup regularly, it’s just a matter of where. Melvin spread his time pretty evenly between all three spots. Healy responded with a terrific spring at the plate. Entering Tuesday, he ranked third in the Cactus League with 16 RBI, the most spring RBI by an Athletic since Kevin Kouzmanoff also had 16 in 2010. Healy will play first base against lefties, platooning with Yonder Alonso. He’ll spell Trevor Plouffe at third. But it stands to reason a large chunk of his time will have to come at DH.

“I think he’s handled it well,” Melvin said. “It’s not easy, especially for a younger guy that was originally a first baseman. He worked as hard as anybody last year to make himself a third baseman. Now, it’s a little bit different for him and he knew that coming into camp. I think he’s handled his time wisely, worked hard at both positions, and he knows he has to move around a little bit this year.”

5) Can the A’s get their mojo back?
If a positive clubhouse vibe plays any part in a team turning around its on-field fortunes, the A’s are off to a good start. The early indications are that newcomers Plouffe, Matt Joyce, Casilla and Rajai Davis — those latter two are in their second stints with the A’s — all add some nice leadership qualities and mesh well with the returning vets. True, you can’t really read too much in spring training, when everyone always gets along in the spirit and optimism of a new season. But the A’s do seem to have better components up and down their roster to lead to a healthier season-long chemistry.

Just as you’ve read in the past, getting off to a strong start in the standings is the most effective way to maintain that chemistry.