After dispatching the San Francisco Giants 4-3 in the final Spring Training tune-up before Monday’s Opening Day action, the Oakland Athletics made their final personnel tweaks, setting a 25-man roster before tomorrow’s deadline.
Today’s moves affected a few players that had a decent enough shot to end up on the MLB team, but ultimately didn’t make the cut.
Infielder Andy Parrino and relief pitcher Pedro Figueroa were optioned to Triple-A Sacramento, while shortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima was officially placed on the 15-day D.L. (retroactive to March 27) with a strained left hamstring (as expected). Additionally, pitchers Mike Ekstrom, Hideki Okajima and catcher Luke Montz were reassigned to minor league camp themselves.
Among the players that made the 25-man roster include infielders Eric Sogard and Scott Sizemore (who will share second base duties) and reliever Evan Scribner (who won the final bullpen spot).
One notable result of today’s roster decision is that of first baseman Nate Freiman. The 6-foot-8 infielder, who hadn’t previously played above Double-A in his career, breaks camp with the major league squad, where he’ll presumably get a chance to play a few times per week, splitting with Brandon Moss (although it’s not believed to be a full-on platoon situation).
An analysis of these roster choices: I was hoping to see Okajima make the big league roster. Yes, the A’s have an abundance of left-handed relievers (with Jerry Blevins and Sean Doolittle already nailing down two of the bullpen spots), but Okajima was particularly impressive with the Boston Red Sox a few years ago.
Hopefully he’ll end up making an appearance on the A’s later in the season, if he’s able to show a glimmer of the effectiveness he demonstrated in Boston.
Freiman is an interesting choice for the A’s, as well; considering he barely had a week to prove his worth, he must have really impressed Bob Melvin and the A’s staff enough to keep him around. He did make a nice diving stop on a play ultimately ruled an error by pitcher Bartolo Colon in Saturday’s game, which could have perhaps helped his chances.
Freiman was quoted as being extremely excited to be given the opportunity to play with the A’s on a major league level.