By Jason Wojciechowski on April 5, 2009 at 2:13 PM
Along with Joey Devine going on the 60-day DL (a very surprising move -- even guys who are out for the season are often initially placed on the 15-day DL, with a move to the 60-day being made only when it's necessary to bring up a 40-man guy later in the season; Boof Bonser is a recent example of this), the final roster decisions have been made.
Sean Gallagher is the long man and Gio Gonzalez is going to AAA. As I said in the last post, this was a "pick 'em" situation to me, and I find myself utterly unable to quibble one way or the other with it. It is what it is, and it'll be a fluid situation going forward. If Gallagher pitches himself out of the role and Gio doesn't blow up in AAA, he'll get his shot. If Gallagher pitches well, Gio may get his major league shot anyway because a rotation spot could open up, either through ineffectiveness (Braden?) or injury.
Andrew Bailey made the team out of the bullpen, which I can quibble with. It's almost entirely on the basis of a strong spring, he wasn't on the 40-man roster and will now have to be added (although Devine going on the 60-day opens up a spot), and it's not entirely clear why you wouldn't let him prove himself in AAA before jumping to the majors. I guess we can see this as fallout from the Joey Devine injury, since Bailey, regardless of his spring, would likely have been reliever #13 if Devine were healthy.
Having Bailey on the team means that the A's are going with 12 pitchers, which I don't particularly like, and which also squeezes out Daric Barton, who was sent to AAA along with Gio Gonzalez (and Jack Hannahan, Chris Denorfia, and Cliff Pennington, none of whom are surprises). This makes Jason Giambi the every day first baseman, not a pretty sight for those who value defense.
With Andrew Bailey, Brett Anderson, and Trevor Cahill all needing to be added to the 40-man, a situation has been created. The A's have kept Ben Copeland by putting him on the DL, so sending him back won't create a spot like I thought it would. There was already one spot, and the Devine DL move creates another, so we're back to where I thought we were before: needing one 40-man spot. I'll stick with my original guess of Jeff Gray or Chris Schroder getting removed.
Meanwhile, Geren has said he's running with the following batting order: Sweeney, Cabrera, Giambi, Holliday, Chavez, Cust, Suzuki, Buck, Ellis. That's close enough to optimal, I guess, and involves just one back-to-back left-left situation: Chavez and Cust. Chavez has a sizeable platoon split (112 vs. 71 OPS+) but Cust doesn't (100 vs. 98), so LOOGYs might be brought in for that pair, but they should only be especially effective against one of the two (and that one, by the way, is the one that Nomar might most naturally pinch-hit for).