The Opening Day Roster Is Here

Posted by Jason Wojciechowski on April 2, 2017 at 2:33 PM

Alex Hall has a breakdown over at Athletics Nation. I don't think I disagree with anything. It does, as both Hall and Susan Slusser have said, seem very like that we'll see Decker while the month still starts with "A" because of his May 1 opt-out clause and because Mark Canha isn't a center fielder and because the owners surely aren't going to provide enough folding chairs to actually house all the bullpen asses.

Decker isn't on the 40-man, but that's not a major obstacle: The A's will get their first 40-man move for "free" this year because Chris Bassitt can go to the 60-day disabled list; he's definitely not going to be back before June 1. It's maybe worth noting, however, that if the A's believe in Jaycob Brugman, they could let Decker walk and count on Brugman, who is already on the 40-man, as the eventual backup center fielder.

One interesting question is who the 13th pitcher on the staff is, i.e. who gets sent down when Decker is needed/wanted; or, alternatively, who gets sent down when Sonny Gray comes back. It's a fair bet that Raul Alcantara only made the rotation because of Gray's injury, but Alcantara is out of options, so he'll probably head to long relief, unless he's outpitched Andrew Triggs in the meantime and it makes more sense to move the latter back to relief.

Of the guys already in the 'pen, the Madson-Axford-Doolittle-Casilla axis aren't going anywhere. Doolittle can theoretically be optioned, but I can't imagine it; if he's healthy, he should be in the majors. The other three aren't even eligible to be optioned. Of the rest, only Liam Hendriks is out of options. If there's room in the Nashville rotation for Frankie Montas, it might make sense to send him there to continue his development, but if he's going to pitch in relief either way, I'd rather keep him around and send down Daniel Coulombe instead, unless he's off to a hot start and Ryan Dull isn't.