Joe Kennedy probably put a clamp down on the A's fifth starter's job today by pitching five innings, allowing only one run, and striking out nine. And since Rule 5 acquisition Jay Marshall, by all accounts, has won himself a job in the pen, the roster is pretty much set now. The only question remaining is whether Bobby Kielty will be ready by opening day, or will have to start the year on the DL. If he does, there might be room for Erubiel Durazo, who played great all spring, but otherwise doesn't have a open spot to play.
Update: Susan Slusser reports that Dan Johnson was seen hobbling with a "tweak" in his hip, which may provide another opening for Durazo to make the opening day roster.
Here's a look at the Athletics' roster, as I see it, with some commentary about each player's status. Includes only 40-man roster, plus Durazo:
New cutter was supposed to help cut down on the number of gopher balls Haren coughs up, but it hasn't seemed to have worked in Arizona.
Got good results in his last start, but his velocity was way down, so there are concerns. Still complaining about his shoulder "not getting loose".
Terrible in spring until today's start, which probably won him the 5th starters job.
Been awesome all spring.
Missed most of March with triceps tendonitis, but has pitched well since returning this week.
Great all spring.
Coughed up a couple runs in his last outing, but otherwise has been quite good.
Got stretched out to pitch three innings yesterday. The A's won't have a long reliever given this roster, so Gaudin might be called on to pitch multiple innings.
Last year was a lost year due to injury, but he's looked good and healthy this spring. Been joking about a new trick pitch, but it's probably just a joke.
Rule 5er won himself a job. He's a lefty sidearmer, so you figure he'd be a LOOGY, but he's pitched multiple innings, and gotten right-handed batters out in the Cactus League, too.
Sent To Minors
His prospect days are over, methinks. He's been passed up by Marcus McBeth, Mike Marshall and Connor Robertson as A's relief prospects. I'm kinda surprised he hasn't been traded yet.
Pitched well in camp. Probably would have won the 5th starter job if Kennedy hadn't come through today.
Minor league free agent signing didn't impress much in camp, and was sent down early.
Flores, Marshall and Halsey were basically battling for one spot, but only one of them couldn't be sent to Sacramento, and it wasn't Flores.
He doesn't quite seem ready to get major leaguers out yet. Give him some more time in Sacramento.
He'll be in Oakland in 2008, if not sooner. Converted position player just needs some more seasoning.
He impressed early in camp, but nobody ever talked about him again. I think the shoulder probably won't be fully recovered from the surgery for another couple months. It would be nice if he could return to his pre-injury form and make the Tim Hudson trade worthwhile.
The booty for Kirk Saarloos didn't impress much in camp, and was sent down early.
Halsey still has an option, so he's another casualty of Jay Marshall's success.
Bob Geren said he wanted to see better control from Windsor. He seems like he's still a half-year or so from being ready.
C Jason Kendall
Hasn't hit much in spring. Probably doesn't matter.
1B Dan Johnson
Johnson was one of the big question marks going into spring training. Were his struggles last year just because of his eye problem, or is he really a AAAA player? He had a good spring, and earned himself another shot at the job.
2B Mark Ellis
Ellis hasn't hit much in the spring. PECOTA projects Ellis to have a great year with the bat, but I'm not quite so optimistic. I think he'll have a year more like 2006 than 2005.
3B Eric Chavez
Spring Training is especially meaningless with Chavez, because he doesn't even use the same swing he uses during the season. Last year was the one year he used the same swing in spring and in the season, and he got off to a great start, but got hurt. This year, expect a slow start again, but hopefully, better health.
SS Bobby Crosby
Crosby wasn't ready to play when spring training began, but has played this past week, and looked pretty good.
LF Shannon Stewart
Looks recovered from the plantar fasciitis that plagued him two of the past three years. Has had a great OBP all spring.
CF Milton Bradley
Been awesome all spring.
RF Nick Swisher
Started out slowly, but has been raking for about a week or so. He's ready.
DH Mike Piazza
Piazza looks great. He's ready, too.
IF Marco Scutaro
Scutaro played all winter, so he's sharp.
IF-OF Antonio Perez
Perez has taken up the outfield, to increase the number of ways he can get into the lineup. Made a great catch this weekend. Has also been mashing the ball, in contrast to his horrible year at the plate in 2006.
OF Bobby Kielty
Just got back in the batter's box after knee surgery. Not quite ready to field yet. Might start year on DL.
C Adam Melhuse
The A's like Melhuse as a backup catcher. However, if Kendall went down for an extended time, I'll bet the A's would bring up Kurt Suzuki and give him the playing time, because the A's like Melhuse as a backup catcher.
Sent To Minors
I don't think he'll ever get much of a shot in Oakland. And Suzuki's going to get the playing time in Sacramento, so I don't even think he'll get much of a shot in Sacramento, either. Still, he's on the 40-man roster, and Suzuki isn't.
Claimed off waivers from the Royals, he's looked pretty good after an injury-plagued season last year.
Just back from Tommy John surgery. Trying to get career back on track.
He's hit great all spring, and played pretty good defense, too. There's just no room for him on the roster with Piazza there. I suppose he could make the team if Kielty starts the year on the DL. He apparently has the right to become a free agent if he doesn't make the roster.
Rule 5 Return
Struck out a lot. Might be able to keep him, however, because Cleveland didn't disclose an injury when the A's drafted him, so maybe there's some sort of deal to be made as compensation.