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Who to Expect on Expanded Rosters
2007-08-29 12:56
by Ryan Armbrust

With September 1st -- and roster expansion -- just a few days away, Oakland will likely be calling up roughly a dozen players from the minors and placing them on the active roster. After Esteban Loaiza's release on waivers, Oakland's current 40-man roster sits at 39 (not including players on the 60-day Disabled List). Rich Harden will be eligible to return to the roster on Sept. 9th, and I'm guessing that the 40th spot will be kept open for him until then. So, then, who are the other players we might expect to see in Oakland on Sept. 1st?

Players on the 40-man roster, but not on the 25-man roster:

  • Ron Flores - Flores had some control issues while with the A's earlier this season, posting a 15:12 SO:BB ratio in 15.1 innings. For Sacramento, he's been better: a 2.55 ERA with 26 strikeouts in 35.1 IP is good, but 17 walks isn't so encouraging. Still, another lefty in the pen is never a bad thing.
  • Brad Halsey - Halsey has been on the minor league DL for most of the season.
  • Shane Komine - Komine is a likely call-up as a mop-up relief guy -- not a starter. He's been overly prone to the gopher ball this season, giving up 21 homers in 126.0 IP -- well above his career rate. His SO:BB ratio is also out of whack this year, leading me to believe that there's something in his delivery that's changed, leading him to lose control and hang his breaking pitches.
  • Dan Meyer - Meyer may be called upon to fill Loaiza's spot in the rotation, assuming Colby Lewis doesn't break from his MLB track record of poor pitching. Meyer is going to be counted on to fill a rotation spot next season, and needs as much time as possible to get adjusted to MLB hitting.
  • Connor Robertson - Robertson wasn't impressive in three outings for the A's earlier this season (2.0 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 2 SO), and has been fairly mediocre in AAA (3.65 ERA, 35.0 IP, 38 H, 21 R, 15 ER, 18 BB, 39 SO).
  • Jason Windsor - He's been on the minor league DL since May 23.
  • Kevin Melillo - With Marco "Dizzy" Scutaro becoming unreliable due to his Lucille Two-like spells of vertigo, and Donnie Murphy, Eric Chavez and Bobby Crosby on the DL, it would appear that a 2B/3B could have some playing time in the last month of the season. Melillo has an OPS of .791 at Sacramento, and is showing signs of breaking out of a recent 3-for-26 slump.
  • Javier Herrera - The once-hyped "five-tool" prospect just hasn't been the same since getting caught using PED's and having Tommy John surgery. Herrera is hitting only .254/.316/.451/.767 at AA Midland after posting a .787 OPS at High-A Stockton. He's also been below average on the basepaths, getting caught stealing seven out of nineteen times for a 63% success rate.
  • Danny Putnam - After rehabbing his injured hand, Putnam has been struggling at the plate. He's slumping even further as of late, hitting .083 over last 10 games and .208/.298/.282 overall at AAA Sacramento.

Out of that group, I would expect to see Melillo, Flores, Meyer and perhaps Komine. With Oakland's full outfield, I'd be surprised to see Herrera or Putnam.

As for players who are not on the 40-man roster (as of today), but could see time in Oakland in September, here are my guesses:

  • Dallas Braden - It's hard to ignore someone striking out 17 batters at AAA. Braden did just that on August 27, and I'd be very surprised if he didn't get a start or two in September due to his gem for Sacramento.
  • Daric Barton - While Barton can't possibly live up to the expectations some Oakland fans have for him, he's going to get a shot at the big leagues this September. Though he's fallen off his midsummer surge, Barton still has a line of .295/.393/.445/.838 with 37 doubles and 9 home runs. That'll earn you some time in the bigs, especially if you do it as a just-turned-22-year old at AAA. As much as it pains me to say it, Dan Johnson is virtually done as a first-baseman for the A's. The door is open for Barton.
  • Jeremy Brown - With Oakland carrying two catchers -- only one of which has any future with the team -- Brown could be given another shot to prove he could be an MLB backup to Kurt Suzuki.
  • Gregorio Petit - Petit has the reputation of being a suberb defensive shortstop, and his bat has been coming around (.290/.345/.376 with 23 doubles and 6 homers between AA and AAA). I wouldn't be surprised to see Bobby Crosby, Donnie Murphy and Petit battle it out for playing time in 2008.

So that's eight guys from the minors, combined with the eventual return of Crosby, Harden, Chavez, Murphy, Buck and Kotsay. Sounds about right. Readers, what's your take? Who do you think will be on the roster on Sept. 1st? Sept. 15th?

2007-08-29 16:52:04
1.   Ken Arneson
I'm pretty sure Braden is still on the 40-man roster. I think the A's web site is in error.
2007-08-29 17:38:23
2.   Ryan Armbrust
1 I thought he was, too, Ken. I couldn't figure why he wouldn't have been listed, but I decided to ignore my gut and go with the "official" information. I'll be the first to admit, I'm not an expert on the 40-man roster and expansion rules thereof, though I think I've got a decent idea of how it all works.
2007-08-29 18:55:17
3.   Ken Arneson
Yeah, there's no way Braden would make it through waivers if the A's took him off the 40-man roster, and there's no reason for the A's to do so.

Barton might not get called up. If he's not a candidate for the Rule 5 draft (I suspect he isn't, but I'm not sure), they A's might want to save the 40-man roster spot for someone who will be. 40-man roster spots will be tough to come by this winter, as they have four players currently on the 60-day DL that they will need to make room for, and only two free agents: Stewart and Piazza.

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