A’s Release Several Minor League Prospects
Cuts are an unfortunate part of every spring training and with less than a week left of spring training, several players have been informed that they won’t have spots within the A’s organization for the 2015 season. In recent days, left-hander Andrew Werner and right-hander Dakota Freese were given their release. On Monday, right-handers Drew Granier, Deck McGuire and Branch Kloess and first baseman Ryan Huck were let go.
Granier was one of the A’s representatives in the Arizona Fall League last October. The right-hander was a well-regarded prospect in 2012 and 2013, but command problems stalled him at the Double-A level. Granier was a 32nd-round pick of the A’s in 2011. He was a mid-season All-Star in 2012 (Midwest League) and 2013 (California League). In 2013, he was leading the California League in strike-outs when he was promoted to Double-A midway through the season. He was the Opening Day starter for Double-A Midland last season, but he had a 4.56 ERA and a 94:76 K:BB in 126.1 innings for the RockHounds. In 198.2 career innings at the Double-A level, Granier had a 149:118 K:BB and a 4.80 ERA.
Werner was acquired along with infielder Andy Parrino in the deal that sent right-hander Tyson Ross to the San Diego Padres. Werner pitched in the major leagues with the Padres, but he never found his footing in the A’s organization. He had a 5.78 ERA in 2013 at the Triple-A level and then posted a 6.32 ERA in 47 innings in Double-A last season before finishing the year on the disabled list.
Huck was a 2013 27th-round pick out of Western Kentucky. He had a promising pro debut, hitting .285 with an 843 OPS for the A's short-season clubs. Huck struggled in 2014 with Low-A Beloit and short-season Vermont, batting only .194/.276/.291 in 82 games.
Freese never pitched an inning for the A’s because of arm troubles after being drafted in the 12th round in 2013. Freese, when healthy, can hit 97 MPH with his fastball. McGuire joined the A’s for the final six weeks of last season after he was acquired from the Toronto Blue Jays. The former Jays’ first-round pick had an 8.05 ERA in eight appearances in Triple-A with the A’s. He was part of the A’s spring mini-camp but likely was victim to a crowded A’s starting pitching depth chart in the upper levels. Kloess also likely fell victim to the A’s crowded pitching depth chart. He signed with the A’s as a minor league free agent just before the start of spring training. He has a 3.59 ERA in 444.1 career minor league innings.
- Third baseman Renato Nunez may not be ready to break camp on Saturday with a full-season affiliate. Nunez landed on the rehab list on Monday. He has been dealing with a calf injury, although he took full batting practice on Monday and looked to be moving well. He hasn’t had a lot of game action of late, however, and may need a few at-bats in extended spring training before being sent out to Double-A Midland. Nunez joins fellow third base prospects Matt Chapman and Rangel Ravelo on the rehab list. Below is video of Nunez taking BP on Monday.
- Outfielder Jaycob Brugman (hamstring) escaped the rehab list and landed on the Double-A roster on Monday. Brugman was able to participate fully in practice and in Monday’s spring game.
- Outfielder Justin Higley has been putting on a power display in batting practice over the past few days. The Sacramento State alum has easy power to all fields and it has showed during BP. Higley is on the Double-A roster, although he is more likely to start the year in High-A or Low-A. If he can make more consistent contact this season, he is a strong candidate to reach 20 homeruns.
- Outfielder Shawn Duinkerk had another good day of BP on Monday. Infielder Melvin Mercedes has also been impressive both at the plate and in the field. Mercedes spent much of the spring playing with the Triple-A team before being put on the High-A roster on Monday.
Working Rosters as of March 30, 2015
The A’s will set their Opening Day minor league rosters for their full-season affiliates by the end of this week. They released a new roster on Monday morning and will likely have at least one more version of the rosters before the final rosters are completed. Below are the rosters as of Monday morning.
Eury De La Rosa