The Oakland A’s – still looking to get back on-track – made significant changes to their roster this weekend. Oakland placed struggling left-handed reliever Eric O’Flaherty on the disabled list with a left shoulder injury and sent struggling set-up man Ryan Cook back to Triple-A Nashville. The A’s also cut outfielder Cody Ross. In their place, Oakland recalled relievers R.J. Alvarez and Chad Smith and outfielder Billy Burns. All three played for Oakland this weekend in Texas.
In addition to the moves at the major-league level, the A’s claimed outfielder Alex Hassan off of waivers from the Texas Rangers and optioned him to Triple-A Nashville. This is the third time the A’s have claimed Hassan since last November. Hassan made his A’s organizational regular season debut on Sunday with the Sounds. He went 0-for-3 with a walk.
Hassan could be in for a longer stay with the A’s this time around. His previous two times with the organization were short. Hassan was claimed by the A’s off of waivers from the Boston Red Sox on November 17. He remained with the organization until November 20, when he was designated for assignment to make room for prospect Renato Nunez on the 40-man roster. Hassan was then claimed by the Baltimore Orioles.
Hassan remained with the Orioles until late February, when he was designated for assignment once again. The A’s then placed a claim on Hassan and he was with the organization throughout the rest of spring training. Hassan played well for the A’s in big league camp, hitting .444/.474/.500. A hamstring injury limited Hassan to just nine games at 18 at-bats, however, and he was optioned to Triple-A on March 29.
Hassan was expected to be a regular presence in the Nashville line-up, but roster maneuvering once again changed those plans. The A’s signed veteran Cody Ross on April 8 to fill-in while Coco Crisp was on the disabled list. To make room for Ross, the A’s once again designated Hassan for assignment. He was claimed by the Rangers and remained on their 40-man roster until late last week, when he was DFA’d by Texas. The A’s claimed Hassan on Saturday and he joined the Sounds on Sunday. Hassan hit .267/.343/.350 for Triple-A Round Rock before being designated for assignment.
Burns is likely to remain with the A’s only until Crisp is ready to be activated off of the disabled list, although if he continues to swing the bat well, the A’s could elect to keep Burns instead of the struggling Craig Gentry. Crisp appeared in his first rehab game with the High-A Stockton Ports on Sunday. He went 1-for-3 with a walk and an RBI. Crisp is expected to join the A’s while they are on their current roadtrip. Burns hit .315 with a .378 OBP for Nashville before his call-up. He is three-for-nine with a walk in two games for the A’s.
All of the roster moves between Oakland and Nashville have had a trickle down effect within the A’s organization. Left-handed reliever Jim Fuller was promoted to Nashville on Saturday to replace the spot vacated by Alvarez. Fuller joins Seth Frankoff as relievers promoted from Double-A to Triple-A this week. Fuller had allowed 12 runs in 10.2 innings for Midland, but he is left-handed and the Sounds were down a left-hander after Eury De La Rosa was claimed off of waivers last week.
Taking Fuller’s spot in Midland is right-hander Andres Avila, who makes the move to Double-A for the first time in his professional career. Avila had been serving as the Stockton Ports’ closer in the early-going this season. He was off to an excellent start. In 13.2 innings, Avila had yet to allow an earned run and he was three-for-three in save opportunities. He had allowed eight hits and two walks and he had struck-out 13. Avila was signed by the A’s out of the Mexican Summer League in 2010. The A’s hadn’t announced a replacement for Avila on the Stockton roster as of late Sunday night.
– Jarrod Parker made his third rehab start on Sunday and his first start for the Nashville Sounds. The right-hander threw four scoreless innings before running into trouble in the fifth. He was ultimately charged with three runs in 4.1 innings. He allowed four hits and a walk and he struck-out four. Parker threw exactly 75 pitches – 51 for strikes.
– Second baseman Joey Wendle had three hits for Nashville on Sunday. The hits extended his hitting streak to five games. Wendle has a .294/.337/.565 line for Nashville.
– Outfielder Tyler Marincov hit his third homerun of the season and had three hits on Sunday, but the Ports fell short of their third straight win over the San Jose Giants in an 8-7 loss. Marincov has three straight multi-hit games. He is batting .390 over his last 10 games.
– First baseman Sandber Pimentel has a six-game hitting streak and a three-game multi-hit streak for the Beloit Snappers. Pimentel now has his average above the .300 mark and is sporting a .306/.414/.486 line in 21 games. Pimentel is currently seventh in the Midwest League in OPS.