A's Promote Owens, Feinstein
The Oakland A's announced the promotion of two valuable front office members to the ranks of Assistant General Manager on Friday. The team announced that Billy Owens is now the A's Assistant General Manager/Director of Player Personnel and that Dan Feinstein is now the A's Assistant General Manager, Pro Scouting and Player Personnel. Both Owens and Feinstein have strong reputations around the game for their scouting accumen.
“These promotions are very well-deserved for Dan and Billy and hopefully assure both are with the organization for a long time to come," A's General Manager David Forst said. "Each has served in critical roles for the A’s over the last two decades and contributed to a lot of success throughout the organization. I’m personally thrilled for them both.”
Owens has been with the A's for 18 seasons. He has served as the Director of Player Personnel for the past 13 years and has been an important part of the A's success scouting amateur players and identifying trade targets in other organizations. According to the A's press release, Owens will "continue to provide input and recommendations for potential trades and free agent signings, along with evaluation in the area of amateur scouting."
Feinstein has had two stints with the A's. From 1994-2004, he held a number of different roles for the A's before leaving for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2005. Feinstein joined the Tampa Bay Rays soon thereafter and served as their Director of Baseball Operations for six seasons. He re-joined the A's before the 2012 season with the title Director of Professional Scouting/Baseball Development. Feinstein currently oversees the A's international and professional scouting efforts and will continue in that capacity, according to the A's release. He will also "assist in all other aspects of baseball operations."
Griffin Expected to be Ready for Spring Training
Oakland A's starter A.J. Griffin is expected to be ready for the start of spring training. The A's right-hander suffered a shoulder injury while attempting a comeback from his 2014 Tommy John surgery. He was placed on the Nashville Sounds disabled list on June 20 and missed the rest of the season. According to Forst, Griffin completed his throwing program at the A's minor league facility in Mesa and left Mesa at the end of the major league season with the designation as a "regular (i.e. not rehabbing) player for the off-season". Forst said Griffin is currently working out at Fitch Park in Mesa and is expected to be ready for the start of spring training.
Griffin will be part of a big group of pitchers with experience starting in the major leagues competing for a spot on the A's Opening Day roster. In 47 big league starts, Griffin has a 3.60 ERA and a 235:73 K:BB in 282.1 innings. Griffin has been a starter for most of his professional career, although he did serve as the closer for the short-season Vancouver Canadians during his professional debut season in 2010. He saved 15 games and struck-out 27 in 21.1 innings that season. Griffin split his time between the bullpen and the rotation in college.