The Oakland A's made several roster moves on Tuesday, shifting both their bullpen and their bench.
http://www.scout.com/mlb/athletics/story/1748440-oakland-a-s-2017-top-50... On the pitcher side, the A's designated right-hander Raul Alcantara for assignment and recalled Cesar Valdez from Triple-A Nashville. Valdez was with the A's last Thursday when he made a spot start in place of Kendall Graveman. He allowed three runs in four innings in a game the A's would eventually come-from-behind to win. Valdez will move into a long relief role with Oakland, taking the spot formerly held by Alcantara, who struggled in his brief stay with the A's this season. Alcantara allowed 13 runs in seven innings over three appearances for Oakland. The 24-year-old right-hander is out of options, so the A's weren't able to send him down to Triple-A without first exposing him to waivers. Oakland will have 10 days to find a trade partner for Alcantara or risk losing him on a waiver claim. If he isn't claimed, Alcantara can be outrighted to Triple-A.
Alcantara is likely to generate some interest from other teams despite his struggles this season. The native of the Dominican Republic is one of the hardest working pitchers in the A's system. He can reach 96 MPH with his fastball and he has a sharp breaking slider and a promising change-up. Throughout his minor league career, Alcantara has always shown the ability to throw strikes and induce groundballs. He has struggled in the big leagues to throw quality strikes, often leaving the ball too far over the heart of the plate.
Alcantara had Tommy John surgery in 2014, which was his first option year. At the time, he had just 19.2 innings of Double-A experience. He returned to the mound a year-and-a-half later, but spent the rest of the 2015 season in High-A. Last year, Alcantara spent the bulk of the season in Double-A before earning a late-season promotion to Nashville. He dominated with the Sounds -- posting a 1.18 ERA and a 32:3 K:BB in 45 innings -- but that was all the Triple-A exposure Alcantara received before making his major-league debut. He could use more time gaining experience in Triple-A, but with his option situation, the A's haven't had the luxury of giving him that extra time in the minor leagues.
On the position player side, the A's placed centerfielder Rajai Davis on the 10-day DL with a hamstring strain. The move is retroactive to April 22. To replace Davis, the A's recalled centerfielder Ryan LaMarre, who played all of one game with the Nashville Sounds before joining the A's. LaMarre was acquired on Sunday from the Angels for a player to be named later. He will serve as a back-up centerfielder to Jaff Decker, who has played well in Davis' absence. For more on the A's depth chart situation in centerfield, please see my story from yesterday.