Progress Report on 40-Man Roster and NRIs

Roughly half-way through the spring schedule, teams are starting to whittle down their numbers in major league camp. With the A's expected to make their first cuts any moment now, we take a look at how the players on the 40-man roster who are not expected to be on the 25-man roster and the non-roster invitees have fared thus far.

40-Man Roster

*The following players are on the A's 40-man roster, but they are not expected to make the team's Opening Day 25-man squad.

Position Players:

Freddie Bynum: Bynum is out of options, so he is auditioning this spring for other teams as much as he is playing to make the A's 25-man squad. The 2000 top A's draft choice has shown some good power thus far, swatting a homer and three doubles in 21 at-bats. Overall, Bynum is hitting .333/.369/.619. Bynum has stolen one base in as many chances. He, like many of the A's position players, has benefited from Marco Scutaro being out of camp and players like Bobby Crosby and Bobby Kielty being sidelined with minor injuries, as Bynum is among the team leaders in games played and at-bats. He will likely be with the A's until the final cuts this spring and he has looked good thus far.

Javier Herrera: Herrera has generated a bit of buzz amongst the A's coaching staff who hadn't seen him play much before this spring. The 21-year old only has two hits in eight at-bats (.250), but he has wowed coaches in practice with his throwing arm, speed and raw power. He will likely start the season in high-A Stockton, but could be on the move to AA-Midland by mid-season.

Jeremy Brown: Brown is coming off of his best offensive season in two years, but he hasn't had too many at-bats to show his improvement so far this spring. Brown has hit only five times in four games, collecting one hit. He is looking to start the season in AAA-Sacramento, which would be his first season above AA.

Mike Rouse: Like Bynum, Rouse has benefited from the injury to Crosby and the absence of Scutaro. Rouse has appeared in seven games and has collected 16 at-bats. He is only hitting .188 thus far, but he has shown good patience at the plate, collected five walks against only two strikeouts. His defense was a bit erratic at the start of game play this spring, but he has looked much smoother in recent games. He is generally considered a solid defensive middle infielder.

Charles Thomas: Thomas came to camp hoping to show that his hitting malaise of last season was behind him. Unfortunately, he hasn't gotten his swing on track in early camp play. Thomas has only two hits (one extra-base hit) in 14 at-bats. He should see more action this week with Kielty on the shelf with an oblique strain and Mark Kotsay struggling with a sore throat.

Matt Watson: Last season, Watson was one of the A's top offensive performers before he was sent down to minor league camp. However, this year, Watson has yet to get his hitting going in limited action. He has appeared in five games and has had 10 at-bats. He has yet to record a hit, although he has walked three times. Watson, like Thomas, may see more playing time with Kielty and Kotsay sidelined.

Pitchers:

Santiago Casilla: Casilla was a late arrival to camp due to visa troubles, but he has made up for lost time and has been impressive in his two pitching appearances thus far. The pitcher formerly known as Jairo Garcia has worked three scoreless innings, allowing only three hits and striking out two. Perhaps most impressive is that Casilla has yet to walk a batter. He has appeared more aggressive in throwing in the strike zone then he did last spring and he looks poised to make a contribution to the A's at some point this season, although he is still likely to start the year in AAA.

Chad Gaudin: Gaudin has impressed at times in camp, but he has also struggled at times with the tempo of his wind-up, which has caused him to leave a few balls up in the hitting zone. Gaudin has given up six runs in eight innings, but he has struck out ten batters and has impressed the A's coaching staff with his live arm.

Shane Komine: Komine came to camp looking to build on the momentum of his strong second half of 2005 and he has done that thus far. The A's have been impressed with Komine's repertoire of pitches and the velocity he has been getting on his fastball. Komine has worked two official innings, allowing only two hits and striking out one. He also worked in the South Africa exhibition game and allowed a one in three innings, although that game did not count in the official spring stat sheet.

Juan Cruz: Cruz is coming off of a disappointing season that resulted in him losing his spot in the A's bullpen. He had a decent winter campaign as a starter for Licey, but he has been working exclusively as a reliever with the A's this spring. In two appearances, Cruz has allowed an unearned run in three innings. He has struck out three and walked one.

Chris Mabeus: Mabeus struggled during camp last year and was injured on and off through much of the 2005 season. Despite those injury problems, Mabeus was one of the Sacramento Rivercats' most reliable relievers. So far this spring, he has shown no ill effects from the injuries from last year. In two appearances, he has allowed four hits and a run in two innings.

Dan Meyer: Meyer has been brought along slowly this spring, as the A's don't want a recurrence of the shoulder injury that ruined his 2005 season. He had a positive first outing versus South Africa, throwing two shut-out innings. However, his first outing in an official spring game did not go quite as well, as he allowed two runs in two innings of work. Both runs came off of a John Buck homer. Meyer did strike out three batters in that appearance and his velocity appears to be up from last spring.

John Rheinecker: Rheinecker has been plagued with the same sore throat that is currently sidelining Kotsay. He has made only one appearance and he allowed four runs in two innings of work.

Ron Flores: Flores came into camp hoping to compete for a spot in the A's bullpen, but he has struggled in team play thus far. In three appearances, the left-hander has given up six hits and seven runs (six earned). He has walked two and hit a batter, while striking out only two.

Non-Roster Invitees

Position Players

John Baker: Baker had a forgettable 2005 season and then was removed from the A's 40-man roster in the off-season. However, he was invited to camp and has impressed in limited action with his bat and his throwing arm behind the plate. He has four hits in seven at-bats, including a homer and five RBI. He has also walked twice and has struck out once. Baker has benefited from the back injury to non-roster invitee Raul Casanova, who has yet to make a spring appearance.

Hiram Bocachica: Bocachica's spring ended before the games began. He underwent wrist surgery on the same wrist he broke in camp last spring and he will miss the first six weeks of the season recovering.

Danny Putnam: Putnam's initial exposure to the major league team has been a positive one. The outfield prospect has shown a solid line-drive swing and good plate patience. He has three hits in seven at-bats, including a triple, and two walks versus zero strike outs.

Scott McClain: As he did two years ago with the Cubs, McClain is threatening to make himself a difficult cut, as he has been showing prodigious power of late. The longtime minor league veteran has five extra-base hits (four doubles and a homer) in 18 at-bats. He also has five RBI.

Keith Ginter: Ginter, like Baker, found himself off of the A's 40-man roster this off-season after a disappointing campaign. He came to camp hoping that another team would be interested in trading for him, although he realizes that he is likely to spend most of the year in AAA-Sacramento. Thus far, Ginter has three hits in 12 at-bats, including one double and three RBI.

Andrew Beattie: Beattie is in camp with Oakland for the first time after being signed to a minor league contract last year. Beattie hasn't don't much at the plate (two hits in nine at-bats), but he has made a couple of outstanding defensive plays.

Kurt Suzuki: Suzuki had a hot bat and an even hotter throwing arm last spring, but he hasn't had too many game appearances so far this spring. In five games, Suzuki has nine at-bats and two hits.

Doug Clark: Clark signed with the A's this off-season after spending his career in the Giants' chain. He had an outstanding winter campaign in Mexico, but he has only one hit in six at-bats so far this spring.

Cliff Pennington: The A's top choice from last season has seen a lot of playing time thanks to the injury to Crosby and the absence of Scutaro. He has impressed the A's with his hustle and footwork around the bag, although his throwing has been erratic at times. He leads the team with five errors, most of which have come on throws. At the plate, Pennington has one hit in seven at-bats and a stolen base.

Daric Barton: Barton hasn't seen a lot of consistent game action yet, although he may pick up more at-bats at the spring moves on and the rosters thin. He has nine at-bats in six games and he has collected one hit. He has walked twice and has struck out three times. Barton has been working exclusively at first base and that should be his position for the 2006 season.

Raul Casanova: The veteran Casanova has been sidelined all spring with a back ailment. It isn't clear when he will return to game action.

Pitchers:

Jason Karnuth: Karnuth signed a minor league deal with Oakland this off-season hoping to position himself for a mid-season call-up with the A's. The former Cardinal has struggled this spring, however, allowing five hits and four runs (one earned) in four innings (four appearances). He has walked four and struck out none.

Alex Santos: Santos had a breakout year in his first season in the A's system, as he moved up three levels in 2005. He has made three appearances thus far this spring, allowing three hits and a run in four innings. He has yet to strike out a batter, however.

Matt Roney: The former first round pick of the Colorado Rockies has also struggled with his control, as he has issued five walks against only one strike out in 3.1 innings pitched. He has worked around his wildness for the most part (only two runs – one earned – allowed), but the walk total is still too high.

Adam Johnson: Johnson has made two appearances this spring and has allowed a hit, two walks and a run in three innings.

Randy Keisler: Keisler, the former Yankee, had a good first outing with the A's, earning the save in Oakland's initial spring win. However, he has struggled since and in five appearances, he has allowed six hits and four runs in five innings. The lefty has walked two and struck out two.

Mac Suzuki: Suzuki generated some initial buzz during practice, as he was throwing with good velocity and movement. However, after a good first outing, he has reverted to the form that caused him to post poor numbers in the Japanese minor leagues last season. Suzuki has allowed seven hits and six runs (five earned) in six innings over three appearances. He has given up two homeruns.


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