A's Re-Assign Eight To Minor League Camp

The Oakland A's whittled down their major league spring training camp roster on Sunday. We take a look at the cuts, as well as other news and notes from big league camp.

With Opening Day just two weeks away, the Oakland A's are getting closer to setting their 25-man roster. The team trimmed eight non-roster players from their major league camp on Sunday, leaving 39 players still in the hunt for a roster spot.

The players sent to minor league camp were catcher Luke Montz, infielders Jose Martinez, Darwin Perez and Addison Russell, and pitchers Fernando Nieve, Matt Buschmann, Deryk Hooker and Philip Humber.

Montz had a big camp at the plate, but he wasn't available to play defense. The backstop had right shoulder surgery last year and he is still building up the strength in his throwing arm. In 24 at-bats, Montz hit .292/.357/.583 with two homers.

Russell, the A's top prospect, had a solid camp but he has missed the past week with a hamstring strain and will now finish his rehab in minor league camp. Russell had seven hits in 25 at-bats, including two doubles and a triple.

Martinez, in his first camp with the A's, had six hits in 25 at-bats, all singles. Perez's arrival to camp was delayed by a visa issue, and he has only one at-bat this spring. He singled in a run.

Humber, the veteran right-hander, allowed 10 hits and nine earned runs in five innings. He walked five. Hooker allowed seven hits and two walks and six earned runs in 5.2 innings. Three of those hits were homeruns.

Buschmann had a solid 8:1 K:BB in five innings, but he allowed three runs and five hits. Nieve, another veteran, allowed eight hits and two walks in five innings, but he gave-up just two runs.

Griffin Gets Good News

A.J. Griffin will be in the disabled list on Opening Day, but the news he received from the doctor was positive, all things considered. Griffin went to the doctor with a sore pitching elbow, but an MRI found no structural damage. He was diagnosed with inflammation.

Griffin will rest for at least three weeks, and then he will have to rebuild his pitch count before debuting with the A's. If all goes without setbacks, Griffin should return to the A's in mid- to late-May.

Robertson, McKinney Opening Eyes

Although not officially part of big league camp, former high-round picks Daniel Robertson and Billy McKinney have received several opportunities in big league camp this spring.

Robertson, the A's second overall pick in 2012, has 16 at-bats in big league camp this spring. He has four hits, including an RBI single. Robertson has also made several impressive defensive plays at shortstop.

McKinney has 10 at-bats in MLB games and he has four hits, including a double. He also has two RBI. McKinney is 19 and is the youngest position player to get at-bats with the A's this spring.

Taylor Pushing For Roster Spot

Outfielder Michael Taylor is out-of-options and the A's are giving him plenty of opportunities this spring. He leads the team with 42 at-bats and Taylor has taken advantage of that playing time. He is batting .310/.396/.619 with three homeruns.

Catcher Stephen Vogt is also making a strong case for his inclusion on the A's Opening Day roster. Vogt has 12 hits in 27 at-bats and he has three walks against only two strike-outs. His line is .444/.500/.704 with a homer, a triple and two doubles.

Fellow catchers John Jaso (882 OPS/1 HR) and Derek Norris (1143 OPS/2 HR) have also impressed.

Prospect Billy Burns came to the A's this off-season in a trade for Jerry Blevins. He has lived up to his reputation as a speedster, with a team-leading eight stolen bases in 11 opportunities. Burns has seven walks in 17 games.

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