This will be a recurring series outlining the different aspects of the A’s roster. I will preview what the outfield, infield, catching, bench, starting rotation, and bullpen will look like culminating in a preview of what the opening day roster might look like. This series will use the currently active 40 man roster with any updates at the time being taken into account. I will post the links to previous parts of the series here (1,2,3).
Oct 11, 2012; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Athletics fans acknowledge the team after game five of the 2012 ALDS against the Detroit Tigers at O.co Coliseum. The Detroit Tigers defeated the Oakland Athletics 6-0. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY SportsThe A’s current 40 man roster contains nine players who could be considered bench players. They are: Andy Parrino, Michael Taylor, Grant Green, Shane Peterson, Seth Smith, Adam Rosales, Eric Sogard, Jemile Weeks, and Daric Barton. The bulk of them were top prospects at some time but failed to break out the way scouts predicted. It is very deep and experienced group however with most seeing significant time at the Major League level at some point during their careers.
This group has a good balance of on base percentage (Barton and Parrino), speed (Weeks and Rosales), and power (Smith, Taylor, and Green). That will help the A’s late in the season or when the yearly injury bug hits the roster. With all the platoons the A’s used last year it will be good to let this group see a lot of play during spring training to get them ready for the season sooner.
The players with the most to prove are: Daric Barton, Jemile Weeks, Grant Green, and Michael Taylor. This seems like a large group but most A’s fans will agree with this list. Barton has been inconsistent since day one. He frustrates A’s fans by leaving runners on and not even taking the bat off his shoulder the whole at bat. Jemile Weeks went through a sophomore slump last year eventually leading to a demotion. Grant Green may finally have his chance to make it to the big club with a good spring training. Michael Taylor has seen some time in the bigs, but has never grabbed a hold of it. This may be one of his last chances to show something or else he’ll be in another uniform soon enough.
The player with the most to gain/lose: Grant Green. Green has been the top or one of the top prospects in the A’s organization since they drafted him out of USC. He has done everything he can at each level of the minor leagues and this just might be his first chance to see time at the Major League level. A’s fans want to see what he can do, but every season it seems there has been a stopgap for him. This season might be no different unless he can beat out Josh Donaldson at third or Jemile Weeks and Scott Sizemore at second during spring training. Recently manager Bob Melvin and GM Billy Beane said Green would get a “hard” look at second this spring training.
The A’s have a deep bench. Most of the players have some experience in the bigs which should be nice to have. There are not many possible moves left to add to it unless Beane signs someone on a minor league deal with an invitation to spring training. Oakland is primed to make another run again but their bench will need to be productive constantly for them to be successful late in the season and potentially into October.