Mar 5, 2014; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Oakland Athletics center fielder Billy Burns (19) at bat against the Milwaukee Brewers at Maryvale Baseball Park. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
We’ve made it. After a brutal August, we are finally in September. Now is the time for end of the regular season call-ups for the Oakland Athletics. Today, the A’s 25-man active roster expands to a 40-man roster. The Athletics, and their fans, will be reunited with some familiar faces, and become familiar with new players as well. For those that are unfamiliar with the A’s minor league players, you’ll quickly learn a few names. These new names and faces will offer the A’s additional depth in the final stretch towards postseason play.
After a week of disappointment for A’s fans, today is a very exciting day and offers a fresh start for the club. Today, Adam Dunn will make his first appearance in an Athletics’ uniform, Jed Lowrie was activated from the disabled list, and Billy Burns and Fernando Rodriguez both return back to the Oakland roster. Additionally, new face and catcher, Bryan Anderson, makes his debut on the A’s roster. Finally, on Tuesday, Nate Freiman and Drew Pomeranz will also return to the A’s from Beloit. The A’s are hoping these roster additions will help their club make a strong push for the postseason.
"#Athletics reinstate Jed Lowrie from the DL; recall Billy Burns & Fernando Rodriguez from Sacramento; select Byran Anderson from Sacramento -Oakland Athletics (@Athletics) September 1, 2014"
One familiar face the A’s fans will be happy to see is Jed Lowrie. Lowrie has been on the DL for several weeks. He fractured his finger on August 4th during a game against the Tampa Bay Rays but initially played through the pain. On August 14th, Lowrie went to the Disabled List, and Andy Parrino was called up. Lowrie’s batting average in 2013 was .290, but has declined to .238 in 2014. He also has 97 hits, 42 RBI, and 46 BB in his 110 games with the Athletics in 2014. Hopefully he has fully recovered, because the A’s have certainly missed his presence.
Right-handed pitcher Fernando Rodriguez will be back in the A’s bullpen. In 2014, he made 6 appearances on the mound for Oakland, with a 1.13 ERA over 8.0 innings. He allowed 4 hits, but only 1 earned run, as well as amassing 4 strikeouts and surrendering only 2 walks. He has pitched 131.1 innings in the major leagues. For Triple-A Sacramento, he pitched 45.2 innings, resulting in a solid 1.97 ERA. He gave up 40 hits, 12 runs, 10 earned runs, 2 home runs, and 16 walks with 53 strikeouts.
We will also see the return of Outfielder and switch-hitter Billy Burns. Burns was acquired from the Washington Nationals organization during the offseason in 2013 for Jerry Blevins. He has played only 1 season in Triple-A, 2 seasons in Double-A and 3 games in the Majors. In 2014, Burns played for Double-A Midland, Triple-A Sacramento, and also made a brief appearance for the Oakland Athletics.
He has played just 28 games in Triple-A. With Triple-A Sacramento, he has 21 hits, 5 runs batted in, 9 walks, 19 strike outs, giving him a .193 batting average an .254 on base percentage. Burns has played only 3 games in the Majors, going 0-5 with Oakland. He’s not expected to fix the A’s offensive woes, but his exceptional speed as a pinch runner will be a massive asset to the team. Imagine Burns, Gentry, and Crisp potentially tearing up the bases.
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Bryan Anderson will also be donning green and gold. Unfamiliar with the newest B. Anderson? Well, he’s not Brett Anderson. This B. Anderson recently became a catcher for the Sacramento River Cats. How recently? Last week. On August 24th, the Oakland Athletics purchased him from the Cincinnati Reds. The left-handed hitter has a .320 batting average for 2014 (in the minors) but was batting .381 in his 5 games with the River Cats. His 2014 OPS is above 1.000 with Triple-A Sacramento and Double-A Pensacola. He could bring the A’s much needed offensive output, and, hey, the A’s like catchers, right?
A roster move will be necessary to accommodate the addition of Anderson. Update:
"#Athletics DFA Joe Savery to make 40-man roster spot for C Bryan Anderson.-Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) September 1, 2014"
Not surprisingly, this could be just the beginning, as the A’s are anticipated to continue making additional call-ups. Two years ago, the article entitled “Calling For Backup: A Look at Potential September Call-Ups” was written by Devin Pangaro, in which he stated:
"Keep in mind that with the River Cats clinching their sixth straight Pacific Coast League division title, the A’s may be initially hesitant to strip Sacramento of their best players right before the playoffs, so many may join after September 1st."
Susan Slusser has also reported:
"Monday’s call-ups will include relievers, and don’t be surprised to see speedy outfielder Billy Burns, who could see lots of action as a pinch-runner. Left-hander Drew Pomeranz and first baseman Nate Freiman will rejoin the team Tuesday. –August 31, 2014"
In case you missed it: Pomeranz and Freiman were sent to Class A Beloit to make room on the roster for players needed during the A’s series vs the Angels. The move was very strategic. By sending them to Beloit, a team not headed to the playoffs, the A’s can recall them on Tuesday following the conclusion of Beloit’s season.
If Pomeranz an Freiman had been sent to Triple-A Sacramento they would have had to stay with the team for 10 days. Except both to rejoin the Athletics tomorrow.
"Freiman, Pomeranz recalled as expected. Pomeranz figures to be long reliever, Freiman should see A’s vs lefties #Athletics-Joe Stiglich (@JoeStiglichCSN) September 2, 2014"
Wondering how some of the injured Athletics are recovering? Susan Slusser provided a few updates:
"Melvin says Doolittle is doing sock throws, won’t rule out possibility of Doolittle coming off DL when eligible next week. –September 1, 2014Crisp batting RH today and Jaso will take batting practice in next day or two.#Athletics -September 1, 2014Jarrod Parker’s playing catch at a distance of 90 feet now. #Athletics –September 1, 2014"
There are 26 games left, and after getting swept in four games in Anaheim, the A’s are sitting 5 games back from their arch-rivals, the Angels. Every game will be crucial in determining whether the A’s will be playing postseason baseball. Are you feeling more optimist or pessimistic about the A’s heading to post season?