Oakland Athletics Call On Eight Reinforcements To Join Their Roster


The Oakland Athletics made several additions to their active roster today, in lieu of transferring starting pitchers Jesse Hahn and A.J. Griffin to the 60-day disabled list on Tuesday. Along with Hahn and Griffin, right-handed pitcher Angel Castro was designed for assignment. Due to the roster expansion on September 1, it appears very likely that the A’s will promote several more players during the September call-up period. As always, Swingin’ A’s will have complete coverage and analysis in the next few days. Today, the Athletics adding eight players to their roster.

R.J. Alvarez, RHP (0-0, 12.54 ERA) in 11 games this season.

The 24-year-old from West Palm Beach, Florida has struggled mightily since being acquired from the San Diego Padres last December in the Derek Norris trade. In 11 appearances for the green and gold, Alvarez had his worst outing of the season against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on April 21 when he surrendered six runs and allowed three walks in one inning en route to a 14-1 loss that many of us wish we could forget. Despite these difficulties Alvarez has shown signs of improvement, some of which stem with the big league club. Specifically in six of his 11 outings, the right-hander has tossed 4 1/3 innings of scoreless ball — without an inherited runner to score — while recording five strike outs and allowing just two free passes in that span. The third round pick in the 2012 Major League draft has a significant amount of potential with his fastball, slider and change-up combination. Expect Alvarez’ left on-base and ground ball percentage to improve in 2016 after taking a dip with the Athletics this season.

Carson Blair, C (.272 batting average with six home runs and 29 RBIs in 55 games for the Midland RockHounds)

Blair spent seven seasons in the minor leagues for the Boston Red Sox before the Athletics acquired him as a free agent this season. It wasn’t until 2014 that the lengthy right-handed hitter found his “swing”; posting a slash line of .288/.394/.525 with Boston’s Double-A affiliate. Since then, Blair’s success has translated fairly well with the Midland Rock Hounds in 55 games. As a result, he was promoted to Triple-A Nashville. It would be wise to see Blair split time behind the dish with Josh Phegley, ultimately allowing fellow catcher Stephen Vogt to rest his prolonged foot injury along with the typical wear-and-tear of a 162-game season which has included 88 appearances behind home plate and 22 at first-base.

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Ryan Dull, RHP (3-1, 0.60 ERA) in 35 games with the Midland RockHounds.

Ryan is anything but “Dull”. In fact, the Winston-Salem native from North Carolina has pitched 35 innings for Oakland’s Double-A affiliate and owns an astonishing 0.60 earned run average to go with an even better strikeout-to-walk ratio of 52:13. Since being selected by the A’s in the 32nd round of the 2012 draft, Dull possesses a 2.07 earned run average in four seasons with the A’s farm system. There is no question that this kid has a bright future in Oakland’s organization, and who knows — maybe he will be the first of many young studs to reinvigorate Oakland’s ball club for several seasons to come.

Tyler Ladendorf, Utility Infielder, (.200 batting average with two RBIs in 10 at-bats in 2015)

The green and gold faithful caught their first glimpse of Ladendorf as a September call-up in 2014. Known for his versatility on the diamond, the 27-year-old from Park Ridge, Illinois impressed the Athletics with brief stints at third and second base along with manning the corner outfield spots. It wasn’t until this April of this year that Ladendorf displayed a bit of promise in the series opener against the Texas Rangers. There is no denying that the 6’0″, 190-pound draft pick from 2008 is extremely valuable to an A’s team with a platoon mentality. However, after hitting the shelf with a left-ankle injury earlier this season, only time will tell what Ladendorf in fact has in the tank.

Arnold Leon, RHP (0-1, 5.68 ERA) in nine games with Oakland.

Concluding the 14-1 fiasco against the Angels on April 21, the A’s needed to relinquish their bullpen and did so by calling up Leon to the Majors after spending nearly a decade in the minor leagues. In his first appearance the following day, Leon pitched an impressive inning of one-run baseball while striking out one. Known primarily for his 92-mile-an-hour fastball, the burly righty will occasionally mix in a slider, change-up and curveball. However, his lack of command on the majority of his off-speed pitches has left him susceptible when it comes to surrendering runs. In Leon’s last 15 games, he has given up eight runs in 12 2/3 innings.

Cody Martin, SP (2-3, 5.40 ERA) in 21 2/3 frames.  

Martin, who grew up 106 miles from Oakland, will take the mound on Tuesday night as a result of Chris Bassitt being sidelined with right shoulder soreness. Martin posted decent numbers with the Atlanta Braves Triple-A affiliate before being acquired by the Athletics for an international bonus slot in July. His statistics have yet to translate for the green and gold, owning a 5.33 earned run average in 10 starts with the Nashville Sounds. Although the Dos Palos resident has had some experience in the bullpen. As a relief pitcher in the MLB, he has a 5.40 earned run average along with a 24:7 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

Dan Otero, RHP (2-4, 7.68 ERA) in 34 innings pitched.

After a solid 2014 campaign, the 30-year-old from Miami, Florida posted inconsistent numbers for the Athletics bullpen as proven by a 2-4 record with a 7.68 ERA in 30 appearances for the green and gold this season. There isn’t a given explanation as to why Otero has struggled mightily in 2015. Whether it is injury related remains uncertain. However, knowing the veteran’s track record, expect him to bounce back — assuming he’s tenured a contract in 2016.

Jason Pridie, OF a career .225 hitter with four home runs and 25 RBIs in 127 games.

Pridie has been in the Majors since 2008 and appears to be a quality fourth-outfielder with some left-handed pop. The 31-year-old has had a phenomenal campaign for the Nashville Sounds with a slash line of .310/.380/.515. His on-base percentage is near .900 which is 18th in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League. His veteran presence in the club house should be a good fit for an Athletics organization destined for the future.

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