Ka’ai Tom a victim of Oakland A’s roster crunch
By David Hill
One had to wonder how long the Oakland A’s would be able to keep Ka’ai Tom on the active roster. Tom had impressed in spring training, but his struggles during the regular season had seemingly relegated him to the end of the bench. Then, when Chad Pinder was injured and the A’s found themselves without a viable backup at short, the writing appeared to be on the wall for Tom.
That moment officially came on Tuesday. Tom was designated for assignment, having been placed on waivers and will need to be offered back to the Indians should he not be claimed by another team.
Ka’ai Tom may get his chance after all
Tom had earned his place on the A’s roster with a torrid spring training. He had posted a .310/.412/.552 batting line in his 34 plate appearances in March, hitting two doubles, a triple, and a homer. As Tom had produced throughout his minor league career, the hope was that he would hit as the A’s fourth outfielder.
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Instead, he struggled once the calendar turned to April. He ended up with just one hit in his 16 plate appearances, striking out six times. In fact, he made a bigger impact for the A’s on the mound, as he allowed just an infield single as he pitched the ninth inning in a mop up role against the Astros on April 4.
This does not mean that Tom will not have another chance in the majors this season. The Cleveland Indians, Tom’s former team, are in desperate need of outfielders. While he may have struggled in the majors this season, the same can be said for virtually everything on the Indians roster.
Chances are, the A’s would love to be able to keep Tom. His ability to play all three positions in the outfield, and his minor league track record, make him an intriguing piece. The problem is that the A’s do not have enough room, especially with their need to add a backup infielder due to Pinder’s injury woes.
The Oakland A’s have designated Ka’ai Tom for assignment. With any luck, he will be able to stay in the system, but that seems unlikely.