Athletics pitcher Mitch Spence looks sharp in second spring outing

Athletics bats show up in 12-run outburst, Mitch Spence sharp in second start

Oakland Athletics v Cleveland Guardians
Oakland Athletics v Cleveland Guardians / Norm Hall/GettyImages

Oakland Athletics' Rule 5 pick Mitch Spence looked sharp in his second spring training start, throwing three crisp innings while allowing just one hit and a walk against two strikeouts. Oakland's bats came to life all afternoon as the A's worked their way to a 12-8 victory over the Mariners.

Athletics catcher Kyle McCann blasted a two-run homer in the third inning off Mariners reliever Trent Thornton. McCann looked good in his first appearance of the spring.

Nine players notched at least one RBI for the A's, including top prospect Jacob Wilson and infielder Darell Hernaiz. Wilson is off to a hot start for the A's, grabbing three hits in his first seven PA's and providing strong defense at short.

A spot on the opening day roster is likely out of reach for Wilson but given his performance since being drafted in 2023, it's not a stretch to think he could earn a mid-season call-up and get a crack in the majors.

Athletics infielder Aledmys Diaz suffered a groin strain earlier in the week and his status for opening day is in jeopardy. That should create an opening for a couple guys, including Darell Hernaiz, Jordan Diaz, Nick Allen, and Abraham Toro who will be fighting for the two spots on the left side of the infield.

Allen has looked much better at the plate this spring and his elite defense at short could get him the nod for opening day. Third base will be up for grabs, as neither Diaz nor Toro has cemented himself in the role as of yet.

On the pitching side, Osvaldo Bido got knocked around by the Mariners bats, giving up a hit, a walk, and two runs in his single inning pitched. His stuff hasn't been sharp and he's almost certainly set to start the year in the minors after multiple rough outings to start the spring.

Reliever Michael Kelly had his third straight strong outing of the spring. He's notched just 2 strikeouts across 3 innings, but has allowed just a single hit and one unearned run. He'll serve as a depth option should the A's need to make adjustments to the bullpen during the season.

Spence has been sparring with Joe Boyle, Luis Medina, and Kyle Muller for the final opening day rotation spot. Because of his Rule 5 status, Spence either has to be on the active roster or be sent back to the Yankees. Both Medina and Muller are out of minor league options, while Boyle can be sent to the minors without penalty.

As of now, it seems like it would be a difficult decision to send Boyle down but there's plenty of time left in the spring for that to change one way or the other.

The Athletics return Sunday afternoon at 12:05pm PST. JP Sears will take the mound against the Rangers, who counter with righty Dane Dunning.