Oakland Athletics news: Aledmys Diaz to IL, roster battles ensue

With less than two weeks until the Oakland Athletics begin their regular season, the roster is starting to take shape

Oakland Athletics Spring Training
Oakland Athletics Spring Training / Michael Zagaris/GettyImages

The Oakland Athletics open the regular season next Thursday night against the Cleveland Guardians. With the news of Tyler Soderstrom getting sent down to Triple-A, along with a number of other spring reassignments, we're starting to get a more clear look at what the opening day roster will look like.

We have a number of guys who we know are locked into roster spots. Zack Gelof, Ryan Noda, JD Davis, Shea Langeliers, Brent Rooker, Esteury Ruiz, JJ Bleday, Miguel Andujar, and Seth Brown are all going to be on the opening day roster.

With the news of Aledmys Diaz heading to the IL to start the year, it leaves an extra roster spot open. The biggest remaining battles are between Carlos Perez and Kyle McCann for the backup catcher spot, Nick Allen vs Darell Hernaiz for the shortstop job, and Lawrence Butler vs Abraham Toro for the final utility spot. Hoy Park is technically still in camp but is not on the 40-man and is a long shot to start the year in Oakland.

We know that only one of the catchers will make it. Toro is out of options so unless the A's want to DFA him, he at least has a leg up on the competition.

Allen and Hernaiz will be an interesting decision. It's possible that both make the roster and Butler goes down. The A's have enough outfielders, and both Andujar and Davis can back up Noda at first with Tyler Soderstrom gone.

Additionally, Allen and Hernaiz are the only guys in the group who can realistically work at shortstop. Toro might be able to do it in a pinch, but not for a long period of time. Butler obviously can't, and probably has the least versatility in the group.

My guess right now is that Allen, Hernaiz, and Toro make the roster and Butler gets sent to Triple-A to start the year. For the backup catcher spot, it feels like Perez's job to lose based on his experience and familiarity with the pitching staff.

McCann hasn't done enough to force the A's hand during the spring. He's hitting just .148 with a 40% strikeout rate, which doesn't inspire a ton of confidence that he'll be able to hit major league pitching.

Starting the year with Perez and letting McCann earn the job seems like the most practical route but we'll see what happens.

The pitching staff is a whole other situation. There are a number of injuries and battles taking place, but we'll leave those for later in the week.