Oakland Athletics Opening Day roster includes surprise catching prospect

The Oakland Athletics have finally released their Opening Day roster

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

At long last, the Oakland Athletics have finally released their Opening Day lineup. We knew most of the decisions had already been made but there were a few late surprises when the official roster was put out this morning.

The biggest surprise is the inclusion of catching prospect Kyle McCann. The young lefty had been solid during spring training, posting an .875 OPS with strong defense behind the plate.

After Tyler Soderstrom was sent down to Triple-A, there was a ton of speculation that veteran Carlos Perez would get the nod due to his experience and familiarity with the pitching staff. The Athletics decided otherwise, prioritizing McCann's versatility and upside over Perez's experience.

It feels like the right decision. Perez offers a lot but he doesn't have much upside left entering his age 33 season. He provides some value but McCann has a chance to be a part of the team's future. GM David Forst recognized that so McCann will earn the opportunity to prove himself at the major league level.

The inclusion of Joe Boyle is interesting, to say the least. Boyle has sky high upside but his control problems were on display this spring. If Boyle can stay healthy and keep his walk rate in the single digits, he has a chance to be one of the best starting pitchers on the roster.

The risk with Boyle is that he can't keep the ball over the plate. Worst case scenario is that he ends up back in Las Vegas after a couple months but the potential is too much for the A's to pass up. Despite Kyle Muller's strong spring training, he had enough opportunities last year and squandered them.

It's likely that Muller will start a few games at some point this season. It's just a matter of time, and how the injuries play out this summer. We'll see if he can capitalize on the opportunity when it presents itself.

Relief pitcher Zack Jackson was optioned to Triple-A in order to get Michael Kelly on the roster. Kelly looked good during spring training but those last couple bullpen spots are sure to be a revolving door all year.

The full 26 man roster is as follows:

Catchers: Shea Langeliers, Kyle McCann

Infielders: Ryan Noda, Zack Gelof, Nick Allen, JD Davis, Darell Hernaiz, Abraham Toro

Outfielders: Brent Rooker, Esteury Ruiz, JJ Bleday, Seth Brown, Lawrence Butler

Starting Pitchers: Alex Wood, JP Sears, Paul Blackburn, Ross Stripling, Joe Boyle

Relief Pitchers: Austin Adams, Lucas Erceg, Dany Jimenez, Michael Kelly, TJ McFarland, Mason Miller, Kyle Muller, Mitch Spence

The Athletics will start with the following eight players on the IL:

- Scott Alexander (rib cage stress reaction)
- Miguel Andujar (meniscus surgery)
- Aledmys Diaz (groin strain)
- Trevor Gott (Tommy John surgery)
- Luis Medina (knee sprain)
- Sean Newcomb (knee inflammation)
- Freddy Tarnok (hip surgery)
- Ken Waldichuk (flexor tendon surgery)