Tyler Soderstrom, four others optioned in Athletics latest round of roster cuts

The Oakland Athletics have optioned Tyler Soderstrom and four other players out of major league camp
Oakland Athletics v Chicago Cubs
Oakland Athletics v Chicago Cubs / Chris Coduto/GettyImages

You could see this one coming from a mile away but the Oakland Athletics have optioned Tyler Soderstrom to Triple-A Las Vegas in the latest round of spring roster cuts.

The Athletics also optioned a group of four players to minor league camp, including infielders Armando Alvarez and Max Muncy, as well as outfielder Daz Cameron and utility man Max Schuemann.

Soderstrom had been hitting increasingly poorly this spring and he hadn't looked good defensively behind the plate either. After yesterday's matchup against the White Sox, Soderstrom's batting line sits at a paltry .121/.167/.182.

He'd managed just two extra base hits in his 36 plate appearances. His 22.2% strikeout rate is actually the best mark of his career but he'd been doing essentially nothing else at the plate, forcing the Athletics to make a decision.

He wasn't good in his time in Oakland in 2023 either. Across 45 games, Soderstrom hit .160/.232/.240 with 3 home runs and a strikeout rate north of 31%. His performance has dropped off significantly since reaching Triple-A back in 2022 and it's unclear at this point whether he's capable of hitting at the highest levels.

He no longer has a future behind the plate. His performance as a defender has been below expectations, and he hasn't proven to be a particularly adept defensive first baseman either.

It's an unfortunate situation for both the Athletics and Soderstrom, as his trade value is going straight into the tank. If he can't hit, and he doesn't have a true defensive position, his career might stall out quite a bit earlier than expected. We'll hope for the best that the A's development staff can help him turn it around but he needs to do so quickly.

The biggest impact this will have is opening up the backup catcher role for one of Carlos Perez or Kyle McCann. Perez has the veteran experience and has familiarity with the pitching staff, having served as Shea Langeliers backup in Oakland last year.

McCann is a more intriguing pick but doesn't have experience at the highest level. It'll be interesting to see how the Athletics handle the situation, as neither of the two are on the 40-man roster, which is currently full.

Armando Alvarez was having a big spring. He was hitting .393/.433/.536 with strong defense but the Athletics don't have a spot for him on the major league roster. If he keeps playing this well throughout the season, he might force the A's hand and earn a call up at some point this summer.

Same goes for Max Schuemann, who has the versatility to play anywhere on the diamond. Manager Mark Kotsay recently spoke highly of Schuemann, as reported by Martin Gallegos of MLB.com in his newsletter. Schuemann could see time in Oakland if the A's need injury replacements this summer.

Max Muncy and Daz Cameron will head back to minor league camp and continue to work to impress the Athletics staff. It'll take quite a bit for either to see time in the majors in 2024 but stranger things have happened.