The A’s confirmed their 30-man roster today and there are no great surprises on the list. The unlikely inclusion of non-roster invitee Jordan Weems was announced a couple of days ago, proving that ‘Weems Can Come True’ as Gabrielle once nearly sang, but otherwise the group is as expected.
The main two notes heading into Friday’s opener against the Angels are:
- Frankie Montas will be the starting pitcher, with Sean Manaea, Mike Fiers and Chris Bassitt following in turn.
- The ‘Battle for Second Base’ is initially going to go the way of Chad Pinder.
Pinder is in there in part because the Angels are expected to start left-hander Andrew Heaney. The lefty-lefty match-up worked against Tony Kemp, the other main candidate for second base, and Pinder has been swinging the bat well in Summer Camp (whatever that counts for), so Pinder it is.
Chad’s main value for the A’s is his ability to play at multiple positions, something that’s not quite so necessary with a 30-man roster but will become more important at that reduces down to 26 in a month’s time. I still see second base as being a mix-and-match job so there should still be at-bats to hand around.
However, with just 60 regular season games to book a play-off place – remarkably not that we’re clear on how many places there are going to be at time of writing – I wouldn’t expect players to be allowed to struggle at the plate for long. If it’s not working, Bob Melvin will be quick to change things up.