Devine to DL, Threets to Sacramento and Barton to Stay Stateside
Joe Stiglich gave us all the dirt today on Inside the A’s first news story is that Joey Devine will be placed on the disabled list. He was placed on retroactively to the 24th of March meaning he is eligible to return to the A’s on April 8th. Given the A’s strange schedule, going to Japan, then returning for more spring training games on this side of the Pacific, in the end Devine assuming he is ready, will have missed all of four regular season games. Devine, who has been injury plagued and was considered a potential closer at one point this offseason, has spent a shocking 542 days on the disabled list across the past four seasons since the A’s acquired him from Atlanta in a trade that sent Mark Kotsay to Dixie. I like Devine a lot and he is electric when he is on, but he is quickly approaching (if not already there) the point where his ability to stay healthy is so questionable that I question his long-term value to the team much like the Tigers must have wondered about Joel Zumaya or how the A’s got to that point with Rich Harden.
Erick Threets, who to me looked like the best non-roster invitee on the pitching side to make the club, now I say that honor goes to Travis Schlichting who has looked sharp, was demoted today. Threets who is intriguing despite a lack of MLB success because anyone who throws as hard as he does and is left-handed is exciting. Threets had a good spring appearing in six games, throwing six and two-thirds innings of two walk, five strikeout home run-free baseball. His ERA was 1.29 and he owned a 1.43 WHIP. He left a good impression on Bob Melvin so I would not be surprised if he ends up in Oakland before the year is through. An East Bay native, he is from Livermore, it seems like someone who could be a popular option.
Lastly, Daric Barton will not join the club in Japan. That said he is not being removed from the roster. Stiglich explains it here so I will quote him directly,
“The A’s roster situation is a bit tricky to figure out for the Japan series. They are allowed to take 30 players on the trip, because they also play two exhibitions in Tokyo and need the extra manpower. They must get their official roster down to 28, and for the regular-season games against the Mariners, they must designate a 25-man roster of players eligible for those games. Confusing? You bet. The three extra players who make up the group of 28 have not been demoted to the minors. They remain in competition for the true 25-man roster once the team returns to the Bay Area and prepares to begin the regular season full bore on April 6. Barton, for instance, is one of those 28 players, even though he won’t even travel to Japan.”
This also clears up the question we had regarding on TarpTalk regarding the roster composition for when the club went to Japan. I had thought it seemed unfair to allow the A’s and M’s several extra players for these games as they are regular season contests and this proves that that will not be the case. Interesting though that there will be ineligible guys who are on the MLB roster, still makes for a strange situation. What is interesting is that while Brandon Allen looked to be the favorite for the A’s first base job, and appears to have won it for at least the first two games in Tokyo, may not be as assured of a gig as it seems as Barton will be lingering behind the shadows. Yesterday was the first game where Barton did anything of value really and I still am very high on him but also anticipate he ends up beginning his year plying his trade for the River Cats and not the Athletics.