Hunter Traded, Gonzalez Released, Carignan to Stay
Today the A’s traded Cedric Hunter to the St. Louis Cardinals for cash considerations. Hunter was pretty well buried on the depth chart so much so in fact that despite the fact that he split 2011 between Triple-A Tucson and San Diego he had been assigned to the Midland Rockhounds by the A’s. Hunter has five MLB plate appearances to his credit, going 1-for-4. Last year with Tucson he posted a 68 wRC+ with a .307 wOBA despite playing in the offense happy Pacific Coast League. The A’s claimed Hunter off waivers from the Padres along with Evan Scribner and then promptly outrighted both to Sacramento.
In a move that snuck under the radar, last week Edgar Gonzalez was released by the A’s. When a reader here commented on the lack of depth in the starting rotation, I felt that Carlos Hernandez or Gonzalez sitting in Sacramento could provide some depth while protecting the service clocks of Jarrod Parker and Brad Peacock but I was surprised to not see Gonzalez on the River Cats’ roster. Well, it turns out he was released as was Josh Lansford. Gonzalez had the club’s second worst springtime ERA at 15.00 (second to Hernandez at 27.00 who remains in Sacramento) as in three innings of work he allowed five earned runs.
In news that is more relevant to the big league squad, the fact that the A’s don’t need a fifth starter until April 17th seems to have saved the hide of one Andrew Carignan. Carignan who has not looked sharp lately in spring time games or the opening day loss in Tokyo, will stick around as Bob Melvin says that the loser of the fourth starter job (either Tyson Ross or Graham Godfrey) will be sent to Sacramento and not used as a long man as I had prior suspected. Godfrey has thrown a spring training high 17 2/3 innings with Ross right behind him at 15. Ross owns a 1.80 ERA to Godfrey’s 5.09 but the pitchers really have not been that dissimilar as it seems just a case of runners coming around to score more on Godfrey. Godfrey has a slightly better K/BB ratio (2.17) than does Ross (1.43) but both have allowed a similar amount of baserunners, Godfrey’s WHIP being 1.42 while Ross’ is at 1.47. Given that that is all tied up to BABIP, I think Godfrey should be the number four starter today though Ross represents the much higher upside.