With Major League clubs able to expand their rosters to 40 players in just a little over 24-hours, A’s fans may have some new faces to familiarize themselves with soon, just not right away on September 1.
The players most likely to find a ticket to Oakland with their name on it will be participating in the Triple-A postseason prior to finding their way down Interstate-80.
The River Cats clinched the Pacific Coast League’s Southern Division last Tuesday in a 15-2 route over the Tucson Padres to earn their 10th division title in 12 seasons.
Assuming the River Cats play all the way to a Championship, which the team is certainly capable of accomplishing, the bulk of the A’s reinforcements may not be headed up to the Majors until after September 11.
Among the players currently on the A’s 40-man roster who likely will be headed to Oakland:
Jerry Blevins: Blevins has had a back-and-forth season, quite literally, but will likely be given a chance to come back and spend the remainder of the season with Oakland as they try to determine whether or not he fits in their plans for 2012.
Joey Devine: Devine still has some control issues the A’s would like to see him work through, but since he is healthy he should be headed back to the A’s, following the conclusion of the minor league season, to continue getting his work in against live hitters.
Graham Godfrey: Although he will likely be saddled with long-reliever duties the remainder of the season, Godfrey will be valuable to the A’s if necessary for a spot start due to injury (something that always must be considered when Rich Harden and Brandon McCarthy make up 2/5 of your starting rotation).
Jordan Norberto: They traded for him, they’ll bring him up to continue to see what they acquired. Besides, it is always a valuable asset to have a guy that can throw that hard in your bullpen.
Michael Wuertz: Wuertz will likely be one of early September call-ups for the A’s. He has finished his rehab assignment and will be eligible to come off the disabled list just as the rosters expand. I just don’t see the A’s extending his rehab for the sake of competing in the Triple-A playoffs.
Josh Donaldson/Landon Powell: This one is a bit of a toss-up. My gut feeling tells me that Landon Powell will likely be called back up since Bob Melvin told the media he was sent down to get more at-bats upon his demotion. He handles the pitching staff well, but his offensive production was underwhelming this season. Meanwhile, Josh Donaldson had a respectable season in Sacramento, batting .254 with 16 homers. My gut still tells me Powell gets the nod, but I wouldn’t be shocked to see Donaldson either. I don’t see the A’s carrying four catchers though, so it will be one or the other.
Adrian Cardenas: Cardenas doesn’t really have a position, but it’s time to see what he can do on the big league level. I would argue that he has more value to the A’s in a utility role than Eric Sogard, so why not let him come up and make a few starts bouncing around the infield? He batted .312 this season and added five homers, so let’s see how his bat compares against Major League pitching.
Chris Carter: The A’s have too much invested in Carter to not give him a September call-up. His amount of playing time could increase if the A’s make a waiver-trade and send either Hideki Matsui or David DeJesus to a contender. If the A’s choose not to deal any of their outfielders before tomorrow night’s deadline, Carter will likely only see a spot-start and pinch-hit duties. He batted .252 with 16 homers for Sacramento this season. His stint with Oakland earlier in the season is not worth mentioning.
Adam Rosales: There is not a doubt in my mind that we will see Rosales back in Oakland at some point between Thursday and September 11. When he was sent down to the minors Bob Melvin stated that he would certainly be back in September. He’s batting .275 for Sacramento, and the A’s love him. We’ll see him at some point for sure.
Michael Taylor: It’s time, plain and simple! Taylor had a good season this year for Sacramento, batting .277 with 15 homers. While the numbers are still down from what the A’s thought they were acquiring when they made a series of moves to obtain him, his power numbers have rebounded from his dismal 2010 performance.
Although he is not currently on the 40-man roster, it would also be nice to see the A’s make a roster move to free a space to add Jai Miller and see what he is capable of doing in a September-stint in the big leagues.
Miller is currently leading Sacramento with 30 home runs and 78 RBIs. He is batting .271 through 380 at-bats.