Which long shot is shorter?

Every time I see a press release from the A’s, I get nervous.

Case in point:


MESA, Ariz. – The Oakland A’s reassigned left-handed pitchers Brad Mills and Ryan Verdugo, right-handed pitchers Fernando Rodriguez and Kevin Whelan, catcher Carson Blair and infielders Matt Olson and Joey Wendle to their minor league camp, the club announced today.

The A’™s now have 42 players in camp, which does not include two players on the 60-day disabled list.  That includes 34 players on the 40-man roster, which is full, and eight non-roster invitees.  The breakdown includes 20 pitchers, four catchers, 11 infielders and seven outfielders.

Disaster averted!

Among the seven reässigned were not Barry Zito and/or Pat Venditte, two of the most interesting pitchers in uniform this spring. Now, it’s still true that neither is likely to make Oakland’s Opening Day roster. But I wondered which is more likely.

So I asked three people who cover the A’s every day.

The consensus? No consensus! Well, not really. But based on the answers, my best guess:


* If Zito keeps pitching well this month, he’ll get picked up by another club, since he’s still not even showing up on the A’s official depth chart; and

* Venditte’s got almost no chance at all, but will instead be dispatched to Triple-A Nashville. And if he pitches well there … well, the A’s used 11 relief pitchers last season and most teams used more. So if you’re on the Triple-A roster, all bets are off.