Every time I see a press release from the A’s, I get nervous.
Case in point:
A’s REASSIGN SEVEN TO MINOR-LEAGUE CAMP
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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.
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.