A's spring training Day 33: Melvin considers Barreto 'big league ready'

A's spring training Day 33: Melvin considers Barreto 'big league ready'

MESA, Ariz. — A’s manager Bob Melvin typically has plenty of constructive criticism for players when delivering the news they’ve been sent down.

The task was a little tougher with infielder Franklin Barreto, who put on a show in his second big league camp but was optioned to Triple-A Nashville on Friday.

“What do you say?” Melvin said Saturday. “I’m sure he wanted to be here a little bit longer, but he needs to get everyday at-bats and starts and so forth. Like I told him, ‘I don’t know what I would tell you that would suggest I need to send you down. But just go do your thing.’”

It was goodbye for now to Oakland’s top prospect, but Melvin has a feeling he could be seeing Barreto again before long.

“Based on what I have to go on, it already looks like he’s big league ready,” the manager said. “But, like school, you want to make sure you get all the grades and pass your classes and move on to the next level.”

Barreto hit .481 in 16 Cactus League games with a homer and five RBI, and he showed excellent speed on the bases. He’ll see time at shortstop and second base with Nashville, and his development at second will be of particular interest because that’s the position that will provide his quickest path to the bigs.

Chad Pinder likely will get time at shortstop for Nashville, and Yairo Munoz will be among the other options at short should he begin the season with the Sounds.

PROSPECT WATCH: First baseman/outfielder Matt Olson was among the other recent prospects sent down, and Melvin said the A’s worked with Olson on some swing adjustments that coaches think will make him a more consistent hitter.

The A’s feel Olson has big potential to hit for power in the majors. But his average dropped from .249 in 2015 to .235 last season with Nashville. His patience at the plate is considered one of his strengths, but his walks dropped from 105 to 71 last season while he struck out 132 times.

“He’s made some adjustments in his swing that if he stays with them, I think will get him on the right track again,” Melvin said. “And that’s what I had to say to him was, ‘Every now and then in your career, you’ll take a small step backwards to move forward again.’ … There’s some stuff in his swing that showed up last year that we’ve been working on this camp that we feel like will make him better.”

WENDLE SIDELINED: A shoulder issue has kept second baseman Joey Wendle out of exhibitions lately. He’s appeared in just seven games and though Melvin said Wendle has made some progress, he also wasn’t sure when Wendle would return to action. Wendle made a nice impression in a September call-up last season.

“I was pleasantly surprised and really felt like coming into camp this year that we’d give him an extended opportunity,” Melvin said. “Obviously because of the injury” that hasn’t happened.

ODDS AND ENDS: The A’s didn’t do a ton offensively in a 2-1 victory over San Diego, but Adam Rosales was in the middle of all the good stuff. He scored on a wild pitch in the third after some aggressive base running to get to third. Then in the seventh, he snapped a 1-1 tie by singling home Mark Canha, who doubled off the center field wall. … Ryan Dull pitched a scoreless seventh with two strikeouts and Frankie Montas handled the eighth and ninth and recorded the save.


A's announce 2018 Opening Day starter


A's announce 2018 Opening Day starter

For the second straight season, Kendall Graveman will get the ball on Opening Day for the A's. And for the second straight year, he'll face Mike Trout and the Angels.

The team made the news official on Tuesday morning.

Last year, in a win over the Angels, Graveman went six innings, allowed two earned runs and struck out seven.

"It's something I don't take for granted. It's an honor and a privilege and [I just want to] try to get the season off to a good start and hopefully be a leader of this staff," Graveman told reporters Tuesday in Arizona.

In four seasons with the A's and Blue Jays, Graveman has a 4.11 ERA in 76 appearances.

A's agree to deal with familiar veteran pitcher


A's agree to deal with familiar veteran pitcher

UPDATE (Mar. 19, 7:45 p.m. PT): The A's officially announced the Cahill signing on Monday. This story has been updated to reflect that.

On the same day the Oakland A's learned they'd be without Jharel Cotton all season, they signed a familiar face to bolster their pitching depth. 

Oakland agreed to a one-year deal with Trevor Cahill, nearly 12 years after the A's drafted him in the second round. 

Cahill pitched for Oakland from 2009-11. He started 96 games in three seasons with the A's, going 40-35 with a 3.91 ERA and 1.32 WHIP. Since Oakland traded him to the Arizona Diamondbacks in Dec. 2011, Cahill's pitched for six teams. 

The 30-year-old won a World Series ring with the Chicago Cubs in 2016, and pitched for the San Diego Padres and Kansas City Royals last season. In 2017, he went 4-3 in 21 appearances (14 starts) with a 4.93 ERA and 1.62 WHIP.