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A's opening roster notable for 4 outfielders

April 1, 2017

Seven weeks have passed since MLB.com took a shot at predicting the A's Opening Day roster. Here's a look at how things have changed since then:Catcher (2)Then: Though there's been speculation about the A's opening the season with three catchers on their roster, they're more inclined to stick with a

Seven weeks have passed since MLB.com took a shot at predicting the A's Opening Day roster. Here's a look at how things have changed since then:
Catcher (2)
Then: Though there's been speculation about the A's opening the season with three catchers on their roster, they're more inclined to stick with a platoon of Stephen Vogt and Josh Phegley, while assigning Bruce Maxwell to Triple-A Nashville to guarantee him playing time and not to impede his development.
Now: Maxwell was optioned to Nashville for this exact reason, leaving the A's with a very capable platoon of Vogt and Phegley.
First base (2)
Then:Yonder Alonso and Ryon Healy will form a platoon here, with Healy sliding into the designated hitter spot on days he's not at first.
Now: Unchanged.

Second base (1)
Then: Nine-year veteran Jed Lowrie will be back at second base, so long as he's healthy. The infielder anticipates entering camp with full health after undergoing left-foot surgery in August.
Now: Unchanged. Lowrie, healthy, is the everyday guy here.
Third base (1)
Then: The A's snatched up Trevor Plouffe on a one-year deal this winter with plans to make him their everyday third baseman. Healy will serve as his backup.
Now: Unchanged.
Shortstop (1)
Then:Marcus Semien made good on the A's decision to stick with him at shortstop last year by showcasing strong defensive strides. He also collected 27 home runs.
Now: Unchanged.

Utility (1)
Then:Adam Rosales, back on a one-year deal, has played all over the infield during his nine-year career, which included a stay in Oakland from 2010-13.
Now: Unchanged.
Outfield (4 or 5?)
Then:Khris Davis is back in left field, with Rajai Davis returning to the A's to man center field. Right field will feature a platoon of Matt Joyce and Mark Canha, while Jake Smolinski could join the pack as a backup.
Now: Smolinski underwent shoulder surgery that will keep him out much of the season, but the A's opted to stick with four outfielders instead of carrying their next-best option, Jaff Decker.
Starting pitchers (5)
Then: The Opening Day staff will likely feature Sonny Gray, Kendall Graveman, Sean Manaea, Jharel Cotton and Andrew Triggs.
Now: Gray got hurt, suffering a lat strain that will sideline him for several more weeks, but Triggs made the cut with Opening Day starter Graveman, Manaea and Cotton. Right-hander Raul Alcantara has since joined the staff as the No. 5 starter.

Relievers (7 or 8?)
Then: Already, six are essentially assured spots: Ryan Madson, Santiago Casilla, Sean Doolittle, John Axford, Liam Hendriks and Ryan Dull. Daniel Coulombe is a favorite to join them.
Now: Coulombe made the team, as did right-hander Frankie Montas, with the A's choosing to open the season with eight relievers.

Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010.