Olson, Montas provide depth for bench, 'pen

July 21st, 2017
The A's recalled Matt Olson and Frankie Montas prior to the series opener against the Mets. (AP)

NEW YORK -- The A's added two players to their roster ahead of Friday's series opener at Citi Field, bringing in first baseman/outfielder and reliever Frankie Montas for Interleague play against the Mets.
They take the roster spots of relievers and Zach Neal, who were optioned to Triple-A Nashville following Wednesday's game.
Olson, who gives A's manager Bob Melvin a five-man bench against the National League host Mets, is back for a fifth time with Oakland this season, having hit .225 with four home runs and eight RBIs in 10 games in his most recent stint. Olson was averaging one home run per 13 at-bats with Nashville.

Montas, meanwhile, returns to the A's bullpen following a stint as a starter in Nashville, where he went 0-1 with a 4.22 ERA in seven games (six starts). The hard-throwing righty posted a 6.91 ERA in 21 relief outings with the A's to begin the season.
"Every time I've seen him, he's been lights out," Olson said.
Added Melvin: "We feel like we probably have the last couple innings covered right now, but based on the fact he has started, he can be used for some length, he can be used for an inning. We're not afraid to use him in any role like we did when he was here. He's going to get this thing figured out soon, and he's going to be a force for us, whether he's in a starting role or a bullpen role."

Though the A's plan to keep Montas in the bullpen for now, they're still toying with the idea of utilizing him as a starter down the line. Acclimating to the role in Nashville, at least, helped Montas work on all of his pitches.
"Sometimes at the big league level, you get in spots like he was where you're pretty reliant on your fastball, maybe a few sliders, but they made him use all his pitches, made him throw his two-seamer and his four-seamer, his breaking ball, his changeup, so he can get a feel for all those pitches," Melvin said. "Now, in a relief role, sometimes you don't have as much time to establish all those pitches, but there are times you need another pitch in your pocket when some of the other ones aren't working."
Worth Noting
• Right-hander said Friday his blister has healed. He threw a 30-pitch bullpen session at Citi Field on Friday and is expected to come off the disabled list during next week's series in Toronto.
• The A's made Chris Carter's Minor League deal official Friday. The first baseman, who spent parts of three seasons with Oakland from 2010-12, will report to Triple-A Nashville.