NEW YORK -- The A's season is on the line tonight, when they take over Yankee Stadium for a date with the Bronx Bombers in the American League Wild Card Game.The prize: A trip to Boston for an AL Division Series matchup with the Red Sox.The A's rolled out their
NEW YORK -- The A's season is on the line tonight, when they take over Yankee Stadium for a date with the Bronx Bombers in the American League Wild Card Game.
The prize: A trip to Boston for an AL Division Series matchup with the Red Sox.
The A's rolled out their one-game playoff roster, which features 11 pitchers, 14 position players and few surprises.
With plans in place to bullpen their way through the one-game playoff, the A's opted for 11 pitchers, and just one of them -- veteran righty Edwin Jackson -- is a starter. Right-hander Liam Hendriks, who didn't allow a first-inning run in his eight assignments as an opener in September, will be on the mound in that same role against the Yankees. A's manager Bob Melvin will then bridge the gap to closer Blake Treinen with a swarm of plus arms, including rookie standout Lou Trivino and setup men Fernando Rodney and Jeurys Familia.
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Jonathan Lucroy will be behind the plate, with backup Josh Phegley close by on the bench. Lucroy, who latched on with the A's in the middle of Spring Training, has been an essential part of their success, guiding a handful of young pitchers along helping hold together a makeshift rotation. The veteran backstop caught a Major League-leading 28 would-be basestealers during the regular season.
The A's infield boasts some of the best defenders in the game, including a pair of Gold Glove Award hopefuls in third baseman Matt Chapman and first baseman Matt Olson. Second baseman Jed Lowrie, the lone remaining member of the A's 2014 Wild Card Game roster, and shortstop Marcus Semien, who has made significant strides with the glove in recent years, make up the middle.
Right fielder Stephen Piscotty, who hit 24 home runs in his final 93 games, stars among this group, which also includes rookie stud Ramon Laureano. Left fielder Nick Martini, who emerged from Triple-A in June and ultimately became a staple at the top of the lineup, rounds out this group, which also includes two likeable bats on the bench: Mark Canha and Matt Joyce.
That would be Khris Davis, who led all of baseball with 48 home runs and ranked second with a career-high 123 RBIs. It marked his third consecutive season with at least 40 homers and 100-plus RBIs. No other player has more home runs since the start of 2016 (133).
Chad Pinder is the A's ultra-utility man, giving them a backup at essentially every position but pitcher and catcher. He's also a valuable right-handed option off the bench; he totaled 13 home runs and a .332 on-base percentage in 333 plate appearances in the regular season. Rookie infielder Franklin Barreto, meanwhile, is here to serve in a pinch-run situation.
Here is the complete roster:
Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010.