2019 A’s 25-man roster prediction 2.0: New faces lead to changes

An updated look at our projected A's Opening Day roster

  • MESA, ARIZ. – FEB. 13: Chris Herrmann and Nick Hundley talk during the Oakland Athletics spring training camp in Mesa, Ariz., Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2019. (Karl Mondon/Bay Area News Group)

  • MESA, ARIZ. – FEB. 24: Oakland Athletics ace Mike Fiers doubles up with the head gear trying to keep warm as the temperature hovers in the low 30s, Sunday morning, Feb. 24, 2019. (Karl Mondon/Bay Area News Group)

  • MESA, ARIZ. – FEB. 13: Marcus Jensen, the Oakland Athletics bullpen coach, meets with catchers during the team’s spring training camp in Mesa, Ariz., Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2019. (Karl Mondon/Bay Area News Group)

  • MESA, ARIZ. – FEB. 13: Oakland Athletics manager Bob Melvin meets with catchers during the team’s spring training camp in Mesa, Ariz., Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2019. (Karl Mondon/Bay Area News Group)

  • MESA, ARIZ. – FEB. 21: Rain falls on Bob Melvin, the Oakland Athletics manager, who gestures game over in the second inning after umpires call a rainout in the Cactus League opener against the Seattle Mariners, Thursday, Feb. 21, 2019, at Hohokam Stadium in Mesa, Ariz. (Karl Mondon/Bay Area News Group)

  • MESA, ARIZ. – FEB. 21: Oakland Athletics manager Bob Melvin takes the ball from pitcher Jerry Blevins in the second inning of the Cactus League opener against the Seattle Mariners, Thursday, Feb. 21, 2019, at Hohokam Stadium in Mesa, Ariz. (Karl Mondon/Bay Area News Group)

  • MESA, ARIZ. – FEB. 21: The Oakland Athletics line up for the national anthem before the Cactus League season opener against the Seattle Mariners, Thursday, Feb. 21, 2019, at Hohokam Stadium in Mesa, Ariz. (Karl Mondon/Bay Area News Group)

  • MESA, ARIZ. – FEB. 19: Jurickson Profar works his defensive skills during rundown drills at the Oakland Athletics spring training camp, Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2019, in Mesa, Ariz. (Karl Mondon/Bay Area News Group)

  • MESA, ARIZ. – FEB. 19: Khris Davis, the Oakland Athletics home run leader, admires batting practice homers off the bat of Matt Olson and Stephen Piscotty at spring training, Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2019, in Mesa, Ariz. (Karl Mondon/Bay Area News Group)

  • MESA, ARIZ. – FEB. 19: Matt Olson, Oakland Athletics first baseman, watches the balls fly during spring training batting practice, Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2019, in Mesa, Ariz. (Karl Mondon/Bay Area News Group)

  • MESA, ARIZ. – FEB. 19: Oakland Athletics third baseman Chad PInder chases down hitting coach Darren Bush during rundown drills at spring training, Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2019, in Mesa, Ariz. (Karl Mondon/Bay Area News Group)

  • MESA, ARIZ. – FEB. 19: Oakland Athletics outfielder Ramon Laureano #22 throws his glove after a ball during spring training camp, Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2019, in Mesa, Ariz. (Karl Mondon/Bay Area News Group)

  • MESA, ARIZ. – FEB. 16: Sean Manaea and Paul Blackburn participate in fielding drills during an Oakland Athletics spring training workout at Fitch Park in Mesa, Ariz., Saturday, Feb. 16, 2019. (Karl Mondon/Bay Area News Group)

  • MESA, ARIZ. – FEB. 13: Oakland Athletics reliever Fernando Rodney chats with catcher Chris Herrmann during the team’s spring training camp in Mesa, Ariz., Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2019. (Karl Mondon/Bay Area News Group)

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MESA, Ariz. — The A’s have played a grand total of four games (five if you include a rainout) and things have already changed since our last roster prediction.

This season’s roster seems to be a bit easier to predict than last year’s, but there are still a couple of ongoing competitions at certain spots.

The return of Brett Anderson along with arrivals of Nick Hundley and Robbie Grossman make things a little more interesting, so let’s see how things have changed from our first roster prediction of the spring.

New roster projections are updated every two weeks.

Starting pitchers

Mike Fiers

Fiers hasn’t even pitched a single inning of Cactus League baseball. He’ll get his first outing Tuesday against the Angels, but Fiers’ spot in the rotation is secure barring injury. He’ll likely begin the year as the No. 1 starter and serve as a leader of the staff.

Marco Estrada

Marco Estrada. (Jane Tyska/Bay Area News Group)

Estrada has only pitched in simulated games to this point in spring, but his spot is also secure in the rotation.

Coming off an injury-riddled 2018, Estrada is looking for a bounce-back year now with better health along with a move to the more pitcher-friendly Coliseum.

Brett Anderson

Speaking of bounce back years, Anderson’s solid season with the A’s last year led to his re-signing to a one-year deal shortly after we posted our first roster prediction two weeks ago.

You always worry about injuries with Anderson, but he’s a left-hander, which the A’s have a need for.

Daniel Mengden

Mengden’s one inning of work in his spring debut wasn’t great as he allowed two runs, but it’s one outing. His performance last season puts him in a good position to nab a spot in the starting rotation come Opening Day.

Relief pitchers

Blake Treinen

Treinen picked up where he left off in his first spring appearance. He struck out two of three batters faced in his inning of work, pumping his fastball up to 99 mph.

Lou Trivino

Trivino looked sharp in his first spring outing, showing off his nasty cutter against the White Sox. He’ll likely enter the season as the set-up man to Treinen.

Fernando Rodney

He’ll be 42 when the regular season begins, but the A’s believe Rodney still has something left in the tank. He’ll have a late-inning role in the A’s bullpen.

Joakim Soria

Soria has been slowed down this spring by a right hip issue, but his spring debut is expected at some point this week. He was signed to a two-year deal this offseason and will factor in as a key piece in the back end of the bullpen.

Yusmeiro Petit

Petit quietly got the job done all season last year, and while his role is more of a middle innings-type, he’s still a reliable option for A’s manager Bob Melvin.

Ryan Buchter

Not only can Buchter be used against tough lefties, but he also proved his worth against some right-handers over the 2018 season. The left-hander will be depended on as a valuable piece in the A’s bullpen this season.

Jerry Blevins

The A’s have been missing a true situational left specialist all last year and Blevins fits the bill. He comes into camp on a minor league deal, but Blevins should be able to lock down a spot in spring with a solid performance.

Liam Hendriks

A valuable piece for the A’s not only in the bullpen but also as the opener at times, Hendriks has a pretty secure spot on this roster.

Frankie Montas

Montas was impressive in his spring debut against the Diamondbacks, tossing two scoreless innings with two strikeouts. He’s got some tough competition with the likes of top prospect Jesus Luzardo, Paul Blackburn and Chris Bassitt, but Montas’ lack of minor league options could help him start the year with Oakland. He’s also added a splitter to his repertoire of pitches and will look to improve it as spring goes on.

Catchers

Chris Herrmann

A’s manager Bob Melvin said the club likes the idea of going with a platoon role at catcher which almost certainly guarantees the left-handed hitting Herrmann’s spot on the roster.

Nick Hundley

Hundley was signed to a minor league deal shortly after we released our first batch of predictions. A veteran who backed up Buster Posey in San Francisco over the past two seasons, Hundley enters camp with a good shot to make the club. But Josh Phegley is his main competition this spring.

Infielders

Matt Olson

Coming off a year in which he won his first Gold Glove while crushing 29 home runs, Olson can easily slot in as the everyday first baseman.

Jurickson Profar

Jurickson Profar. (Karl Mondon/Bay Area News Group)

Once considered the top prospect in all of baseball, Profar struggled to live up to that hype, but he did show something with the Rangers last year as he blasted a career-high 20 home runs. Profar will enter the season as the everyday second baseman.

Marcus Semien

Showing much-improved defense as he finished the year a finalist for a Gold Glove at shortstop, Semien can be counted on as the A’s regular shortstop for 2019 as long as he remains healthy.

Matt Chapman

Chapman makes his spring debut Tuesday against the Angels as the A’s designated hitter. Fully recovered from offseason shoulder surgery, the Gold Glove third baseman is primed to have a breakout season as he looks to establish himself as a legit MVP candidate.

Utility man

Chad Pinder

Pinder has been getting plenty of playing time at third base with Chapman out in spring, but he’ll play all over the place. Franklin Barreto is looking to improve is versatility by playing in the outfield this spring, but Pinder currently has a hold on this spot.

Outfielders

Khris Davis

The A’s designated hitter has been slowed by a left calf strain this spring, but Melvin does not seem too worried. Expect the slugger back soon and ready to continue in his cleanup spot.

Ramón Laureano

Laureano is batting .125 early on this spring but it doesn’t mean much. He’s got the center field job locked down to begin the regular season.

Stephen Piscotty

He may not get the publicity of a Khris Davis or Matt Chapman, but Piscotty quietly mashed a career-high 27 home runs last season. He enters 2019 with the right field job firmly in hand.

Robbie Grossman

The A’s believe they found a steal with Grossman, who remained a free agent well into spring training and joined on a one-year deal. He gets on base a lot, which the A’s love, and has been leading off most games in the Cactus League so far.

Mark Canha

Canha will likely enter the year in some type of a semi-platoon with the switch-hitting Grossman.

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