The A’s announced their opening day lineup this afternoon and five non-squad invitees were chosen to form the big league club. pitchers Justin Grimm, Dany Jimenez, Zach Jackson and Jake Lemoine were all included in the MLB roster, as was the corner fielder Billy McKinney.
Grimm, Jiménez and McKinney each have big league experience. All three were signed by other organizations this offseason. Grimm is heading into his ninth MLB season, his first in four games with the Brewers in 2020. The right-hander performed well with the Cubs in the middle of the last decade, posting a 171-1/ a 3.36 ERA. 3 innings between 2014-16. He hasn’t had much success in the major leagues in the last five years, but he did beat an excellent 33.6% of opponents last season with the Mariners Triple-A affiliate.
Jiménez’s big league stint consists of two appearances with the Giants in 2020. The right-hander has been of interest to the Oakland front office for some time as they picked him in the Rule 5 draft at the end of this season. However, he did not remain in the active squad and the 28-year-old spent last season at Triple-A in the Blue Jays system. Jiménez posted a 2.22 ERA there with an incredible 39% strikeout rate, despite also walking 13.4% of the batters facet.
McKinney is a former A-rounder. Before making his MLB debut, he joined the Cubs and has played for five different teams over the past four years. The left-handed outfielder owns a .215/.286/.404 line in just over 700 plate appearances. McKinney did show some power potential, but he punched out 26% of his trips to the dish. The 27-year-old joins Stephen Piscotty, Seth Brown and Chad Pinder in the corner outfield mix for skipper Mark Kotsay.
Jackson, 27, was a third-round pick by the Blue Jays from the University of Arkansas in 2016. The 6’4″ righty – who has worked exclusively as a pro in the bullpen – was selected by the A’s in the minor league phase of the 2020 draft Rule 5. He split and worked between Double-A Midland and Triple-A Las Vegas last season 28 innings with 2.57 ERA balls on the two tiers. The Tulsa native remarkably fanned 41.2% of opponents, albeit with an 11.4% walk rate.
Lemoine was a fourth-round pick by the Rangers from the University of Houston in 2015. The right-hander has also only worked as a pro, working his way up to triple-A in the Texas system. Lemoine scored in minor league free agency late in the season and signed with the A’s. He owns a 4.81 ERA with a stunning 18.9% strikeout percentage during that time, but Lemoine has put Grounders on more than half the balls in the game against him in each of his Triple-A seasons.
To create a 40-man roster, the A’s had to vacate three spots. They’ve been called southpaw Sam Selman for the mission, tweets Matt Kawahara of the San Francisco Chronicle. The other two places according to the club Transaction Tracker at MLB.com, were freed by placing pitchers Deolis War and Brent Honeywell Jr. on the 60-day injured list.
Selman only landed in Oakland last month when the Angels’ waivers were taken from him. The 31-year-old southpaw has played with the Giants and Anaheim for the past three seasons, combining in 54 2/3 frames for a 4.77 ERA. Selman doesn’t have particularly strong strikeout, walk, or groundball numbers, but he was a left-hander’s nightmare. Same-handed batters have just a .171/.307/.329 line in 102 plate appearances against Selman. He still has a minor league option.
Guerra and Honeywell’s absences were expected. The former recently had surgery after suffering forearm strains this spring. the latter was switch off from throwing indefinitely after suffering an olecranon stress reaction in his elbow.