The Athletics announced Thursday that they selected the contracts of infielder Jed Lowrie and lefty Reymin Guduan from Triple-A Las Vegas. Oakland also optioned righty Daulton Jeffries and lefty A.J. Puk to the alternate training site, placed righties Mike Fiers (hip inflammation) and Trevor Rosenthal (right shoulder inflammation) on the injured list, and designated outfielder Skye Bolt for assignment.
Lowrie, 37 in April, returned for a third go-around with the A’s over the winter when he inked a minor league deal. His two-year stint with the Mets proved to be an abject disaster, as he tallied just eight plate appearances over the life of a two-year, $20M contract. That Lowrie was injured for the bulk of his tenure in Queens was frustrating enough for Mets fans, but the team’s bizarre and cryptic series of non-updates on the veteran infielder’s knee troubles proved extra perplexing. Eventually, the Mets termed Lowrie’s injury as “PCL laxity” in his left knee, but little additional detail was ever provided.
It appears as though Lowrie is healthy now, however, as he not only made the roster, but did so on the heels of a respectable Cactus League showing. The switch-hitter tallied 37 plate appearances over the course of 13 games, hitting .265/.297/.559 with a pair of homers and four doubles. The A’s surely would like to see that OBP tick up a bit, which seems quite likely given Lowrie’s career 9.8 percent walk rate. He should factor prominently into the mix for playing time at second base, where the A’s will miss Tommy La Stella, who signed across the Bay with the Giants on a three-year deal as a free agent.
The shoulder troubles for Rosenthal, meanwhile, are a concerning development. The righty was slowed by a groin strain late in spring training, but a shoulder issue is of greater concern. There’s no indication that the injury is especially serious at the moment, but arm troubles of any kind for a pitcher who has a somewhat recent Tommy John surgery in his history (2018) raise a red flag.
The A’s surprised the baseball world by swooping in and signing Rosenthal to a one-year, $11M contract late in the offseason after he wasn’t able to find a multi-year deal to his liking. The former Cardinals closer returned to prominence with the Royals and Padres last year in overpowering fashion. Rosenthal was a true juggernaut at the back of both teams’ bullpens during the regular season, posting a combined 1.90 ERA with a 41.8 percent strikeout rate. A similar powerhouse showing in 2021 would surely position him nicely for that lucrative multi-year pact he covets, but he’s off to an inauspicious start.
Bolt, meanwhile, will now be traded or placed on outright waivers within the next week. He has just 11 big league plate appearances under his belt but is capable of playing all three outfield spots and carries a .269/.350/.459 batting line in 347 plate appearances at the Triple-A level. He does have a minor league option remaining.