The A’s announced their Opening Day roster this afternoon, and five non-roster invitees were selected to make the big league club. pitchers Justin Grimm, Dany Jimenez, zach jackson and Jake Lemoine were all added to the MLB roster, as was corner outfielder Billy McKinney.
Grimm, Jiménez and McKinney each have previous big league experience. All three were signed from other organizations this offseason. Grimm is up for his ninth MLB season, his first since a four-game stint with the Brewers in 2020. The right-hander had a nice showing in the middle of the last decade with the Cubs, posting a 3.36 ERA in 171 1/ 3 innings between 2014-16. He hasn’t found much major league success in the past five years, but he punched out an excellent 33.6% of opponents with the Mariners Triple-A affiliate last season.
Jiménez’s big league time consists of two appearances with the Giants in 2020. The righty has been of interest to the Oakland front office for some time, as they selected him in the Rule 5 draft at the end of that season. He didn’t stick on the active roster, though, and the 28-year-old spent last season at Triple-A in the Blue Jays system. Jiménez pitched to a 2.22 ERA with an incredible 39% strikeout rate there, although he also walked 13.4% of batters faced.
McKinney is a former A’s first-rounder. Traded to the Cubs before he made his MLB debut, he’s suited up with five different teams over the past four years. The left-handed hitting outfielder owns a .215/.286/.404 line in a bit more than 700 plate appearances. McKinney has flashed some power potential, but he’s punched out in 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 out of the University of Arkansas in 2016. The 6’4″ righty — who has worked exclusively out of the bullpen as a pro — was selected by the A’s in the minor league phase of the 2020 Rule 5 draft. He split last season between Double-A Midland and Triple-A Las Vegas, working 28 innings of 2.57 ERA ball across the two levels. The Tulsa native remarkably fanned 41.2% of opponents, albeit with an 11.4% walk rate.
Lemoine was a fourth-round pick of the Rangers in 2015 out of the University of Houston. The right-hander has also worked solely in relief as a pro, pitching his way up to Triple-A in the Texas system. Lemoine hit minor league free agency at the end of the season and signed with the A’s. He owns a 4.81 ERA with an underwhelming 18.9% strikeout percentage in that time, but Lemoine has induced grounders on over the half the balls in play against him in each of his Triple-A seasons.
To create 40-man roster space, the A’s needed to free three spots. They’ve designated southpaw Sam Selman for assignment, tweet Matt Kawahara of the San Francisco Chronicle. The other two spots, according to the club’s transactions tracker at MLB.com, were freed by placing pitchers Deolis Guerra and Brent Honeywell Jr. on the 60-day injured list.
Selman just landed in Oakland last month when he was claimed off waivers from the Angels. The 31-year-old southpaw has pitched with the Giants and Anaheim over the past three seasons, combining for a 4.77 ERA in 54 2/3 frames. Selman doesn’t have particularly strong strikeout, walk or ground-ball numbers, but he’s been a nightmare for left-handed hitters. Same-handed batters have just a .171/.307/.329 line in 102 plate appearances against Selman. He has a minor league option remaining.
Guerra’s and Honeywell’s absences were expected. The former recently underwent surgery after experiencing forearm tightness this spring. The latter was shut down from throwing indefinitely after suffering an olecranon stress reaction in his elbow.