Tag: Andy LaRoche

Andy LaRoche, Landon Powell, Bobby Cramer Make A’s Roster; Tyson Ross Reassigned

Following the Bay Bridge series finale and end of spring training, the A’s made their final roster cuts and set their 25-man opening day roster.

The only remaining battles left after the A’s announced over the weekend that Brandon McCarthy would be the team’s fifth starter, were for the bullpen, backup infielder and backup catcher positions.

In a press release following today’s spring finale, the Athletics announced that they had reassigned Josh Donaldson, Eric Sogard and Tyson Ross to Triple-A Sacramento. The A’s also announced in their press release that they selected the contract of non-roster invitee Andy LaRoche. Wes Timmons and Matt Carson were also reassigned to minor league camp.

The final cuts meant that Landon Powell retained his job as the backup catcher, Andy LaRoche made the team as the backup infielder and Bobby Cramer earned the final bullpen spot.

Rich Harden and Andrew Bailey both were placed on the 15-day disabled list, and Adam Rosales was moved to the 60-day disabled list (retroactive to March 22).

The Athletics open the regular season Friday against the Seattle Mariners.

The Athletics opening day roster looks like this:

Starting Lineup
Catcher: Kurt Suzuki
First Base: Daric Barton
Second Base: Mark Ellis
Third Base: Kevin Kouzmanoff
Shortstop: Cliff Pennington
Left Field: Josh Willingham
Center Field: Coco Crisp
Right Field: David DeJesus
Designated Hitter: Hideki Matsui
Outfield: Ryan Sweeney
Outfield / First Base: Conor Jackson
Infield: Andy LaRoche
Catcher: Landon Powell
Starting Rotation
RHP Trevor Cahill
LHP Brett Anderson
LHP Gio Gonzalez
LHP Dallas Braden
RHP Brandon McCarthy
LHP Bobby Cramer
LHP Craig Breslow
RHP Michael Wuertz
LHP Jerry Blevins
RHP Brad Ziegler
RHP Grant Balfour
LHP Brian Fuentes


Brandon McClintock covers the Oakland Athletics and Major League Baseball for BleacherReport.com. You can follow him on Twitter:  @BMcClintock_BR.

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2011 Fantasy Baseball Forecast: Who To Target on the Pittsburgh Pirates

This winter is going to be long and hard for Pennsylvania sports fans, as the Pittsburgh Steelers ended a promising season with a Super Bowl loss to the Green Bay Packers and the Pittsburgh Pirates begin what will likely be a record setting 19th straight losing season.
Pirate fans are nothing if not loyal. Perhaps hopelessly loyal of a team that has struggled to win since the days of Andy Van Slyke and a steroid-free Barry Bonds. The ghosts of Doug Drabek and Bobby Bonilla can’t help the 2011 Bucs, and the beautiful PNC Park will likely go another season without a winning team.
Although the team does have a few promising players like Andrew McCutchen, Evan Meek, Pedro Alvarez and Neil Walker, they lack the pitching required to compete in the highly competitive NL Central. Newly hired Clint Hurdle will likely bring a new fire and determination to Steel Town, yet from a fantasy perspective, there is very little to get excited about.


Key Additions

Garrett Atkins
Kevin Correia
Matt Diaz
Lyle Overbay


Key Losses

Delwyn Young
Andy LaRoche
Zach Duke


Who to Target

McCutchen is the only marquee player to target on the Pirates. He is similar to Carlos Gonzalez in that he is a five-tool outfielder. However, he lacks the lineup protection that Gonzalez enjoys in Colorado.
McCutchen had a nice sophomore season for the Bucs, posting a .286 average with 94 runs scored and 33 stolen bases. I look for Andrew to top 20 home runs for the first time in his career while continuing his base stealing prowess under new manager Hurdle.



Although the Pirates lack established fantasy talent to target in the early rounds, the team does have a few sleeper candidates with breakout potential. One such sleeper is left fielder Jose Tabada, a second-year player from Venezuela.
Tabada was originally signed by the New York Yankees as an amateur free agent in 2004. He made his major league debut in 2010 for the Pirates after being acquired by the club in the 2008 Xavier Nady trade.
In 441 plate appearances Tabada was able to score 61 runs and steal 19 bases while batting a respectable .299. If he continues his solid play in 2011, he could end up being a nice sleeper candidate in both mixed and NL formats.  His biggest knock is his power; however his base stealing skills and high average make up for lack of pop in his bat.

This article was originally published on www.kramericasports.com, the home of free fantasy news, rankings and advice.

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Pittsburgh Pirates Designate Zach Duke and Others for Assignment

The Pirates did what many expected they would Friday night when they parted ways with left-hander Zach Duke.  The announcement came just before the midnight deadline to protect Rule 5 eligible minor league players.

Along with Duke, the Pirates also designated infielder Andy LaRoche and Delwyn Young for assignment as well.

The moves should come as no surprise, as Duke continued to struggle in 2010 to get major league hitters out consistently. 

By making the move, the Pirates will likely save close to $6 million, which is around what Duke would have likely earned had they tendered him and possibly went to arbitration.

After his sensational rookie season and a solid first half of 2009, the rest of Duke’s six-plus major-league seasons have been filled with inconsistencies.  The Pirates didn’t need a guy like Duke going forward, and the move had to be made.

The money saved by releasing Duke will be used to fill a spot in the starting rotation. A top-notch starter is very unlikely, but considering the way Duke performed most nights out, a slight upgrade is probable for 2011.

“We know that it’s not going to be easy to find a quality upgrade, and we know it’s going to be a challenge to find a guy who can pitch 180 innings,” Pirates general manager Neal Huntington said.

“We plan to reinvest the money that was supposed to go to Zach Duke into the club, but we’ll take the same logical approach into signing a free agent as we did in deciding not to tender him a contract. Just as we made our decision not to offer a contract to Zach Duke, we’ll only spend that money if it is on the right player at the right price.”

Duke ends his career with the Pirates having gone 45-70 with a 4.54 ERA in 160 games (159 starts). He went 8-15 with a 5.72 ERA in 2010.

LaRoche’s offensive struggles were the main reason for the decision on him.  With the emergence of Pedro Alvarez and Neil Walker in 2010, there is no spot on the diamond left for LaRoche. 

That being the case, it makes much more sense to try and bring in a backup infielder during the offseason who can at least contribute something offensively.

The decision to DFA Young was a bit more surprising, but not unexpected.  Young offered a bit of versatility off the bench, and while he doesn’t play any position particularly well, he offered up a little value with his bat off the bench.

All three guys are free to sign with any team; including the Pirates if they were willing to accept a minor league deal, but I wouldn’t bank on that happening.

With the free spots on the 40-man roster, the Pirates added Jeff Locke, Danny Moskos, Tony Watson, Kyle McPherson and Michael Crotta. The additions filled up the 40-man roster.

None of these guys come as a surprise either, with the exception of protecting McPherson. That isn’t a terrible move after he had a pretty solid season at West Virginia.

One name that was a surprise that was left off the 40-man roster is right-hander Nathan Adcock, who the Pirates are very high on.

Other notables who were left unprotected include Brian Friday, Eric Fryer and former Pitt product Jim Negrych.

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Ricardo Rincon: The Most Valuable Pittsburgh Pirate of the Losing Era

As most of us know, the Pirates have stunk for a long, long time.

Since 1992, the Buccos have made mistake after mistake in the development, trading, drafting, and signing of free agent players. Every time a player starts to pan out, the Pirates trade him for an average of three prospects.

When you’re lucky, one of those three pan out. Then you trade that guy for three more prospects and hope one of those pans out so you can start the vicious cycle again.

When you pan over this era, you see a few deals that have been good ones, not many, but a couple have worked out. This is my tracking of the one Pirate I believe has brought maximum value for his talents, Ricardo Rincon.

Begin Slideshow

Are The Minnesota Twins Interested in Andy LaRoche?

Pirates prized prospect Pedro Alvarez had been called up by the team this week, and will probably replace Andy LaRoche.

Alvarez, 23, is a power hitting 3rd baseman, who can be a threat every at bat at the big league level but is very weak when it comes to defense.

He reminds us of a somewhat Adam Dunn, who is a power hitter, yet isn’t the greatest fielder (I mean years ago, he has gotten better this year). Also, Dunn and Alvarez both strike out often. 

With Pittsburgh needing help at this point, they called up the young 3rd baseman.

But now, what will happen to Andy LaRoche, who is a .258 hitter, but a great defender? Could he be on the trading block this year? Probably, as Pittsburgh is known for trading its starters for more future stars. One of them has to go, to the minors or traded, as Pittsburgh is in the National League with no DH.

Minnesota needs some help over at 3rd base, with Nick Punto and Brendan Harris not producing. Therefore, they did call up prospect Danny Valencia, who has a very high ceiling. But we do not know if he can hit in the Majors yet, and he also might need some more experience. 

So, why not bring LaRoche in? He is a solid defense addition to the team, as well as a better offensive player than Harris or Punto. 

There were some reports regarding that the Twins were interested in Mike Lowell of the Red Sox, but he does have a high salary. Not only that, who knows if his body will break down?

The Minnesota Twins might have some interest, as July 31st gets closer and closer.





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