OAKLAND -- The A's set their Opening Day roster Saturday, and with the announcement came zero surprises, making for an anticlimactic final day of the spring season.
With outfielders Coco Crisp (right elbow) and Josh Reddick (right oblique) beginning the season on the disabled list, the A's found room to carry a pair of players who consistently impressed all spring: outfielder Billy Burns and the ultra-versatile Tyler Ladendorf.
Burns, who appeared in 13 games with the A's last year, finished the spring campaign with a team-high .373 average.
Ladendorf rewarded the club's decision to add him to the 40-man roster for the first time this winter by hitting .318. The 27-year-old has been in the organization for six years and only last year experienced his first full season at the Triple-A level. However, it was cut short, first by a 50-game suspension for a violation of the Minor League Drug Testing Program, and then by a strained right hamstring.
"This is a dream come true," Ladendorf said. "Even just adding to the way last year ended, it makes it that much sweeter. I don't know that it's really hit me yet."
Ladendorf is equally excited for his good friend Burns, who had his bags packed for Triple-A Nashville just in case.
"I'm just grateful and feel blessed to be in this situation," Burns said. "I know that anything is always possible, but I also don't expect anything. Anything in this game can happen, so you never know where you're going to end up. You just go out there and do what you can do to get better and just go about your business and just play."
Both were informed by manager Bob Melvin they made the club Saturday morning.
"It's always nice to be able to reward a couple guys," Melvin said. "As tough as some of the conversations are at the end, there are some that are particularly good-feeling, to be able to do that, and both those guys were good conversations today. It doesn't get lost how special that moment is."
Rule 5 draftee Mark Canha is also on the Opening Day roster, as expected. He, too, will be seeking his first big league at-bat, after contributing a team-leading six home runs this spring. Like Burns and Ladendorf, he is another option in left field in Crisp's stead.