A's opening roster notable for 4 outfielders

A's opening roster notable for 4 outfielders

Seven weeks have passed since MLB.com took a shot at predicting the A's Opening Day roster. Here's a look at how things have changed since then:

Catcher (2)
Then: Though there's been speculation about the A's opening the season with three catchers on their roster, they're more inclined to stick with a platoon of Stephen Vogt and Josh Phegley, while assigning Bruce Maxwell to Triple-A Nashville to guarantee him playing time and not to impede his development.

Now: Maxwell was optioned to Nashville for this exact reason, leaving the A's with a very capable platoon of Vogt and Phegley.

First base (2)
Then: Yonder Alonso and Ryon Healy will form a platoon here, with Healy sliding into the designated hitter spot on days he's not at first.

Now: Unchanged.

Lowrie turns two in the 2nd

Second base (1)
Then: Nine-year veteran Jed Lowrie will be back at second base, so long as he's healthy. The infielder anticipates entering camp with full health after undergoing left-foot surgery in August.

Now: Unchanged. Lowrie, healthy, is the everyday guy here.

Third base (1)
Then: The A's snatched up Trevor Plouffe on a one-year deal this winter with plans to make him their everyday third baseman. Healy will serve as his backup.

Now: Unchanged.

Shortstop (1)
Then: Marcus Semien made good on the A's decision to stick with him at shortstop last year by showcasing strong defensive strides. He also collected 27 home runs.

Now: Unchanged.

Semien's RBI double

Utility (1)
Then: Adam Rosales, back on a one-year deal, has played all over the infield during his nine-year career, which included a stay in Oakland from 2010-13.

Now: Unchanged.

Outfield (4 or 5?)
Then: Khris Davis is back in left field, with Rajai Davis returning to the A's to man center field. Right field will feature a platoon of Matt Joyce and Mark Canha, while Jake Smolinski could join the pack as a backup.

Now: Smolinski underwent shoulder surgery that will keep him out much of the season, but the A's opted to stick with four outfielders instead of carrying their next-best option, Jaff Decker.

Starting pitchers (5)
Then: The Opening Day staff will likely feature Sonny Gray, Kendall Graveman, Sean Manaea, Jharel Cotton and Andrew Triggs.

Now: Gray got hurt, suffering a lat strain that will sideline him for several more weeks, but Triggs made the cut with Opening Day starter Graveman, Manaea and Cotton. Right-hander Raul Alcantara has since joined the staff as the No. 5 starter.

Alcantara's strikeout

Relievers (7 or 8?)
Then: Already, six are essentially assured spots: Ryan Madson, Santiago Casilla, Sean Doolittle, John Axford, Liam Hendriks and Ryan Dull. Daniel Coulombe is a favorite to join them.

Now: Coulombe made the team, as did right-hander Frankie Montas, with the A's choosing to open the season with eight relievers.

Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.