The A’s recalled top-ranked prospect Tyler Soderstrom and left-hander Sam Long on Friday as teams expanded their rosters from 26 to 28 players.
Soderstrom was not in the A’s starting lineup for the opener of a weekend homestand against the Los Angeles Angels, and its unclear how the catcher/first baseman will be utilized in the final weeks of the season.
The 21-year-old catcher/first baseman has had mixed results in his first exposure in the majors. He was optioned to Triple-A Las Vegas on Aug. 21 after he opened August in a 6-for-47 (.128) slump with 16 strikeouts and a .457 on-base percentage. His return to the minors lasted just eight games.
Soderstrom went 2 for 3 with six RBIs in his first game back at Triple-A and was 5-for-10 with 10 RBIs three games into his return to the Aviators. But in the past five games, Soderstrom was 1 for 16. Overall, Soderstrom hit 21 home runs with 62 RBIs in 77 games at Triple-A this season.
The A’s first pick in the 2020 draft made his big league debut in mid-July after just 78 career games above Double-A, and hit safely in two of his first three games. But at the time of his demotion he had a slash line of .165/.237/.247 with two home runs and 29 strikeouts in 93 plate appearances.
Long has appeared in 38 games with the A’s this season, logging a 5.27 ERA. Long was optioned to Triple-A on Aug. 12 and made five appearances with the Aviators. Long allowed just one run over 6 ⅔ innings while he was in Las Vegas.
– Thursday, the A’s announced that promising right-hander Freddy Tarnok, one of the key players the A’s received in the Sean Murphy trade, had season-ending surgery on his right hip.
Tarnok, 24, got a late start to the season after developing a shoulder strain during spring training. He made his A’s debut in mid-July. In five appearances, one start, he had a 4.91 ERA in 14 ⅔ innings, allowing 11 hits and 11 walks, but with 14 strikeouts.
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Tarnok, who was placed on the IL on Aug. 14 with what the team said was a strained calf muscle, is expected to be ready for the start of spring training.
The A’s already have used 21 different starting pitchers this season, and view Tarnok as a potential rotation candidate. The former third-round draft pick was impressive in five starts at Triple-A Las Vegas this season, posting a 1.83 ERA with 11 strikeouts in 19 ⅔ innings, but he also walked 11 batters.
Tarnok, left-hander Kyle Muller, catcher Manny Pina and right-hander Royber Salinas joined the A’s from the Braves this winter in the three-team deal for Murphy that also netted the A’s outfielder Esteury Ruiz from the Brewers.
– The A’s recently cleared space on the 40-man roster by sending outfielders Conner Capel and Cody Thomas, and right-hander Spenser Watkins through waivers. None of the trio were claimed and they have been outrighted to Triple-A.