Joey Wendel, who was almost certainly going to be called up after the rosters expanded from 25 to 40 on Thursday, got a jump on the competition when he was promoted Wednesday from Triple-A Nashville to Oakland and immediately went into the A’s starting lineup.
The arrival of Wendel, picked up from the A’s in the Brandon Moss trade of two winters ago, does a minor remake of the A’s infield. Max Muncy, who had been getting most of the work at second base, will step into the outfield as a backup with Wendle and Chad Pinder, called up last week, moving into a platoon at second base.
“I didn’t think it would be this soon,’’ Wendle admitted. He was called into Nashville manager Steve Scarsone’s office Tuesday night and told him he’d been promoted.
Scarsone has a habit of pranking player who are being called up, but didn’t do it this time, leading Wendle to speculate that perhaps Scarsone’s “creative juices’’ hadn’t been at their peak.
No matter. Scarsone was able to get on the phone so that his wife, Lindsey, and parents Carol and Scott were able to fly to Houston to watch him in his Major League debut.
He was safe on an error in his first at-bat and scored his first big league run moments later on a Jake Smolinski triple.
“This is definitely an exciting time for me,’’ Wendle said. “Sooner than I expected, but very exciting.’’
–Lefty reliever Sean Doolittle will come off the disabled list and be active for the A’s Friday in Oakland as the Red Sox come in for a three-game series. Manager Bob Melvin said Doolittle’s last two injury rehab games have been “the best he’s thrown yet.’’ Doolittle hit 94 mph on the radar gun Tuesday with Nashville.
–Lefty starter Sean Manaea won’t make his next scheduled start Sunday, that going instead to Kendall Graveman. Manaea will get some extra time off after hurting his back in his last start Monday.
–Oakland is leaving Saturday’s starting berth open. It’s likely that Daniel Mengden, who has been up with the A’s multiple times this season, will get the call.
–Melvin said Brett Eibner, who’d already begun to get some playing time and who was in Wednesday’s starting lineup, has a chance to get the most benefit from the trade of Coco Crisp in terms of playing time. He will get a look in center, the manager said, in addition to left and right.
–With both Crisp and Billy Burns having been traded recently, A’s general manager David Forst said the club will be looking for leadoff hitters now and in the offseason. He also said speed wasn’t the only factor, that on-base percentage is at the core of what the club needs.
–With Wendle coming up from Nashville, the Sounds got a replacement in shortstop Franklin Barreto, who is widely seen as the best shortstop prospect in the Oakland organization. He was promoted from Double-A Midland as day after the 74-59 RockHounds became the first Texas League team in over a century to win three consecutive league titles.
–Second baseman Jed Lowrie was scheduled to undergo foot surgery Wednesday. He’s been on the disabled list since Aug. 4 and had been limping for about five weeks before that.