Speedy outfield prospect Ruiz makes A's Opening Day roster


The Athletics announced their 2023 Opening Day roster ahead of the season opener against the Los Angeles Angels on Thursday night at the Oakland Coliseum, and there are a few surprises.

Outfield prospect Esteury Ruiz made the team after a breakout Cactus League performance, where he hit .326/.411/.522 with 11 runs scored, three doubles, two homers and 17 RBI. Known for his speed, the 24-year-old stole six bases during spring training and was thrown out just once.

Ruiz's roster spot was solidified when the A's traded former No. 1 prospect Cristian Pache to the Philadelphia Phillies on Wednesday for pitcher Billy Sullivan.

In addition to Ruiz, the A's will carry four other outfielders on the Opening Day roster: Seth Brown, Ramón Laureano, Conner Capel and Brent Rooker.

Veteran free agent acquisitions Jesús Aguilar and Aledmys Diaz headline the group of six infielders on the roster. They are joined by Nick Allen, Tony Kemp, Ryan Noda and Jace Peterson.

With Sean Murphy now in Atlanta, Shea Langeliers takes over as the primary catcher with veteran Carlos Perez as the backup. In 40 games in Oakland last season, Langeliers hit six homers and drove in 22 RBI. Big things are expected from the former top prospect.

The A's will carry 13 pitchers, with rookie Kyle Muller getting the Opening Day start against Shohei Ohtani on Thursday night. Muller likely will be joined in the rotation by Shintaro Fujinami, Ken Waldichuk, James Kaprielian and JP Sears.

Oakland made several moves in order to set its roster, including putting 2022 All-Star Paul Blackburn on the Injured List. Infielder Kevin Smith, who had a red-hot spring training, didn't make the team and was optioned to Triple-A Las Vegas.

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With a lot of new faces and inexperienced players, the expectations aren't high for the A's. But every player on the roster has a lot to prove, so there's a decent chance Oakland exceeds the preseason projections.

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