The Athletics have made a series of roster heading out of the break, as Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Young corner infielder Ryon Healy is coming up to take the place of struggling outfielder Billy Burns, who has been optioned. The club designated righty Nick Tepesch to clear 40-man space.
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Parting with Tepesch wasn’t too difficult for Oakland, given that he was only just claimed a few weeks ago. But the 27-year-old might have provided some useful rotation depth for the organization, which would come in handy in the event that one or more starters end up being traded in the coming weeks. He might yet, of course, as it’s possible that he’ll end up in the A’s system.
Burns had been expected to hold down semi-regular duties in center field, but the 26-year-old has failed to follow up on a quality 2015 campaign. Indeed, he has been about half as productive with the bat as he was last year, putting up a meager .234/.270/.303 slash. The speedy Burns does have 14 swipes and a useful glove, but that’s not enough to compensate for such a rough go at the dish.
As for Healy, 24, this represents his first crack at the majors. He earned an early-season promotion to Triple-A after destroying Double-A pitching, and is off to a .318/.362/.505 start over his first 210 plate appearances at the highest level of the minors. Healy doesn’t offer top-flight power — he’s at 14 on the year and has never finished a professional season with more than 16 — but is certainly trending up in that regard and seems to carry a well-rounded overall bat.