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Oakland A’s prospect Soderstrom back in the majors as MLB rosters expand for September

Oakland A’s prospect Soderstrom back in the majors as MLB rosters expand for September

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.