OAKLAND – There’s no day quite like opening day, even if you’ve been in the Major Leagues for the better part of nine seasons.
Players strive all spring to make the opening day 25-man roster, and while it’s just another day along the road for many players, those who play at the fringes of the sport consider it sacred time.
Take the A’s Adam Rosales. Ask him and he’ll tell you that tonight will be his fifth time on an opening day roster over the course of nine seasons since 2009 spent bouncing between the minor leagues and the big leagues.
He’d be wrong.
“I was on the roster to start in 2010, 11, 15 and 16,” he said. “Some guys are there every year, but that’s never been me. I never take it for granted. This will be No. 5.”
Actually it will be No 6. Rosales said he wasn’t on the A’s big league roster in 2012, but he was, for a day or so. He was with Oakland on its trip to start the season in Japan and played defensively at first base without getting an at-bat. But when the club returned home, he was sent to the minor leagues on April 2.
So when the A’s had their official opening day in Oakland, he wasn’t around. But he’ll always have Japan, we’re guessing.
“You’d like to be on the opening day roster every year, no doubt about it,” he said. “I haven’t done that, but I’ve done pretty good to make it as many times as I have. That’s one reason every opening day is special.”
Rosales is down to serve as the backup at shortstop, second base and third base, but he’s spent time in left and right field, too, as well as first base. In a pinch he could play center, too, although he might draw the line at getting behind the plate and catching.
For Monday night’s opening roster as a whole, the A’s will have one position player, infielder Ryon Healy, and six pitchers – Raul Alcantara, Jharel Cotton, Daniel Coulombe, Sean Manaea, Frankie Montas and Andrew Triggs – who will be on an opening day roster for the first time Monday against the Angels.