Neuse did not make the Athletics' 30-man roster. Franklin Barreto, Tony Kemp and Chad Pinder all made the team, so there weren't going to be at-bats available at second base and Matt Chapman is a true everyday player at third base, so Neuse got squeezed out of the equation. Vimael Machin also made the roster ahead of Neuse as a utility player. Neuse will continue to work at Oakland's satellite camp until a need arises.
Neuse, who'll be part of the group of players taking part in the Oakland Coliseum portion of the Athletics' summer camp, could push for a spot on the Opening Day roster due to his versatility, Alex Coffey of The Athletic reports. Neuse thrived in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League last season, slashing .317/.389/.550 with 27 home runs and 102 RBI at Triple-A Las Vegas. That led to the 25-year-old getting his first taste of the big leagues, during which he posted a .250/.295/.304 line over 61 plate appearances. Neuse had been optioned back to Triple-A shortly before spring training was suspended, but his presence in the main player pool and the recent trade of Jorge Mateo to the Padres sets up a possible competition for a utility infield role between Neuse and Vimael Machin.
Neuse will report to Oakland when teams resume workouts this week after the Athletics announced Sunday that he would be part of their 60-man roster pool. Neuse was among the 42 players who will report back to Oakland when the team conducts its first workout Saturday, with the Athletics assigning 12 other players to an alternative training site to complete its 60-man pool. Oakland had previously optioned Neuse to Triple-A Las Vegas back on March 8, but MLB's decision to suspend its season only a few days later will allow the infielder to break camp with the big club. Expect Neuse to operate in a bench role in 2020 after striking out in 31.1 percent of his plate appearances during his first taste of the big leagues in the second half of last season.
Neuse has gone 6-for-19 with a 3:3 BB:K through his first eight games of Cactus League play. Thanks to the patient eye at the plate he's shown so far, Neuse is sitting on a .409 on-base percentage, but his OPS rests at a less impressive .725 due to all six of his hits being singles. Neuse showed at Triple-A Las Vegas in 2019 that he has more power in his bat than his spring stats suggest, but even if he increases his slugging output in the weeks to come, he won't necessarily be guaranteed a spot on the Opening Day roster. The Athletics are staging a wide-open battle for the second base job this spring, with Franklin Barreto, Tony Kemp, Chad Pinder and Jorge Mateo all representing candidates to replace the departed Jurickson Profar. Barreto, Mateo and Kemp are all out of minor-league options and would all likely be poached by other organizations if exposed to waivers, while Pinder has been a mainstay on the bench the past three seasons because of his defensive versatility and strong track record versus left-handed pitching. That may be enough to keep Neuse -- who has three minor-league options remaining -- off the Opening Day roster regardless of how he performs the rest of the spring.
Neuse went 3-for-4 with two RBI in Saturday's 12-3 win over the Rangers. Neuse made a productive out with a sacrifice fly to score Ramon Laureano in the first inning. Neuse also plated Mark Canha with a single in the second. The 24-year-old infielder lifted his average from .225 to .273 with the three-hit performance, which gave him seven RBI in 44 at-bats since receiving a promotion from Triple-A Las Vegas on Aug. 29.