Nunez tops crop of A’s Tuesday call-ups

The Athletics announced Tuesday that they have continue September roster expansion, calling up top minor league power hitter Renato Nunez.

Nunez, 23, hit 32 home runs in 126 games with Triple-A Nashville, good enough for third-most among all Triple-A hitters and second-most in the Pacific Coast League (PCL). He also knocked in 78 runs, splitting time between his natural third base and left field, a position at which Oakland currently holds a greater need.

Along with Nunez, the A’s (58-79) recalled pitchers Raul Alcantara and Daniel Mengden, as well as infielder Joey Wendle.

Out of minor league options, Alcantara, 24, began the 2017 season as part of the Oakland rotation, making three appearances (one start) and being saddled with 13 earned runs in just 7 innings (16.71 ERA), going 0-1 before he was outrighted to Triple-A. He found something of a groove as a minor league reliever, pitching his way to a respectable 2.67 ERA (10 earned runs in 33-2/3 innings) and 1-2 record with four saves in 18 appearances.

Mengden, 24, appeared in two games with the A’s this season — both starts — going 0-1, allowing nine earned runs in 8 innings (10.13 ERA). After having the start to his season suspended due to March foot surgery, the right-hander made just nine starts with Triple-A Nashville, going 2-4 with a 4.17 ERA. This coming off an extended big league look in 2016, in which he went 2-9 with a 6.50 ERA.

Wendle, 27, put together a productive run as an Athletic last season, slashing .260/.298/.302 with a homer and two stolen bases in 28 games. This season, he slashed .285/.327/.429 with eight homers and 13 steals in 118 Triple-A games.

Nunez, who went 2-for-15 (.133) in a nine-game big league cup of coffee last September, slashed .249/.319/.518 in 126 games with Triple-A Nashville. He had some strikeout problems, whiffing 141 times, tying him with fellow A’s call-up Franklin Barreto for fifth-most in the PCL.

Barreto, 23, joined lefty hurler Sam Moll, 25, as the first wave of September call-ups on the first of the month. Josh Phegley and Jake Smolinski were each reinstated from the disabled list on the same day.

Including the latest call-ups, the A’s active roster now features 16 pitchers, three catchers, seven infielders and six outfielders (including Nunez).


Kalama Hines is SFBay’s sports director and Oakland Athletics beat writer. Follow @SFBay and @HineSight_2020 on Twitter and at SFBay.ca for full coverage of A’s baseball.