2013 A's roster breakdown: Second base


2013 A's roster breakdown: Second base

OAKLAND -- This is the third installment of the Oakland A's position-by-position offseason breakdown, teeing up the team's options for the 2013 season. Second base could be one of the more interesting Spring Training battles for Oakland. A's general manager Billy Beane indicated that Scott Sizemore will move back to second base this offseason. Based on that information, it is likely that Sizemore is the favorite to land the starting job out of camp if all goes according to plan. The A's remain very confident in Sizemore's abilities. He was acquired from the Detroit Tigers in 2011 and converted to a third baseman. In just 95 games with the A's he hit .249 with 21 doubles, 11 homers, and 52 RBI. He handled the transition to third base well defensively. Now he gets to move back to his natural position.In the first full squad workout in Spring Training, Sizemore tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee and was lost for the season. After a year of rehabbing with the team Sizemore will be ready to fight for a starting gig in 2013. The A's organization still thinks very highly of him. "The great thing about Scott is he is a natural second baseman and now he's played third," Beane said at the conclusion of the season. "I personally have high hopes for Scott, he is very much part of our picture going forward." Prior to being traded it looked like Cliff Pennington was a heavy favorite to enter 2013 as the A's starting second baseman. This cracks open the door for Jemile Weeks, who lost the job. Weeks was labeled as untouchable after a strong rookie campaign in which he hit .303 with 22 stolen bases. He was hit hard by the sophomore slump, though, and lost his job. He only hit .220 in 2012 after starting 111 of the A's first 121 games. He fell out of favor with the A's front office and was sent to Triple-A Sacramento on August 21. "He's a very talented kid but it's certainly a disappointment to see him go back to Triple-A after having such a great rookie campaign," Beane said.Weeks was handed the starting job in 2012 and lost it. The A's have made it very clear that he will have to earn every start going forward. He has the ability to ignite the A's lineup. If he can find a way to start from scratch and fix his game he could be a star. Humbled going into 2013, Weeks will have to prove he has what it takes to earn his job back. Another intriguing possibility for second base in 2013 will be Grant Green. It is worth noting that he was told to focus solely on second base toward the end of the year. He played second base (19 games), third base (11 games), shortstop (19 games), left field (49 games), and center field (30 games) in Triple-A in 2012. Green is one of the A's top prospects and the belief is that his offense will translate in the major leagues. He was second in the A's organization with a .296 average, finished third with 75 RBI, and sixth with 15 home runs. The A's just need to find a position for him. Could second base be the answer? Don't be surprised if he finds a way to win the job at some point this upcoming season. Here in 2013:Jemile Weeks, 118 G, .221 AVG, .305 OBP, 8 3B, 20 RBI, 16 SB
Scott Sizemore, DNP
Adam Rosales, 42 G, .222 AVG, .297 OBP, 2 HR, 8 RBI, 11 BB
Grant Green, 125 G, .296 AVG, .338 OBP, 28 2B, 6 3B, 15 HR, 75 RBI (AAA)
Eric Sogard, 37 G, .206 OBP, 3 2B, 2 HR, 7 RBI
Andy Parrino, 55 G, .207, .316 OBP, 5 2B, 1 HR, 6 RBI
Free Agents: NONE Biggest Question: How will Sizemore bounce back after a year off? Analyst's Take: Shooty Babitt"That's the tough one. The reason it is so tough is because Scott Sizemore hasn't done enough to earn that second base job. He came in and did a good job to earn the third base job, but he hasn't proven to everybody he can play second base every day at the major league level. That's why they moved him to third." "I think Jemile Weeks is done in Oakland. I was surprised when they brought him back up. Especially the way he left. For me, I still think that position is wide open. I think that somebody could come in there and take that position." "Grant Green can play second base and I always felt that would be his best position because I felt he could be an offensive second baseman. He catches the balls that are hit to him, he's got a slow gait, he doesn't have a quick first step, but he is an instinctive guy, I think he is not as exposed at second base." Best Available and affordable (Not much to see here) Maicer Izturis (32), Kelly Johnson (31), Jose Lopez (29), Freddy Sanchez (34)

A's coach plays part in Schwarber's World Series comeback

A's coach plays part in Schwarber's World Series comeback

Ryan Christenson has a reason to follow the World Series even more so than most years.

Christenson, who manages the A’s Double-A Midland squad, is also skippering the Mesa Solar Sox of the Arizona Fall League. One of his players happened to be Cubs outfielder Kyle Schwarber, if only for the briefest of periods.

Schwarber, as is well-documented, played in two AFL games as a quick tune-up before joining the Cubs’ active roster for the Fall Classic. It’s an unprecedented path, as Schwarber hadn’t appeared in a game for Chicago since April 7, when he tore the anterior cruciate and lateral collateral ligaments in his left knee.

When he crushed a double off the right field wall in Game 1 against the Indians’ Corey Kluber, Schwarber became the first position player in major league history to get a hit in the World Series after recording zero hits during the regular season.

His preparations for the grand stage took place in the relative anonymity of the Arizona Fall League, and it presented some unique conditions for Christenson to manage under.

“It’s such a unique situation to see someone thrust into that after missing so much season,” Christenson said in a phone interview before Game 1. “To have a chance to be activated this time of year, it’s something special if he can pull this off. If he (sparks the Cubs), literally the guy can be a legend.”

Schwarber appeared in just two games for the Solar Sox, going 1-for-6 as a designated hitter. Christenson didn’t have much hands-on interaction with Schwarber — the Cubs had their own staff members on site helping him with treatment — but Christenson saw Schwarber’s swing rounding into form even in his brief time in the batter’s box.

“The bat speed is there,” said Christenson, who hadn’t met Schwarber previously. “I love watching him work in the cage. He’s got a great swing. I don’t think it would take someone of his caliber long to get his timing and pick up where he left off. It’s a simple swing.”

The Cubs asked Christenson to work Schwarber into the top of the batting order with the Solar Sox so as to maximize his number of plate appearances. They also asked one other favor.

“The only request they had was that I took it easy with him on the bases … not trying to score him from first base on a gapper.”

Schwarber’s mere presence in the Arizona Fall League created a delicate dynamic. The league is geared toward up-and-coming prospects who have yet to break into the majors, and Christenson said AFL officials were concerned about Schwarber dropping in and taking playing time away from those players.

Each major league organization sends at least six players to the AFL. Of those six, one is designated a “priority player,” meaning they must play at least four days a week, so innings can be tricky to spread around.

Adding to the sensitivity of the situation, the Solar Sox’s roster includes not only Cubs prospects but also those of the Cleveland Indians. Christenson needed to avoid a situation where Schwarber was stealing at-bats away from prospects of the American League champs — the team that Schwarber was training to try to help the Cubs beat.

But things unfolded smoothly, and Schwarber showed appreciation for getting the chance to drop in for a couple games.

“I’ll definitely be pulling for him,” Christenson said.

A's claim left-handed reliever off waivers from Cubs

A's claim left-handed reliever off waivers from Cubs

CLEVELAND — Left-hander Giovanni Soto has been claimed by the Oakland Athletics off waivers from the Chicago Cubs.

Soto was designated for assignment Saturday to open a spot on the 40-man roster for slugger Kyle Schwarber, who was activated from the 60-day disabled list following knee surgery in April. Schwarber was put on the World Series roster Tuesday and went 1 for 3 with a double, walk and two strikeouts in the opening 6-0 loss to the Cleveland Indians.

Soto was traded to the Cubs from Cleveland on April 11 and was 1-3 with a 5.14 ERA in 33 relief appearances for Triple-A Iowa. He made his big league debut with the Indians in 2015 and appeared in six games and 3 1/3 innings.

Oakland claimed him Wednesday.