A's tweak the lineup - Should Carter start vs. RHP?

July 14, 2012, 8:28 pm
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At 7-1 the Oakland Athletics have the best record in MLB in July. They are over .500 at 44-43 and currently 1.5 games behind for the second Wild Card spot. As the trade deadline approaches, the A's players have to prove they can continue to play at this level or risk being slapped with the dreaded label of "sellers." A's 44-43 lineupJemile Weeks, 2B
Seth Smith, LF
Josh Reddick, CF
Yoenis Cespedes, DH
Brandon Moss, RF
Chris Carter, 1B
Brandon Inge, 3B
Cliff Pennington, SS
Kurt Suzuki, C
Instant AnalysisChris Carter and Brandon Moss are in the starting lineup together for the first time. This is something that I have been lobbying for on Twitter, TV and Radio. Up until now Carter and Moss have been platooned, but two of Carter's three homers have come off right-handed pitchers. He is 4 for 6 (.667) with two home runs and four RBI against righties this year. Seems silly to start him exclusively against lefties. With Carter and Moss in the lineup I'd like to see one of them used as DH. Right now Yoenis Cespedes is occupying that spot because he is recovering from a left thumb sprain. Moss is capable of playing the outfield and has played 122 Major League games in right field. Keep an eye on the A's outfield defense though because Josh Reddick has had some struggles in center field this year. Top of the orderJemile Weeks moves up to the leadoff spot with Coco Crisp nursing a sore shoulder. Seth Smith takes over the second spot in the order. Smith is a great fit in that part of the lineup. He is seventh in the AL with a 13.6 walk percentage. He is a patient hitter that averaged 4.04 pitchers per plate appearance. Heart of the orderCespedes' swing looked good on Friday, even after spraining his left thumb on Sunday. He went 2-for-3, and reached base and scored after Denard Span dropped a fly ball that he hit to center field. Bottom of the orderBrandon Inge, Cliff Pennington, and Kurt Suzuki are all under pressure to perform. Maybe batting them 7-8-9 will defer some of the attention they are getting for their recent struggles. Inge has 28 strikeouts in his last 23 games. Suzuki is hitting .211 and Pennington is hitting .206. Minnesota Twins (36-50) lineupDenard Span, CF
Ben Revere, RF
Joe Mauer, C
Josh Willingham, LF
Justin Morneau, 1B
Trevor Plouffe, 3B
Ryan Doumit, DH
Brian Dozier, SS
Jamey Carroll, 2B
Twins analysisFormer A's outfielder Josh Willingham has four home runs with 10 RBI in four games against the A's this season.

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