In a bit of not all that shocking, but still disconcerting news Susan Slusser wrote in her San Francisco Chronicle blog “The Drumbeat” that the A’s had taken a look at acquiring Boston Red Sox shortstop Mike Aviles prior to the July 31 trade deadline. The problem that came up, as was the case with every trade possibility the A’s were involved in was that the Red Sox wanted top OF prospect Michael Choice for Aviles. That is quite a steep price for someone like Aviles. So scratch him off the list. Slusser also noted that it was unlikely for the A’s to make any kind of deal for infield help before the end of August when players need to have been on the roster to be postseason eligible.
The need for infield help became that much greater over this weekend series against the White Sox when 3B Brandong Inge dislocated his shoulder on Saturday. Inge showed some serious toughness by literally popping his shoulder back into place on the field and continuing the game, but it seems the injury is a bit more serious than originally feared. Inge is heading back to Oakland to have an MRI tomorrow and we’ll find out just how bad it is. Either way, it’s probably likely that he’ll land on the DL, and at quite possibly the worst time ever.
So now the A’s are faced with not just a need for an upgrade at the shortstop position, but possibly replacing an integral cog in the machine that has led the A’s to this position. But as Slusser said, the likelihood of such a move being made is very low. We have to faced the reality that what we have is what we will have for the remainder of 2012. With 2 hits apiece in today’s game Adam Rosales and Cliff Pennington are showing some signs of life. As for Rosales perhaps he’s finally beginning to regain the form he showed in 2010 before his injuries derailed development. He’s hit in each of the last 4 games he’s played, and has homered twice. Cliff Pennington has gone 4-11 since being activated from the DL this week, but has made a couple baserunning miscues as well as a couple on defense.
If Inge is placed on the DL someone from Sacramento will be brought back, and as I’ve advocated this might be a prime opportunity to call up Grant Green to make his Major League debut. This time though he would probably be brought in to primarily man the hot corner in Inge’s absence instead of take over for Pennington or Rosales at short. I would expect the informal platoon between Pennington and Rosales to continue if Green were brought to Oakland to play 3rd. If someone like Josh Donaldson were to return to Oakland I wouldn’t be surprised to see him ride the pine mostly and see Rosales start at 3rd as he did today with Pennington being the everyday shortstop once again.
The A’s leave the Windy City behind as they look to regain their momentum against the Kansas City Royals on Tuesday, this is the first of a string of 9 games against teams under the .500 mark, and the last such string this season. If the A’s want to stay in this race they will have to finish 6-3 or 7-2 in this stretch before heading to Tampa Bay on August 23rd. If they want to succeed, they will have to do it with the pieces they have.