The game itself this evening really didn’t have much in the way of activity. Tommy Milone put forth an excellent start, allowed an unearned run and took the loss (again). The A’s were unable to mount any significant offensive push, failing to move a runner past first base throughout the entire game against Indians starter Zach McAllister. Yoenis Cespedes knocked a 1 out single in the 9th inning versus closer Chris Perez, but was gunned down by catcher Yan Gomes as he attempted to steal second base. That was the second out, and Brandon Moss would strike out to end the game shortly thereafter.
It was an ugly loss, no doubt about it. And it was extremely disappointing to see the A’s waste another great outing by Tommy Milone, who has received all of 3 runs of support in his last 3 starts. The A’s will attempt to get right versus a tough opponent in Justin Masterson tomorrow evening as A.J. Griffin follows up his strong start at Yankee Stadium on Friday.
The postgame activity proved to be much more intriguing than the game itself though. Josh Reddick, who was held out of the lineup after experiencing more discomfort in the wrist he injured back in Houston almost a month ago. The initial reaction from many would be that the wrist was the primary cause of his struggles this season, but I don’t believe that for a minute. Unless Reddick’s wrist has been bothering him since last August, it is not the reason he’s been so bad this year. The big news of the night came as Susan Slusser tweeted that it would be none other than Daric Barton who would be called up to take Reddick’s place.
I’ll let everyone pause and take a deep breath as we all process that information.
I have not been a Daric Barton supporter over the last couple years, but this move actually makes perfect sense to me. Barton figures to get the bulk of the playing time at first base, and Brandon Moss will likely slide out to his native right field for the duration of Reddick’s absense. Shane Peterson or even Michael Choice were likely considered for the call up. I would have had no problem with Peterson getting the call, but clearly the A’s brass has seen something in the way Barton has been playing with the River Cats this year and want to see if he can translate that success to the major leagues. Michael Choice has not tasted the Show just yet, and as I said a few days ago, the time is not now to start his service time clock. He still could use a little more seasoning and every day at bats at the minor league level.
The catch here is that since Barton was designated for assignment after Spring Training, someone will have to be removed to make room on the 40 man roster. The obvious candidate would be Nate Freiman. The biggest position player ever has played sparingly, but has come up with some big hits for the Athletics. Luke Montz would also be a possibly candidate to be let go, but I would hate to see that happen with all he’s been through to get back to the major leagues (Think Travis Blackley). I could also see Andy Parrino being let go after he didn’t produce with the Athletics, and has struggled in Sacramento as well.
The A’s need a spark offensively, they’ve scored just 12 runs in the first 5 games of this road trip. I don’t expect Barton to provide that spark though. The A’s need to figure out a way to get Jemile Weeks up to the active roster as well. Likely that would have to mean sending down Eric Sogard. He’s a fan favorite without a doubt, but fans need to face the reality that he’s not producing at a position where the Athletics do have options. If not Weeks, then Grant Green needs to make his debut finally. Needless to say the Athletics need to shake things up, and this injury to Josh Reddick is the perfect opportunity to do so.
There is a history of teams embelishing injuries to non-productive players in order to stash them on the 15 day DL rather than subjecting them to the shame of a demotion. I haven’t been opposed to the notion of eventually sending Reddick himself down to work on his swing, but this way he can take some time off, get some at bats in the minors when he goes on rehab, and hopefully return to the Athletics a rejuvenated and productive player.
It will certainly be interesting to see how all of this shakes out, and what the lineup looks like tomorrow.