Do you think it's time to shake up the A's roster? Clearly the guys on it now aren't getting the job done, so why wait any longer to make some moves?
-- Brock H., Martinez, Calif.
Sure, why not? It seems like it was around this time last year that the A's did some serious shuffling, and since the pieces that are here now aren't working so well together, it probably is best for some moves to be considered.
First of all, I think Jemile Weeks should already be up by now. He should've been up when Coco Crisp went on the disabled list, since he can offer the A's a spark at the top of the lineup. I know the A's are weary of his defense and believe Eric Sogard to be better in this department, but Weeks, when considering all aspects of the game, offers more.
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There's also probably not a need to keep Daric Barton, Luke Montz and Nate Freiman on the roster at the same time. Granted, when Chris Young returns, the A's will send one out the door. Barton must pass through waivers to remain with the A's, and Rule 5-pick Freiman would be sent back to the Padres if he's let go, so signs point to Montz heading back to Triple-A. But with Young back in the fold, Brandon Moss can return to first base, so the A's might do well by taking Barton off the roster and bringing up Shane Peterson for an extended time to see what he can do with several big league at-bats.
In the bullpen, I'd like to see Hideki Okajima up here soon, and his June 1 out-clause suggests that will happen. As for the rotation, I'm not quite sold that Sonny Gray is ready for a big league start, but maybe it's time to see what he can do should Dan Straily continue to struggle.
Can someone explain the Grant Green situation to me? The guy has been a solid hitter as long as he's been alive, and the team has forced him into versatility. Why do other guys continue to get the call before he does?
-- Chris R., Stockton, Calif.
I don't think anyone in the A's organization will deny Green's strong offensive capability. It's his defense that's always been suspect, and that's why he's been moved around a lot and has subsequently found his way into a utility-type role. The same is happening to Weeks, who is playing some shortstop these days. Green will get his chance when he's the best option, and right now he's not that at any position.
What's the story with Hiro Nakajima? It seems he disappeared just before the season began, was put on the disabled list, and it wasn't revealed until recently that he was put back in extended spring training before being sent to Triple-A Sacramento. Does the club envision seeing him in the big leagues at all, or was this a "mulligan" signing?
-- David L., Hayward, Calif.
The A's certainly would like to see Nakajima in the big leagues, or else they wouldn't have handed him $6.5 million in the offseason. They just didn't know how far behind the big-league curve he would be when he arrived in Spring Training. The only reason it seemed like he "disappeared" before the season began, as you said, is because he got hurt. That pretty much ruled out any slim chance he still had of gaining a roster spot.
The A's are questioning his abilities on both defense and offense, but they're hopeful that time in the Minors will help him get comfortable and gain some confidence, and that those things will hurry along his progression to the big leagues.
What do you see the A's doing with Straily when Brett Anderson comes back? Will they make room for him in the rotation by trading or demoting another starter or will they send him back to Sacramento?
-- Jeff K., Sacramento, Calif.
Straily is headed back to Sacramento, no matter how he performs in the time Anderson is out. To this point, he's struggled to maintain any type of consistency, and the A's need to see him attain that before making him a staple of the rotation.
What's with Dallas Braden? Is his baseball career over? If not, will the A's give him another shot?
-- Warren A., Oceanside, Calif.
I recently heard that Braden is still rehabbing down in Southern California, and it was always known that he wouldn't be ready to pitch in the big leagues until at least July, anyway. That's why he's still without any type of contract, though I do see him potentially landing a Minor League deal with some team down the road. And as much as Braden is tied to the A's organization, I see him likely looking for a change of scenery, so I'd be surprised if his next opportunity comes with Oakland.