Bay Area Sports Fan!

A blog for a Bay Area Sports Fan

A’s Load Up In Infield

Posted by davefowkes on 03/03/2009

It is funny, over the weekend I was going to write something about how I think this could be a breakout year for A’s shortstop Bobby Crosby. I got caught up in college hoops and NFL free agency and by Monday, the A’s have a new starting shortstop and Crosby could be looking at a utility role this year! My how things change in a matter of days!

The A’s have made no secrets about trying to upgrade at SS. They spent much time pursuing Rafael Furcal who eventually said no. This spring they have been courting Orlando Cabrera and he finally said yes! The A’s again this off season got older by signing the 34-year old Cabrera to be their starting SS. So now what happens to Crosby?

My point on Crosby is this: He put in a lot of work this off season, and he is entering his contract year. This is the year that many major leaguers bust out! Crosby has been a disappointment since his rookie season. Injuries have really sidetracked his career and because of the time off he really has not turned into the hitting threat we all thought we were getting when Miguel Tejada left. But that could change this year. It is his contract year! Funny things happen! I really do expect good things from him IF – and notice the big letters on if – he can stay healthy!

With Cabrera they have a nice everyday SS. He is a career .274 hitter that has played above that the last three years. His defense should be an upgrade. His cost was cheap. At one-year and only $4-million he will actually make less than Crosby.

Now the question I have, can Crosby or Cabrera play 3B?  I am still not a believer in the Eric Chavez comeback machine. I am hopeful, but not a believer! If one of the above SS can play 3B then I really like this move because it helps insure against injury which has been a regular theme in the careers of both Crosby and Chavez. Mark Ellis has not exactly been injury free either so having a guy like Crosby as your utility player could be huge IF he can play all those positions. It has been a brittle infield the past few years so having depth like this could pay dividends down the road.

Now it is just about the mental aspects of the game. Can Crosby handle the fact that they A’s have lost faith in him? He is already talking about asking for a trade. But if the A’s clubhouse can figure out a way to work together and keep everyone happy, having Bobby Crosby for your depth, utility infielder could be huge. Because again, with the changes he has made this off-season, and the fact that it is his contract year, I am expecting very big things this year from Crosby! And the A’s will be better for it!

Update 1pm: Susan Slusser of the Chronicle is reporting that a deal is in place with Nomar Garciaparra for one year to come and be the back up 1st and 3rd baseman, plus right handed bat off the bench. My first reaction is that with Garciaparra, Giambi, Cabrerra, this will be the oldest A’s team in years! It also means with Crosby backing up 2b and SS and Garciaparra at the corners, there is a lot of depth in the infield now for the A’s!

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/sfgate/detail?blogid=21&entry_id=36476

PS. Justin Duchscherer is having elbow problems again. He is all talent but can he stay healthy? Man this is a brittle team. Hard to imagine an A’s team where the hitting is the strength and the pitching is the giant question. With Duchscherer potentially out in the beginning of the year you could have Dana Eveland as the opening day pitcher! There is a lot of youth and a ton of potential arms in camp right now, and the future looks bright, but there are some giant question marks for this years rotation!

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