I made a post right before the Harden deal that wondered what the A's roster would look like when Frank got back. At the time I thought his return was imminent and furthermore the Harden trade was a pretty big deal. I was still wondering what you think the A's will do with the roster. Is going to just 11 pitchers an option??
With games like today where key guys get hurt and a Pinch Hitter was essential to the victory I am more and more thinking that the A's should consider going to just 11 pitchers. (then again the extra innings puts a strain on the pitching staff).
First off, I would consider doing this right now for the Angels series. Considering Sweeney will probably not be able to play we are looking very thin on the bench. Furthermore, with the break coming up I would believe that Blanton and Smith could pitch in an inning on Sunday if needed. (I think its common for starters to throw on a set day between starts). I would bring up an outfielder as without Sweeney (who probably might not need 15 days on DL) we only have 4 OF (counting Cust).
I know having just 11 guys would put a strain on the staff but it would only be for a month and a half (September allows us to expand the roster).
It seems to me that A. Brown is probably contributing the least on the team right now. He is pitching about 1-2 innings a week. I would think that his inning or so could be absorbed by the others.
With Frank's return we would be very limited in defensive replacements. I would think that Crosby easily replaces Petit or Murphy. Sweeney could replace Bankston or Barton. Big Frank causes the major problem. If he took Davis or Emil's spot our OF is very depleted.
Yes, yes there are going to be many changes with trades. But some problems remain no matter who is on the roster. If we stick with 12 pitchers we have only 13 hitters. With Cust, Thomas, Bankston, Barton we have 4 of 13 hitters who are very limited in the number of positions they can play.
If the A's stick with 12 pitchers the A's may have to get very creative with the roster.
Maybe we need to find some guys who can function at another position. I think if Emil wants to stay once all the injured return he may have to work at being a back-up corner infielder. Hannahan may have to be willing to try a middle infield or outfield spot if Chavez ever returns. Or the GM can trade for a player who can play most OF and infield positions.
I think the team will be just fine once we get to September but it may get real tight in August.