I think the team will have some big decisions to make about the crop of guys who are currently playing 1B/ 3B.
Right now the catchers are pretty much set. The outfield I think will be pretty much the same unless the team trades for an OF and then would have to decide who to drop Brown or Davis. They may have to drop one no matter what once F. Thomas gets back. Overall, I think the outfield is relatively set. Ellis and Crosby are barring a trade or injury are set. The corner guys have to be wondering what will happen with them.
First, Chavez. I don't think the A's will be able to trade him due to his high price and injury history. My guess is that if he is healthy they will put him in. They will need to keep a decent back-up infielder around if he comes back.
Barton. I think he is one of the first to go once Thomas and Sweeney get back. Once these two return, the A's are going to have to have reserves who can play multiple positions. Unless, Bankston is a total flop, Barton goes down to AAA. Barton can only play 1B, this might make the A's decide to keep Hannahan, Murphy or Bankston. Barton has had several months to play and is getting worse at the plate. For his sake, I think he needs to go back to AAA and regain his skills. I also think its possible that he could get traded. The A's have some real good 1B prospects in the minors, Sweeney can start most of the games for the rest of 2008 at 1B and use the back-up corner infielder as a spot starter to give M. Sweeney a rest. IF the A's fall out of contention then I think he obviously comes back for the last 6 weeks or so.
Murphy, I think remains on the team no matter what. They need a guy who can play nearly every infield position. Hannahan, Barton and Bankston are not so much better at hitting to justify dumping such a versitile player as Murphy.
Hannahan or Bankston- I think one will have to go down to the minors as well once Thomas and Sweeney return. Both can play 1b and 3b. We will have to keep one around to back up Sweeney. I don't think either has much upside as a future star. I suppose Hannahan wins out because he is a left handed hitter and has more experience.
I think the manager should give Bankston some chances until the big hurt returns and see what he could do.
I really think the team should bring in a 3B from another team. It doesn't have to be a star but I am certain there is someone out there who can come in and put up better numbers than Hannahan, Barton and Bankston.
When Thomas gets back. I think Bankston goes down. (1b- Barton, 3B- Hannahan/ Murphy)
When Sweeney gets back. I think Barton or E. Brown goes down. (1B- Sweeney/ backup. 3B- Hannahan/ Murphy)
IF Chavez comes back. Who knows.
Any thoughts on these guys??
PS- I think if Emil Brown wants to stay on the team needs to be willing to try some 3B or 1B. Davis has the speed advantage over him as a PR for Cust/ Thomas. Also, Davis can play 2B.