First Base: A Glut With No Players

Imagine playing "musical chairs" at a party, where the music stops and there's an empty chair but nobody standing looking for a place to sit. That's more like the "musical chairs" problem the A's could find themselves with at the one position commonly thought to be over-crowded: 1B.

Brett Wallace? That's the guy who has never actually played over at 1B, the guy who continues to play at the position the A's really need a solution. Sure, he could move over to 1B at some point and stay there, but that's a bit different from saying he's adding to a glut. That's kind of like hearing that someone is from Michigan and replying, "Really? I have a brother who's from Wisconsin."

Speaking of my brother, he and his family had a turkey for Thanksgiving again this year. And as usual, they ate lobster. You see, each year my brother (I'm the normal one), his wife, and their three kids, adopt a foster-turkey -- which is different from a Foster Farms turkey in that these turkeys are neither frozen nor deceased. Tom, as this year's guest of honor was called, was very much alive, trotting around the house while somewhere upstream in Philadelphia a lobster went, "Aw man, really?" to a skilled fisherman. However, as my brother projects to be no more than an average 1Bman, he will no longer be part of this conversation.

Chris Carter? Well, in contrast to Wallace 1B is exactly where Carter has been playing but it seems pretty widely agreed that it's one position where he won't stick. In other words, Wallace hasn't yet proven he can't stick at 3B and hasn't shown he can play 1B, but Carter has shown what he can't do at 1B and it's a lot. LF seems like a good bet, and DH appears to be in Carter's future ahead of "happy 30th birthday, Chris!" 1B, on the other hand, is looking less for Carter like a position he'll play long-term, and more like a place he has stood near for far too long.

Sean Doolittle? Here's a guy who finally has the right combination of "plays the position well" and "might hit big league pitching." However, he now has multiple strikes against his making it as a major league 1Bman. Generally healthy, Doolittle suffered a rather significant knee injury last season, one that could impact him into this year. So before we worry about where he'll play and how well he'll play, we need to wait to see when he can play and whether he can come back at 100%. Then he has to be good enough for the big leagues -- which was never a certainty, just a hope. And then 1B has to be where he lands, and it's not where he was primarily playing at the time he lost a knee.

Speaking of which, I'm thinking of starting a knee replacement company. I'm going to call it the Knee Co. (pronounced "NEE-koh") and...well, honestly that's as far as I've gotten.

All of which brings us back to Daric Barton. A guy who didn't take at catcher, couldn't handle 3B, but has found 1B much to his liking -- so much so that he singles a lot, but then so did Hatteberg -- and now stands as an incumbent who is still young, can field the position well, and was always touted for his hitting.

Could 9 Daric Bartons outscore the 1927 Yankees, or would they just fall off, one by one, into a shallow pool in some Synchonized Swimming nightmare? I don't know. But right now Barton is more than the best 1Bman the A's have. He might actually be the only one.

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