As everyone knows, the A's now have a boatload of potential outfielders for 2012: Cespedes, Crisp, Smith, Reddick, Ramirez, Taylor, Cowgill, Gomes, and even Allen and Carter.
Pretty safe bet to start 2012 in OF: Crisp, Cespedes, Smith
4th OFer: Reddick
Battling for DH spot: Gomes, Carter, Allen, and I guess Reddick
Bound for AAA: Cowgill, Taylor
If, and it's a really big IF, Manny proves to be major league ready - you would have to think that Smith becomes the odd-man-out right? He's one of our best hitters but he's not an unproven rookie like Reddick with a high upside right? You would have to think that if you're going to give up an All-Star closer in Bailey for this kid, that they are going to give him a shot to prove he's a winner.
My prediction for June 1st:
1 Weeks, 2b
2 Crisp, cf
3 Cespedes, rf
4 Ramirez, dh (he's just too good a hitter be overmatched, despite turning 40 years old in June)
5 Smith, lf
6 Sizemore, 3b
7 Allen, 1b (I think he beats out Barton and Carter, he's like Chris but with a good glove at 1B)
8 Suzuki, c
9 Pennington, ss
I think Melvin has a good head on his shoulders and will rotate Reddick in pretty regularly and find a way to get him 450 AB's (plus the A's won't stay healthy all year anyway). It would be nice if Chris Carter realized that his stone hands are now jeopardizing his ML career and decided to put in the work to become an average first baseman.
I am super excited to see a 2013 outfield of Cespedes, Choice, and Green with perhaps Reddick taking the 4th OF/DH spot! Would be thrilled if Carter could somehow learn to play some defense and play 1B instead of DH (which either leaves him without a job or Smith/Reddick in 2013).