FanPost

A Week in Melvin's Shoes: Coming Up With a Lineup Plan for a Week in 2013

The A's are in a fantastic place going into spring training — there aren't any major holes to be filled. As a matter of fact, as anybody reading this post knows, there's a surplus of above-average major league starters on this roster, particularly in the outfield/DH positions (5 guys for 4 spots) and the infield positions (a TBD second baseman, a super-utility man, and three young, largely unproven players either in their first or second full MLB season).

Out of a combination of interest, boredom, and sheer anticipation of Spring Training and Opening Day, I decided to try and put myself in Bob Melvin's shoes and come up with a lineup for each day of the week, assuming in this particular scenario that the A's don't get an off day.

Here were my main considerations:

-Jed Lowrie is capable of playing any infield position. He's played mostly at SS, some at 2B, some at 3B, and even a little at 1B for Boston in 2010, usually coming on as a late-inning replacement. Thus, I think it makes the most sense to have him serve as an 'ultra-utility' player, at least to start the season, playing 4-6 games per week and making sure that Nakajima, Donaldson, Moss, and the ultimate winner of the 2nd base competition are getting some rest and staying fresh.

-Bold prediction: Jemile Weeks wins the competition for the starting 2B job. I'm a huge Weeks fan and firmly believe that his 2012 season was just a sophomore slump (granted, an extreme one). His defensive range and athleticism largely make up for a weak arm and his bat is an asset. I like him in the 9-hole, setting the table for the top of the order. However, I think if it ends up being Scott Sizemore that wouldn't change much about any of these projections.

-Yoenis Cespedes and Coco Crisp are both starters, and deservedly so, but must be rested consistently, as they've both given A's fans numerous examples of their physical fragility. Chris Young is the perfect antidote for this problem; allow Cespedes and Crisp to DH a few times a week and have Young play defense for them. Young can also DH when there isn't room for him in the field, because Josh Reddick should be playing RF almost every day. Seth Smith enters into the fold when one of the aforementioned gets a full day off, potentially playing LF or DH.

-John Jaso is an asset offensively and fits great in the 2-hole given his high OBP and the pop in his bat, but Derek Norris still should catch 2-3 games a week to continue his development. He's also better defensively than Jaso.

So without further ado, here are 7 unique A's lineups, the intent being to find playing time for Lowrie while keeping Weeks, Nakajima, Donaldson, and Moss fresh, find playing time for Smith and particularly Young while doing the same for Reddick, Cespedes, and Crisp, and balancing playing time between Jaso and Norris.


Here's a quick rundown of who plays, where, and how much:

  • Crisp - 6/7 games, 4 at CF, 2 at DH
  • Jaso - 4/7 games, all at C
  • Norris - 3/7 games, all at C
  • Cespedes - 6/7 games, 3 in LF, 2 at DH, 1 in CF
  • Moss - 5/7 games, all at 1B
  • Young - 6/7 games, 3 at DH, 2 in CF, 1 in RF
  • Smith - 4/7 games, all in LF
  • Reddick - 6/7 games, all in RF
  • Weeks - 6/7 games, all at 2B
  • Lowrie - 5/7 games, 1 at 2B, 2 at 1B, 1 at 3B, 1 at SS
  • Nakajima - 6/7 games, all at SS
  • Donaldson - 6/7 games, all at 3B

Monday:

  1. Crisp - CF
  2. Jaso - C
  3. Cespedes - LF
  4. Moss - IB
  5. Young - DH
  6. Reddick - RF
  7. Donaldson - 3B
  8. Nakajima - SS
  9. Weeks - 2B
Tuesday:
  1. Crisp - DH
  2. Donaldson - 3B
  3. Cespedes - CF
  4. Smith - LF
  5. Lowrie - 1B
  6. Reddick - RF
  7. Norris - C
  8. Nakajima - SS
  9. Weeks - 2B
Wednesday:
  1. Crisp - CF
  2. Jaso - C
  3. Cespedes - LF
  4. Moss - 1B
  5. Young - DH
  6. Reddick - RF
  7. Donaldson - 3B
  8. Nakajima - SS
  9. Lowrie - 2B
Thursday:
  1. Weeks - 2B
  2. Donaldson - 3B
  3. Cespedes - DH
  4. Moss - 1B
  5. Young - CF
  6. Reddick - RF
  7. Smith - LF
  8. Norris - C
  9. Lowrie - SS
Friday:
  1. Crisp - CF
  2. Jaso - C
  3. Cespedes - LF
  4. Moss - 1B
  5. Young - DH
  6. Reddick - RF
  7. Donaldson - 3B
  8. Nakajima - SS
  9. Weeks - 2B
Saturday:
  1. Crisp - DH
  2. Lowrie - 3B
  3. Smith - LF
  4. Moss - 1B
  5. Young - CF
  6. Reddick - RF
  7. Norris - C
  8. Nakajima - SS
  9. Weeks - 2B
Sunday:
  1. Crisp - CF
  2. Jaso - C
  3. Cespedes - DH
  4. Smith - LF
  5. Young - RF
  6. Lowrie - 1B
  7. Donaldson - 3B
  8. Nakajima - SS
  9. Weeks - 2B
That's what I came up with, anyway. I tried whenever possible to take advantage of situations in which there's a day game immediately following a night game (in this scenario, this would be Wednesday night/Thursday afternoon and potentially Friday night/Saturday afternoon) and used them to rest players like Crisp and Cespedes. I also wouldn't want Jaso catching a Saturday matinee after a Friday night - unnecessarily taxing, given the two solid catchers on the roster.
Well...thoughts? Am I on the right track?
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