Grant Green: The Time Has Come

USA TODAY Sports

With the terrible news of Scott Sizemore’s second knee surgery in as many years, the A’s will be forced to re-examine their platoon situation at 2B. The time has come to give Grant Green a look.

While the A's do have depth at 2B, it's not really clear that "quality" would be an adjective used to describe it. Just so we are all on the same page, here are the players in the organization who could be potentially used at 2B:

Jemile Weeks

Andy Parrino (already here from AAA)

Jed Lowrie

Grant Green

Adam Rosales

Hiro Nakajima

As we know, the last two guys are on the DL, with Rosales potentially out until May with the intercostal strain. While Nakajima may be closer to a return, it seems clear that the A's wish to give him more seasoning in AAA before calling him up, if they even do that. That leaves Weeks, Parrino, and Green to duke it out, along with Eric Sogard, for the 2B platoon spots. Here are the arguments for/against each player:

Jemile Weeks

First, and potentially most importantly, it is not clear that Weeks' shoulder is completely healthy after he injured it in Spring Training. So, that may be what makes the decision for the A's. But if he was healthy, Weeks was at least at one point a long-term solution at 2B, and 2011 told us why: he had a 110 wRC+, stole 22 bases, and played decent defense as a rookie. That is the guy many of us thought would show in 2012, as well, but his poor play had many rightfully wondering what his future looks like now: he had a 73 wRC+, played somewhat worse defense, stole 16 bases, and seemed to have an unusual penchant for lazy fly balls.

The potential is there; he just has to properly harness it. If the A's are getting a switch-hitting 110 wRC+ 2B, then that's part of a division-contending team. If it is the latter guy, then that guy has no place on the A's. What's more, it's not really clear he can play another position other than 2B: he doesn't have a strong enough arm for SS or 3B, is too small for 1B or C, and the A's don't need any more outfielders. Unless the A's are planning on trading Weeks - or even if they are and wish to showcase him - 2B is probably Weeks' highest and best use as a baseball player.

Andy Parrino

Parrino impressed in spring, and indeed, he is here for that reason, I imagine. In addition, he's got the versatility that is the hallmark of current A's teams, can also switch-hit, and is healthy (not a small feat with the A's). On the other hand, there is a good reason the Padres were willing to give him up to get Tyson Ross. While, like Jemile Weeks, Parrino had excellent numbers in his minor league career, he has failed to be anything close to a league average bat in 193 major-league PAs, with about a 62 wRC+, no stolen base ability, and pretty high K-rates (which also haunted him throughout the minors). To be fair, he does walk a ton, too, but that doesn't overcome his other shortcomings. He's Jemile Weeks' 2012 season, but without the upside. It's fine that he is here right now as a warm body, but this isn't someone to have starting more than a few games for a contending team.

Jed Lowrie

Lowrie has been everything the A's could have asked for offensively, and obviously isn't going anywhere. He might have won player of the week last week had Chris Davis not been hitting out of his mind. Obviously, Lowrie won't continue his torrid hitting forever, but his one shortcoming appears to be defensively. While he has a strong arm, his throw accuracy isn't what it could be. On the one hand, this can improve once he's set in playing that position every day. On the other hand, we saw how a guy with a strong arm but questionable accuracy can benefit from being 30 feet closer to 1B last year when Cliff Pennington played there. Perhaps Lowrie should be moved, and someone else like Green should play SS.

Adam Rosales

A's fans know what to expect with this guy: solid defense anywhere in the infield, but questionable bat. Yes, everyone loves his hustle - especially when he homers - but he doesn't hit enough of those or really anything to warrant anything more than a utility player spot. Between Rosales and Parrino for the utility guy spot, I'll take Rosales, but that's not saying a whole lot. He's not a major league caliber starter at this point. He's also out of options, though, and that may factor into the decision-making process (unfortunately).

Hiro Nakajima

Again, he is on the DL and had a poor showing in Spring, and all the beat writers seem to agree that the A's are likely to have him start his American professional career in AAA. He could benefit from a position change if his arm and footwork are not up to par, but none of that is going to matter unless he has a bat to back it up. He's going to have to prove himself in AAA before he merits any more than a cursory consideration.

Grant Green

One could say Green is the best option because all the other options aren't really that great, and that is true to a certain extent. Himself, Green hasn't been incredibly impressive at any one level, not really being able to stick defensively at one position. There is also some meddling going on by the A's, though, as they attempted to find a long-term position for him despite changing organizational needs. He came from college as a shortstop, though, so playing 2B shouldn't be much of a transition for him. He played 19 games there last year, and has 6 games under his belt there this year.

Bat-wise, again, he hasn't been anything super-special, but he's been a consistent performer at each level. After batting a 125 wRC+ in the hitter-friendly CAL league (who doesn't put up good numbers there, though), he came back with a 101 wRC+ in the notoriously pitcher-friendly Texas League. He went from 20 HR at Stockton, down to 9 HR at Midland, but then rebounded with a solid 15 for the River Cats last year while posting a wRC+ of 104. In addition, he's cut his K-rate down significantly, from the 20s down to 13.3% last year. All of those are solid developmental signs as a hitter. Indeed, all he's ever needed is a position, and now that has opened up for him.

Let's face it: Scott Sizemore's A's career, if not MLB career, is in jeopardy right now. A potential 2014 return for him isn't out of the question, but it is a longshot, especially in an A's uniform. The A's need someone else with that kind of upside, and Grant Green could very well be that guy. I am sure the A's have their reasons if he is not called up soon, not the least of which is defensively. That said, I see no better time than the present to see if he finally has a position that he can hold down.

This is all without mentioning Eric Sogard, who is essentially the 2B starter right now. He has defensive versatility, and is a plus defender at each position. He may very well be part of a 2B platoon still in a month, and again, is someone who is relatively predictable as a below-average bat.

Who would you like to see as the A's longer-term answer at 2B? Vote in the poll.

The A's go for the sweep tonight at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Lev Fachler will host your thread tonight; gametime is at 7:05 against Jason Vargas. Ugh.

Finally, I'd just like to assure you that this is me, cuppingmaster, and BWH has not temporarily assumed control of my account.

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