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Scooting Right Along

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I've thought a lot about this Keith Ginter/Antonio Perez/Marco Scutaro argument. And so, I wanted to make this a topic unto itself because with most of the injured slowly returning to the lineup, Mark Ellis's injury will hopefully be the only outstanding problem.

At first glance, my initial feeling (and I wrote as such in the comment thread) was that Ginter should be called up and Perez should get the majority of chances at second while Ellis is healing. The theory being that Perez showed last year that given some regular playing time, he could be an effective starting infielder. At least offensively. A lot of you will probably jump up and down and scream that he only has one hit this year, but Perez has a track record in the minors and last year of being able to hit the ball and hit it well.

Ginter has also played well in Sacramento this season (on his million dollar salary, I hope he treats the kids while they're on the road). He also hit 19 bombs a few seasons ago in Milwaukee. As a matter of fact, I received a few emails from Brewers fans begging that we give him back (that was BEFORE the season started, of course). He's an infielder with good pop.

What's the A's biggest problem right now? Yes, offense. Tell them what they won, Don Pardo. It would be natural to assume that the team would like to get better in that area as soon as possible. But when you expand it out and think about it, the bigger picture might indeed favor Mr. Scutaro.

The A's will be getting Milton Bradley back soon. So that means that either Nick Swisher will move to first base and DJ will head to the bench or Jay Payton will wind up riding the pine. The Gamer might come back slowly offensively, but he will soon be a boost to the offense. Suddenly the top of the lineup should be filled with Swisher, Chavez, Thomas and Bradley. That's looking like a much better offense than what we've currently been seeing, especially since Bobby Crosby also seems to be getting his game together.

And second base isn't usually a position where you expect a lot of offensive production. It's a very important place to have someone defensively and Scutaro is the best of the three defensively. By keeping Scutaro in the field, you wind up helping your pitchers. Scoot is no Mark Ellis, but he is a good defensive player. He's also one of the best bunters on the team, which is a good attribute to have on a team that doesn't really have anyone who knows how to bunt outside of Ellis and Kendall.

Ultimately, Scutaro provides the A's with a different dimension with good defense and an ability to do things that not many in the lineup can such as bunt when necessary. I'm not saying that Perez and Ginter can't bunt, especially given their NL pedigree, but we know that Scutaro is one of the best on the A's at it. Although given the A's tendency to not bunt, many would argue that the given skill doesn't mean much. But the A's do use it in select circumstances in a close game in the late innings. Why not have someone who you feel can successfully do it?

After thinking about it, I have to say that using Marco Scutaro right now seems like the right choice. It's easy to say after he had a nice day offensively, but I still think Scoot is probably the best option right now (I reserve the right to change my mind at any time).

Also, if you think that the decision on which player will have an impact on how the rest of the A's season goes, read my latest column on FSNBayArea.com. It's a bit of commentary on Ray Ratto's column last week on the Kendall home run and the impact of it.