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Middle Infield: Hope for the best, Prepared for the worst?

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So, it looks like MLB.com and our own Mychael Urban is having as hard a time as we are when it comes to picking a topic that's relevant to the A's in January. He came up with an article this week about our middle infield, complete with quotes from our new manager, which is more than I've accomplished. However, I still reserve the right to be skeptical.

Ellis and Crosby had terrible years last year; Ellis because he simply did not put up the numbers from his previous season nor showed any signs of that player until well after the all-star break. However, he was swinging well up until the playoffs, where his season was cut short by injury. Hey, at least Crosby didn't cause it.

And speaking of, Bobby Crosby had a tough year, to say the least. He couldn't stay healthy for more than twenty minutes at a time, and even when he was, he couldn't hit the ball. His dismal season concluded with an injury that was later determined to be an undiagnosed fracture, something we hope has been healing during the off-season.

The article is positive. It's subtitled, "A's expect Crosby, Ellis to rebound from tough 2006 season", and don't get me wrong, no one hopes this is true more than I. But I struggle with reading this article, because I feel like it's overly optimistic. I want to know why this is true. I want to know that Bobby Crosby is 100% healthy and that he's learned to lay off the outside slider. I want to know that Ellis is going to repeat 2005 and not 2006.

Geren is optimistic about Bobby Crosby:

"He's a strong young guy who's had some bad luck," Geren said Tuesday. "He's a solid Major League player with a really high ceiling. He's already a tremendous defensive shortstop, and if he can be consistently healthy, I think he'll only spiral upward offensively. He has a ton of potential."

I object to 'strong'; I'll let 'young' slide. He's still early in his career. I would also argue that Crosby has yet to earn "solid player" and "really high ceiling", but I appreciated Geren's enthusiasm, and I hope it's true. I hope Crosby has a breakout season. Let's be honest; the A's need him to.

However, Mychael Urban endeared himself to me with the following parenthetical aside:

However, Ellis, who set a Major League record for fielding percentage by a second baseman with a mark of .997 (but somehow did not win the AL Gold Glove) turned what was shaping up as a horrible offensive season with a strong second half.

The article also talks about super-sub Marco Scutaro as the (if trends are to be believed; likely necessary) backup to the two, and as we know, magic moments aside, this is not a player we want in much more of a role.

So, unless something drastic happens in the next six weeks, this is our middle infield.

Hoping for the best?
Preparing for the worst?

Your thoughts...