I'm on the phone today talking with someone from Baseball Prospectus and we're talking about the A's. He basically asks me, "So are they really going to be playing Snelling every day?"
My reaction was, "Yeah as long as they continue to remain the on-field version of the patients on House."
We then got to talking about how the A's are suddenly the stathead experiment come to life. Players like Snelling and Cust have long been guys that the statheads have longed to see in Major League uniforms on a consistent basis.
So it's very unfortunate that the team has been depleted significantly, but for those who follow stats, the next few weeks promise to be interesting. Both Snelling and Cust have already contributed to the A's in their brief time here. The real question becomes, how long does this continue to be a stathead paradise? Milton Bradley is supposedly going to return from the DL soon (allegedly). Dan Johnson is holding his own at first base. What happens if Cust proves that he is a Major Leaguer and not the AAAA player many have claimed? And Snelling had some of the best at-bats I've seen any of the A's have this year.
I've got to admit that it's pretty exciting to see Cust and Snelling get their shots. I remember hearing Gammons rave about Cust and Snelling has been a Lookout Landing darling for a while now. Honestly, I'm kind of surprised that Beane had to have his hand forced to give these stathead faves an opportunity. But it does make sense with Barton struggling at Triple-A and two of the other A's main prospects already with the big team (Putnam and Buck). I guess ultimately it leads to a healthy competition amongst the players to get in the lineup. I don't doubt for one second that if the great stat experiment of 2007 works out that both Putnam and Buck could find themselves back in the minors for more seasoning.
It will just be really interesting to see how this shakes out as two long-sought players thought to have a ton of potential will finally get their chance. I can assure you they'll have a great stat-inclined audience watching closely to see if a couple of their projects finally prove that they were right.
My conversation came to a close with this BP person saying, "Hey, maybe they'll sign Billy McMillon next." I simply said, "The A's already did that to not such great results, remember?"
We'll see if this one is any different.