Bobby Crosby drives me bananas every time he steps into the batter's box. His swing is long and he still insists on swinging harder than any professional athlete should. Great athletes often make their craft look effortless. Crosby is just the opposite in looking like he's a beer league softball player trying to whack the ball out of the yard every time. I will not miss watching Crosby come up to bat.
At the same time, Crosby was a very good defender. And I don't know if it was a coincidence or not, but there were two Angel hits yesterday that went just barely over the outstretched glove on Donnie Murphy. For the record, Murphy is 5'10" and Crosby is 6'3". Now this doesn't mean that I don't relish the chance that we might have a player who is as ridiculously stubborn at the plate as Crosby is. But Crosby is a very good defensive shortstop. His zone rating is third in all of baseball right now right behind Jose Reyes and Omar Vizquel. Even if we don't think that Crosby is a big loss, the A's pitchers will realize it quickly. Ironically, it seemed like they felt it just yesterday. And yeah, Crosby had an occasional throwing issue, but he also gets to a lot of balls that Murphy and Scutaro won't.
I know times have changed and that offense is expected from the shortstop position these days. There was once a time when the shortstop used to be a defensive specialist position. But on a team like the A's where offense is a premium and many of the hitters are 7-8-9 type of hitters, the A's can't really afford to have a black hole at shortstop because of his defense.
So while the A's have managed before without Crosby (a lot of time, actually), I do think it's a bigger loss than we think. Don't get me wrong, Crosby drives me nuts with a bat in his hand and I'm looking forward to see if Murphy can provide some help to the offense, but I will miss Crosby's glove. I think the A's pitchers will as well.