Grant Green is finally a member of the Oakland Athletics.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p>Now A's source also saying Grant Green will indeed join team in Pittsburgh tomorrow. I think Twitter may crash.</p>— Jane Lee (@JaneMLB) <a href="https://twitter.com/JaneMLB/statuses/354073606013198336">July 8, 2013</a></blockquote>
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The longtime Sacramento River Cats star and highly-touted A's prospect has, at long last, been called up to join the big club. He's getting the start at second base tomorrow night in Pittsburgh against southpaw Jeff Locke. That's quite a lot to handle in an MLB debut — Locke is 8-1 with a 2.12 ERA this season.
In the opinion of many A's fans, this move is long overdue. Green is putting up a slash line of .318/.374/.500 this year in AAA, with those numbers jumping to an even more impressive .350/.396/.583 over his last 24 games.
The question about Green has never been his bat. As you can see above, he's crushing AAA. Rather, it's been his defense. He's played three different positions over the course of his minor league career: shortstop, center field, and second base. But the A's are obviously comfortable with him at second, or at least comfortable enough to give him a shot. Or it could be that he was putting up such ridiculous numbers in Sacramento that he couldn't be ignored regardless of how shaky his defense might be. It seems like we'll find out tomorrow.
There's no definitive word yet on what the corresponding roster move will be (technically, Green won't be called up until tomorrow) but signs point to Adam Rosales getting designated for assignment. His paltry line of .200/.273/.331 is obviously not cutting it for the A's front office. That would be a sign that the A's are comfortable with Eric Sogard as Oakland's backup shortstop, which is a new development. It also might suggest that another move is imminent, but it's hard to imagine what that move would be.
This means that we can expect to see Jed Lowrie's role change, too. He's likely now the everyday shortstop, since I'd imagine Bob Melvin will continue using a platoon at second base. Green, a right-handed bat, will likely play against left-handed pitching, with Sogard, who bats lefty, getting the bulk of the action against righties. The difference is that Sogard's defense at shortstop, unlike Rosales', is worse than Lowrie's, so Sogard will only play short when Lowrie is getting rested.
Needless to say, Hiroyuki Nakajima and Jemile Weeks, two other top A's middle infield prospects, are staying put in Sacramento. Their numbers aren't nearly as impressive offensively and their respective defensive abilities are thought to be just as questionable, if not more so, than Green's.
To those of you advocating for a trade that would bring Chase Utley to Oakland, this may close the book on that one. Utley still makes sense as a potential replacement for Sogard, but for now, it seems like the A's think that using internal options is a better move than giving up valuable assets within the farm system for a high-cost veteran rental.
So it begins! This coming week was already a hugely impactful and important one, as it features series against Pittsburgh and Boston, each of which is currently the best in its entire league record-wise. Despite that, it just got a lot more interesting.