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Oakland A's call up Jake Smolinski, place Josh Reddick on disabled list

Let's take a look at the Athletics defense alignment without Josh Reddick.

Oakland Athletics Photo Day
The A's called up Jake Smolinski and placed Josh Reddick on the disabled list.
Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The Oakland A's have called up outfielder Jake Smolinski from Triple-A Nashville and placed right fielder Josh Reddick on the 15-day disabled list with a fractured left thumb, the club announced. Reddick broke his thumb Thursday night against the New York Yankees when Yankees second baseman Starlin Castro's spikes stepped on a sliding Reddick's hand accidentally as Castro was running to recover a wide throw from catcher Brian McCann.

Oakland now has 12 players on the disabled list, the most the A's have had on the DL simultaneously since the club began tracking trips to the disabled list in 1989.

To get you started on figuring out the defense, begin with this chart:

Stephen Vogt could also theoretically play in the corner outfield spots, but has not done that since undergoing plantar fasciitis (foot) surgery in the 2015 offseason. I've also seen in the comments that Muncy could give second base a go, which was the plan during winter league, but an injury prevented him from playing much in winter ball and he did not play second base at Triple-A this year.

The A's also hope to get second baseman Jed Lowrie back by May 25. Catcher Josh Phegley is also eligible to return on May 25.

Possible alignments until Lowrie returns

Against right-handed pitching, the best offensive arrangement involves what could be the weakest set of outfield arms in baseball:

The bench would be Tyler Ladendorf, Jake Smolinski, Matt McBride, and Billy Butler, and it's from this list you would have to work out an alternative arrangement. Do you put Tyler Ladendorf at second base or in right field so that Khris Davis can be the DH and Muncy does not play? Do you insert Smolinski in right to do that?

Against left-handed pitching, the best offensive arrangement gives you a bench of Chris Coghlan, Max Muncy, Yonder Alonso, and Stephen Vogt:

Effect of return of Phegley and Lowrie

With Jed Lowrie expected to return May 25, the main benefit of getting the switch-hitter back is that it allows Chris Coghlan to move around the field once again. If Coghlan heats up (there's some evidence in his career monthly splits that he's a slow starter), the A's can give Billy Burns and Coco Crisp days off against right-handed pitching without feeling like they're giving up on that spot in the batting order.

While it's nice that Matt McBride can move around the diamond if late-inning substitutions warrant it, he isn't a primary option outside of catcher, so there are no major implications when Phegley is swapped in for McBride.

If the A's can get through the week without Jed Lowrie without losing anyone else, the defensive alignments get much easier. For now, it's going to be a tough week to get everyone the rest they need and put out a decent lineup.