Happy Monday, Athletics Nation!
The A’s are going to let the kids play in 2023. A bit, anyway.
Manager Mark Kotsay confirmed yesterday that the A’s plan to platoon Aledmys Díaz and Nick Allen at shortstop as the 2023 regular season gets underway in just three days, per Matt Kawahara at The San Francisco Chronicle.
Díaz will start against right-handed pitchers, Allen against lefties. Last season, 43 left-handed starters faced the A’s, which suggests that Díaz will start about three quarters of games at shortstop while this platoon is in effect.
Allen is an elite defender at shortstop and clearly has an edge on Díaz in that respect. But Kotsay has indicated that generating some runs will be a priority, stating that “with Aledmys and Jace [Peterson] and Tony [Kemp] in that lineup, it helps us on the offensive side.”
This is a bit of a puzzling development. There’s no doubt that Díaz is more big league-ready at the plate, but the A’s have almost no chance of competing into the postseason this year, and at 32, Díaz seems like more of a stopgap. Allen, on the other hand, could anchor the infield for the next contending A’s team. He needs experience to prepare.
Allen was truly abysmal at the plate in 2022 as the A’s primary shortstop in the second half of the season. However, he’s shown some improvement in Spring Training this year, slashing .265/.395/.382 in 34 at-bats. That’s hardly overwhelming evidence that he’s ready to earn his keep offensively, but sitting on the bench will provide little value in terms of Nick’s development.
If the A’s aren’t going to play Nick Allen every day, why not send him back down to AAA to hone his bat a bit longer? He has two options left. Talk to me, AN!
- Ashford: A’s fall to Giants 9-5
- Kawahara: Nick Allen, Aledmys Díaz to share time at shortstop for A’s ($)
- Kleinschmidt: A’s top prospect provides glimpse of his blazing speed
- Martin: Familia returns to A’s on one-year contract; Snead placed on IL
- Kroichick: Giants, A’s prepare to meet in Bay Bridge Series, with Sergio Romo warming up ($)
MLB News & Interest:
- Shea: Purists worry about baseball, but new rules help resurrect its true essence ($)
- Leitch: Opening Day Power Rankings: Who’s No. 1?
- Kroner: Stephen Piscotty visits ex-A’s teammates, readies to play in minors for Giants ($)
- The Athletic: Yankees top prospect Anthony Volpe makes Opening Day roster ($)
- Today in Baseball History
Best of Twitter:
Closing in on a closer.
Trevor May, Jeurys Familia and Dany Jiménez could all be used in closer situations, Mark Kotsay said: “I think we’ll start out with the mindset that they’re all options.”— Matt Kawahara (@matthewkawahara) March 27, 2023
Kawahara on the A’s ever-changing rotation situation.
Drew Rucinski (hamstring) will open the season on the IL, Mark Kotsay said. JP Sears or Adam Oller would be next up. Oller didn’t throw yesterday due to vertigo symptoms but said he’s feeling better today.— Matt Kawahara (@matthewkawahara) March 26, 2023
Paul Blackburn will throw off the mound tomorrow, Kotsay said. He also threw a flat ground where he was able to spin some curveballs. Good sign in the recovery from his injury (fingernail). #OAK— Jessica Kleinschmidt (@KleinschmidtJD) March 26, 2023
Looks like a fine start to the day at the Coli.