Anyone who follows me on Twitter knows that I have been championing the cause for Grant Green (#FreeGrantGreen) to finally get the chance to prove himself on baseball’s highest level. It’s been almost a year since I first started calling for Green to get the call, and according to reports this evening from Susan Slusser, my prayers have finally been answered. Green is reportedly heading for Pittsburgh where the A’s will kick off an interleague series tomorrow night. There is no word as of this writing as to what the corresponding move to get him on the 25-man roster will be.
Mar 5, 2013; Surprise, AZ, USA; Oakland Athletics center fielder Grant Green (35) at bat during the third inning against the Kansas City Royals at Surprise Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
For Green, a 2009 draftee in the first round by the Athletics out of USC, this call is a long time coming and he’s done everything he can do in the minor leagues to prove his worth. This year, his second with Triple A Sacramento, has been his most offensively productive season of his career. This year for the River Cats, Green has posted a .318/.374/.500 slash line in 388 plate appearances. His .367 BABIP does suggest some level of good fortune, but that doesn’t mean for one moment that he’s been riding alongside Lady Luck all season long. His 11 home runs, and 128 wRC+ would provide a massive upgrade over the power potential featured by the current platoon at second base for the Athletics.
Chances are pretty good that the promotion of Green could mean the end of the line with the Athletics for Adam Rosales who would need to be designated for assignment to be removed from the active roster. It’s been evident that Rosales has been overmatched lately, and as much as his hustle and positive demeanor may endear himself to many fans, myself included, the reality is that he isn’t helping the team much these days. If he is indeed sent out, hopefully he clears waivers and accepts the assignment to Triple A so he can remain within the organization. The other options could be to send down a pitcher like Jesse Chavez or perhaps a starter like Dan Straily or A.J. Griffin with the All-Star break drawing near.
Green figures to take over the right handed half of the platoon at second base along with Eric Sogard. While Sogard had a strong offensive day, perhaps his best all season on Sunday with a double, a home run, and 3 RBI in the A’s 10-4 victory over the Kansas City Royals, the Athletics have been severely lacking in offense in the middle infield aside from the production from Jed Lowrie. While Grant Green is finally getting the call, Hiro Nakajima and Jemile Weeks remain in the minor leagues as they continue to play for a chance to join the Athletics as well. If today’s performance by Eric Sogard is an indication he could heat up, chances are slim he’ll be replaced in the lineup.
The Athletics are doing their due diligence right now by giving Grant Green a chance to show what he can do before the July 31 trade deadline. If Green performs, the A’s won’t need to look to the trade market for middle infield help, if he doesn’t, they’ll know in enough time that they’ll be able to swing a deal for the help they need. As A.J. Griffin said after today’s game, the A’s have their eyes on a much bigger prize than gaining more representatives in the Midsummer Classic, their focus is on reaching and emerging victorious in the Fall Classic. Grant Green may be another piece in that puzzle.