The Cavalry is Coming: Michael Choice, Among Others Called Up to Oakland
By Sean Davis
So the Athletics didn’t make any August trades, much to the chagrin of this writer right here. I really do believe this team could have used help in the bullpen, the rotation, and another bat. They did none of that on the trade market. C’est la vie.
With the turning of the page from August to September though, we do see the active rosters expand from 25 to allow anyone on the 40 man roster to be activated. And there is help on the way for the Athletics starting this afternoon. The Sacramento River Cats are perennial Pacific Coast League playoff contenders, but they missed out on postseason play this year after their 4-0 loss to Tacoma last night. They have just a few more regular season games, then their season is done so many members of their squad can be expected to head to Oakland.
Mar 5, 2013; Surprise, AZ, USA; Oakland Athletics center fielder Michael Choice (32) at bat during the fourth inning against the Kansas City Royals at Surprise Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
The initial wave of call ups are mostly unsurprising: Jemile Weeks, Andy Parrino, and Pedro Figueroa. But late last night Susan Slusser reported that Michael Choice was going to be coming as well. This most definitely perked the ears of many A’s fans who’ve been clamoring for his debut for much of the second half. I too was hoping to see him this year, but didn’t expect it before this date. Choice isn’t on the 40 man roster, so someone will have to be removed to make room for him.
The expectations for Choice in Oakland have to be tempered a bit, as it’s uncommon for a young player to come to the big leagues and immediately make an impact. He may show a few flashes of brilliance, and give us a taste of what to expect from him in the years to come though. With Chris Young and Coco Crisp being free agents after this season, Michael Choice may very well be an everyday outfielder for the Athletics in 2014, so it will be nice for everyone to get a first hand look at the young man.
The additions of Weeks and Parrino will help solidify the middle infield down the stretch as well. Weeks is a bit of an unknown now after spending the entire season in Sacramento, whether he’s capable of providing the type of offense he showed us in 2011 with the A’s or if he’s the fly ball happy Weeks of 2012 remains to be seen. If nothing else he’s a great pinch running option late in games. Andy Parrino was up with the A’s early on, and he honestly couldn’t hit a lick. But he is a tremendous defensive player, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him replace Jed Lowrie at shortstop when the A’s have a slim lead. Pedro Figueroa is simply another body in the bullpen, he can stretch out and eat up a few innings if a starter gets shelled, or if they find themselves deadlocked in another extra inning marathon. All three will indeed serve a purpose.
Presumably Tommy Milone and Evan Scribner, who were sent out to make room for Brett Anderson and Bartolo Colon this week will return soon enough as well. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Pat Neshek brought back as well, although he too would require a 40 man roster move. Derek Norris should be ready for activation from the 15 day DL soon as well, he played in a rehab game with the River Cats last night. That leaves players like Hiro Nakajima, Shane Peterson, Michael Taylor, Hideki Okajima and Luke Montz still in question. I would be surprised to see Nakajima play with the A’s this year, since they outrighted him off the 40 man roster, but the other four could very well make their return at some point.