Swingin’ A’s Mailbag: Chavez, Wendle and More!

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We like to take some time each week to respond to some of the questions that A’s fans pose to us on our Ask.fm account, and this week, we have some good ones! Let’s jump right in.

Do you see Wendle coming up next year and taking over 2nd base?

I doubt it. There is still a chance that the A’s acquire a second baseman, or a shortstop before spring training begins. If they added a shortstop, Marcus Semien would slide over to second and would be an upgrade over Eric Sogard offensively. Joe Wendle hasn’t played above Double-A, so he will need more time in the minors before he is brought up. That said, if he has a good season in the minors, he could be brought up in September when rosters expand.

What do you think Jesse Chavez’s role on the team will be next year?

That really depends on what else Billy Beane does this offseason. I speculated that Chavez could be trade bait last month, with his role seemingly being filled by Chris Bassitt and Drew Pomeranz, but that was just speculation. If he is still in Oakland on opening day, he will likely start the year in the rotation behind Sonny Gray, Scott Kazmir (barring a trade) and possibly new addition Jesse Hahn. Chavez would also be a candidate to be moved from the rotation to the bullpen at some point during the season.

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Do you believe that the two pitchers we got in the Norris trade could impact the A’s this year?

Yes. Hahn should be a solid middle of the rotation addition, while R.J. Alvarez could become the A’s setup man over the course of the season.

In my opinion as of bats we got Lawrie to replace Donaldson, Butler to replace Cespedes and Davis to replace Moss. Where does Canha fit in? Out of Donaldson, Cespedes and Moss who is he most like?

Out of those options, none. From what I’ve read about Mark Canha, he is a versatile player that can play left field, third and first while hitting for a decent average and he can get on base at a high clip. Oh, and he has some pop in his bat, belting 20 homers and driving in 82 last season in Triple-A. How those numbers will translate at the big league level will be interesting to see.

One player he could be similar to is Allen Craig, prior to last season. Craig is a career .282 hitter (Canha has hit .285 in the minors, including a .303 average last season) who averaged 12 homers and 62 rbi in his first four seasons, with two of those seasons adding up to just over 300+ at-bats before he established himself. Over the course of a full season, Craig had set the pace for 22 homers and 108 rbi. That is a bit of a stretch for Canha, I believe, but somewhere in the 12-15 homer, 60-70 rbi range is plausible next season if he gets enough plating time.

Have a question that you’d like answered in the next installment? You can ask away at Ask.fm/swinginas. Keep the questions coming!

Next: R.J. Alvarez: A's Setup Man?

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