Eric Sogard Must Become Oakland Athletics’ Infield Utility Man

sriley
facebooktwitterreddit

On Saturday, Oakland Athletics’ star defensive middle infielder Eric Sogard started the game at third base. He has not fielded in this position during a game since 2012. However, with the number of errors that have been committed by the left side of the infield and the potential of a Ben Zobrist trade, Sogard should start playing at third, short, and second base on a more regular basis in order to help the team defensively. Ultimately, Sogard must become the A’s newest infield utility man if Oakland wants to win more games.

Sogard told that press that once backup third baseman Max Muncy was optioned to Triple-A on June 30 that he would probably need to play at that position from time to time in order for Brett Lawrie to have a night off. Even though Sogard started yesterday’s game at third, he eventually replaced Marcus Semien at shortstop, which many speculate was a defensive move. Due to the A’s leading the Cleveland Indians by only by one run, it makes sense that Sogard took over at shortstop.

More from White Cleat Beat

Currently, between Lawrie and Semien, they have committed a total of 42 errors – more than half of the A’s total errors this season. Lawrie was suppose to be an upgrade defensively from Josh Donaldson, but Donaldson has only committed 10 errors this season at third base while Lawrie has 14. Additionally, Semien leads the MLB with the most errors committed for 2015 and has the third most errors made by a shortstop in Athletics’ history. These are not good stats considering the season is only halfway over.

With Sogard’s top-notch defensive skills, it make sense that Oakland would want him to field at third base and shortstop more often since those positions are severely lacking defensively. Even though Sogard has spent most of his career playing time at second base, he has played at shortstop and at third before. Throughout his time in the MLB, Sogard has a .970 combined fielding percentage at those positions. With enough practice, Sogard could become a quality infield utility man for the Athletics.

Additionally, if Zobrist is traded, Sogard will have to step up and be the leader of the infield. Even though Sogard is currently a backup infielder, he will make this leap from assistant to chief because of his defensive skills. Without Zobrist and his defense, Oakland will need Sogard in the infield if the A’s want to win games without committing an error – especially those one-run games.

Furthermore, Sogard has five years of MLB experience. Lawrie only has four and this is Semien’s first time playing a full year in the Majors. If the A’s also bring up Andy Parrino in order to add more depth to the middle infield, he only has four years of Major League experience. Even though Sogard does not have extensive veteran knowledge like Zobrist, Sogard will need to take on the leadership role due to having the most MLB experience out of the rest of the A’s middle infielders.

Even though it was speculated that Sogard was going start the 2015 season in Triple-A, he has become more important than ever to the A’s in these last couple of months. He has been solid both offensively and defensively for Oakland, and continues to bring the same awesome nerd power mentality with him wherever he goes. With his excellent defense and timely hitting, Sogard will have to become the Oakland Athletics’ infield utility man in order to help his team win.

Next: Oakland Athletics' Weekend Roundup: Jesse Hahn, Barry Zito, and More

facebooktwitterreddit