Mandatory Credit: Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports
Ladendorf and Smolinski Will Have a Chance to Shine
Steven Luke: Relying on Coco Crisp is a bad idea. He’s not the same player that pitchers feared because he could send one down the line and fly, or put a mistake over the fence. What he never was, at least during his time with the A’s, is the picture of health. Over his six years with the A’s he’s averaged just over 105 games per year. That is skewed by his first season where he only played in 75 games and last season where he only played in 44. Even though that’s skewed he is still no where near an everyday player and always seems to have a nagging injury, like two bouts with pink eye. Even with all his thoughts they will need Coco because someone has to keep the clubhouse together.
What they can rely on is players like Tyler Ladendorf and Jake Smolinski to fill the role and try to earn a spot like Mark Canha and Billy Burns did during the 2015 season.
What they shouldn’t even bother relying on are Craig Gentry or Sam Fuld. Both were fringe big league players before the A’s gave them a chance and in their time with the club they’ve done nothing to prove otherwise. It’s time to let two other guys (Ladendorf and Smolinski) get a chance to prove if they are big leaguers or fringe guys as well.
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