Oakland A’s: Will Sheldon Neuse get his chance?

MESA, AZ - February 26: Sheldon Neuse #21 of the Oakland Athletics fields during the game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Hohokam Stadium on February 26, 2020 in Mesa, Arizona. (Photo by Michael Zagaris/Oakland Athletics/Getty Images)
MESA, AZ - February 26: Sheldon Neuse #21 of the Oakland Athletics fields during the game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Hohokam Stadium on February 26, 2020 in Mesa, Arizona. (Photo by Michael Zagaris/Oakland Athletics/Getty Images) /
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The Oakland A’s seemingly have an opening for Sheldon Neuse to get playing time in 2021, but he may never get his chance.

In theory, there will be plenty of opportunities for the Oakland A’s prospects next season. The A’s will not be able to replace all of their ten impending free agents on the open market, leading to a chance for some of the youngsters to show what they can do.

Sheldon Neuse would seemingly be in a perfect position to have a major role going forward. While he has primarily been a third baseman in the minors, he does have experience at short and acquitted himself well at second during his brief trial in the majors in 2019. With openings in the middle of the A’s infield, Neuse would seem to have the chance for an expanded role in 2021.

The same could have been expected in 2020. The combination of Chad Pinder and Tony Kemp did not exactly set the baseball world on fire, leading to the A’s quest for an upgrade. Instead of giving Neuse a chance to see what he could do with an extended opportunity, Oakland acquired Tommy La Stella.

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Perhaps that move means nothing. The A’s did not exactly give up anything to bring La Stella on board at the trade deadline. As they were in the midst of a playoff push, landing a proven commodity such as La Stella made plenty of sense. Oakland did not want to trust a key spot in the lineup to a relatively unproven player.

Then Matt Chapman was lost for the year due to a torn hip labrum that required surgery. As Neuse is primarily a third baseman, this would have been a chance for him to receive major league action. Instead, the A’s brought Jake Lamb in off the scrap heap. Although he performed well in Oakland, there was zero reason to think that Lamb would be an upgrade over Neuse.

That brings us to 2021. Once again, there is a chance for Neuse to have a larger role with the Oakland A’s. But that was the case at the end of last season as well, and the A’s continually passed him over. One has to wonder if Neuse will not get his chance in Oakland, but will need to head to a different franchise in order to get a true look at the major league level.

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Sheldon Neuse could play a major role on the Oakland A’s in 2021. However, considering how the A’s passed him over several times last year, his future may never come.

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