Oakland A’s claim to be content with second base mix
By David Hill
Now that the Oakland A’s addressed their hole at short with Elvis Andrus, it was expected that they would move on to other areas of the roster. Mike Fiers was brought back as a depth option for the rotation, a possible fifth starter or long reliever.
It was expected that second base would be next on the A’s list to upgrade. The duo of Tony Kemp and Chad Pinder are again expected to handle that spot in the lineup although they struggled last year. A move would need to be made there as well, right?
Oakland A’s not changing anything at second base
Not so fast. The A’s are reportedly content with their situation at second base. Considering this is virtually the same cast of characters, excluding Franklin Barreto, it seems difficult to imagine.
As it currently stands, second base would likely be handled by the platoon of Tony Kemp and Chad Pinder once again. This should work in theory – Kemp is better against righties while Pinder can handle lefties. However, that is what the A’s felt last year, only to make a trade for Tommy La Stella at the deadline.
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There are a couple of wild cards in the mix as well. Vimael Machin may fit more in a utility mold, but he will get a chance to stake a claim to playing time at the keystone. Likewise, Sheldon Neuse will have a chance to make an impact, as he attempts to build off of his solid showing in 2019 and carve out a role on the 2021 team.
Nonetheless, this is not a group that exactly inspires confidence. The A’s have holes on their roster, and with limited financial resources, are not exactly in a position to do much to improve. Yet, with the money they saved in the Andrus-Khris Davis swap, they may have been better served trying to find improvements at second than retaining Fiers.
The Oakland A’s are not changing anything at second base. Although it did not work last year, they are hopeful 2021 will be different.