Mark Canha to see majority of playing time in left

OAKLAND, CA - SEPTEMBER 30: Mark Canha #20 of the Oakland Athletics bats during the game against the Chicago White Sox at RingCentral Coliseum on September 30, 2020 in Oakland, California. The Athletics defeated the White Sox 5-3. (Photo by Michael Zagaris/Oakland Athletics/Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CA - SEPTEMBER 30: Mark Canha #20 of the Oakland Athletics bats during the game against the Chicago White Sox at RingCentral Coliseum on September 30, 2020 in Oakland, California. The Athletics defeated the White Sox 5-3. (Photo by Michael Zagaris/Oakland Athletics/Getty Images) /
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One of the biggest questions facing the Oakland A’s involves who will be playing in left during the 2021 season. Robbie Grossman, the A’s primary left fielder for the previous two seasons, is now in Detroit. Several players were thought to be in the mix for the position, although it was not clear as to who would emerge as the starter.

However, that question may have already been answered. According to manager Bob Melvin, Mark Canha is going to see more time in left than he had before.

Oakland A’s providing Mark Canha with more defined role

Canha has provided a great deal of value for the A’s over the years. His ability to play all over the outfield and at first base has given Melvin a great deal of flexibility as he fills out his lineup. He has been far more than the typical utility player as well, providing a great deal of pop for Oakland.

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His ability in left has already been recognized by the media. MLB Network named Canha as the third best left fielder in the game, a surprising ranking for someone that has never even made 60 appearances at the position in any one season. But that does not mean that was unable to make an impression in that time.

Over the course of Canha’s 157 career major league games in left, he has displayed his defensive ability. He has saved 12 runs in that time, while his 14 runs saved overall in the outfield in 2019 were the fifth best in the American League. Given his solid defense, it makes sense that he will get more of a look at the position.

It also makes sense given his production. Canha has produced a .259/.370/.470 batting line over the past three seasons, hitting 48 homers and 50 doubles. He has also displayed an impressive batting eye, with 138 walks against just 249 strikeouts in his 1151 plate appearances.

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Mark Canha is set to have a larger role for the Oakland A’s during the 2021 season. According to the current plans, he should see a lot more time in left.

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