Oakland A’s: A question of depth at shortstop

OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 04: Elvis Andrus #17 of the Oakland Athletics fields a ball against the Houston Astros at RingCentral Coliseum on April 04, 2021 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 04: Elvis Andrus #17 of the Oakland Athletics fields a ball against the Houston Astros at RingCentral Coliseum on April 04, 2021 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

Depth should not be an issue for the Oakland A’s. They value defensive versatility, making sure that they have someone capable of playing every position on the diamond waiting in reserve in case something happens. At least, that is usually the case.

However, with the loss of Chad Pinder, the A’s depth at short in lacking. Should anything happen to Elvis Andrus during the game, either Jed Lowrie or Matt Chapman would likely slide over to finish out the contest. But what then?

Oakland A’s lacking shortstop depth on roster

Obviously, the answer for the A’s would not be to have either Chapman or Lowrie playing short going forward. However, they do not have many other options until Pinder returns. It would not be a surprise to see a move or two made as the A’s look to adjust their bench going forward.

What other options do the Oakland A’s have at short? Let’s take a look.

A call to the taxi squad

While they may not officially be a part of the Oakland A’s roster, there are a couple of options on the taxis squad.

Both Vimael Machin and Pete Kozma have been traveling with the A’s, although they cannot be a part of the gameday lineup. However, either player could be activated on short notice, sliding onto the roster without an issue.

Machin may not be the ideal candidate, as he has just 44 innings of experience at the position in the majors. He also hardly lit up the batter’s box last season, with a .206/.296/.238 batting line, hitting two doubles in his 71 plate appearances. However, he can draw a walk and makes contact.

Kozma, meanwhile, is an excellent defensive shortstop who has not produced much offensively. A lifetime .215/.278/.291 hitter in 718 plate appearances, he has been excellent defensively, saving 15 runs over his 162 games at short. Kozma was also swinging a hot bat during spring training for whatever that is worth.

If anything happens to Elvis Andrus, the Oakland A’s have options on the taxi squad. While none of them may be the greatest, at least there is something readily available.

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