Sheldon Neuse has not had much of a chance to show what he can do over his major league career. Prior to his return to the Oakland A’s, he had just 127 plate appearances over parts of two seasons. As that time had been spent with an A’s team that had viable hopes to content, and a Dodgers team with World Series aspirations, it is understandable that Neuse would have struggled to crack the lineup.
That is no longer the case. He is back in Oakland, but it is a different situation. The A’s are clearly rebuilding, having jettisoned anyone making a respectable salary. This has also opened playing time for those who otherwise may not have had an opportunity, such as Neuse.
Sheldon Neuse getting his chance with Oakland A’s
And Neuse is taking advantage of this opportunity. He has played in six of the A’s eight games heading into Saturday, making two appearances each at first, second, and third. Neuse has fared relatively well in that time, with five hits, including a homer, a walk, and having been hit by a pitch in his 20 plate appearances.
This is really the type of player Neuse should be. He has the capability of playing several different positions while being generally competent at all of them. His bat should be good enough to allow him to be the A’s preferred option as a super utility man, allowing him to receive enough action to be a regular part of the lineup even if he plays multiple positions.
In a way, his career arc could be similar to a former teammate. Chris Taylor did not get a chance to prove himself at the major league level until he was 26 years old, a year younger than Neuse currently is. He turned that super utility role into a career, showing that he belonged in the lineup daily.
The A’s would be thrilled if Neuse can be a similar player. He does not have the same power or speed that Taylor does, but he has hit throughout his time in the minors. All he needs is a chance. And he is finally getting that with the A’s.
Sometimes, all a player needs is a chance. Sheldon Neuse is finally getting his as the Oakland A’s are looking for parts for their future core.