3 questions the Athletics have yet to answer during spring training

The Oakland Athletics have several unanswered questions with less than a week to go before Opening Day.

Oakland Athletics Spring Training
Oakland Athletics Spring Training / Michael Zagaris/GettyImages
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Who will be the Athletics' starting shortstop?

Nick Allen has spent the past two years struggling at the major league level. He has a strong glove - FanGraphs gives him a combined +9 Defensive Runs Saved at short over the past two years, while Statcast gives him +7 Outs Above Average over the same time frame.

Despite the strong defense, Allen has hit just .214/.260/.289 with 8 home runs and 8 steals in 206 career games in Oakland. He entered spring training with a re-tooled swing that seems to be working for him. Allen is up to a 1.417 OPS with 4 walks and 0 strikeouts, though it's a small sample size as he missed a couple weeks with a back injury.

While Allen was out, Darell Hernaiz got plenty of opportunities to win the job. He's gotten 47 plate appearances this spring and is currently hitting .302/.319/.326 in Arizona. He has a couple bad errors and isn't hitting for any power, but has looked decent against major league pitchers.

The problem for Hernaiz at the moment is that he seems to profile similarly to Allen, but with slightly worse defense. Hernaiz has some versatility and can play third base, but the A's just filled that hole by signing JD Davis, who will take the job from Abraham Toro.

Since the A's don't need a third baseman, nor do they need a second baseman thanks to Zack Gelof, both Allen and Hernaiz will be limited to primarily shortstop duty. Thanks to Allen's revamped approach, he should get the leg up to open the year, but any streak of poor performance will open the door back up to Hernaiz.

PREDICTION: Nick Allen opens the year as the primary shortstop, while Abraham Toro earns the backup infielder job. Darell Hernaiz starts the year in Triple-A Las Vegas and has to work his way back to Oakland based on performance.

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