Could we see this Athletics prospect earlier than we expected?

With shortstop Darell Hernaiz undergoing an MRI on his ankle today, the Athletics might need to replace him on the roster shortly.
Oakland Athletics Spring Training
Oakland Athletics Spring Training / Michael Zagaris/GettyImages

On Tuesday afternoon, Oakland A's shortstop Darell Hernaiz tripped over first base while running out a ground ball. He flipped over the bag awkwardly and after a brief talk with the A's trainers, ended up leaving the game.

Hernaiz is scheduled for an MRI this afternoon and the Athletics' media has mentioned it could be an ankle sprain, but we don't have confirmation as of yet.

Infield prospect Max Schuemann has been splitting time with Hernaiz at short since Opening Day shortstop Nick Allen was demoted to Triple-A, but outside of those two there aren't any guys on the active roster who can handle the position defensively.

It's possible that the Athletics' front office just decides to call Allen back up. He's a good defender but has proven incapable with the bat. In 28 games, he was hitting just .171 with a .470 OPS, and that's not nearly good enough if the A's want to win ballgames.

The main issue is that the A's don't have any other options on the 40-man. Aledmys Diaz is neither ready nor eligible to come off the IL and Jordan Diaz isn't a shortstop.

If Hernaiz were to require a trip to the IL, that leaves three primary options. Either call Nick Allen back up and cede the zero in the lineup when he plays, or add one of Max Muncy or Jacob Wilson to the 40-man and get them to Oakland.

Muncy has hit well this year, posting a .274/.366/.452 slash line with solid defense at short. However, Wilson is the prospect that most fans would want to see.

The A's 2023 first round draft pick has done nothing but hit since coming into the organization last summer. Wilson is currently hitting .455/.473/.705 in Double-A after tearing up High-A and the complex league last summer.

Is Wilson ready to hit at the major league level?

Maybe. Maybe not. To be fair, he has just 204 plate appearances in his professional career. In those PA's however, he's hit a combined .390/.429/.583 with 24 doubles, 4 homers, and good plate discipline.

He's young but he's a good defender at short and has done everything that's been asked of him. It would be a massive choice for the Athletics to call up Wilson this early, especially with the easy option in Allen sitting in Triple-A.

But it's possible that Wilson would give the A's the best chance to win baseball games in 2024. Whether or not the front office is actually trying to do so is clearly up for debate but that's another question entirely.

It's a long shot, but if Wilson keeps hitting like this he's going to force the Athletics' hand sooner than later. And the same goes for Muncy, who's hitting well in Triple-A and playing solid defense.

The easiest option for the A's will be to recall Nick Allen and use him in a part-time role behind Schuemann at short. Assuming Hernaiz needs a couple weeks off, the A's should think outside the box and take a risk here. They have nothing to lose at this point.