Who will be missed more over these next couple of weeks, Brett Anderson or Coco Crisp? And did both really need to go on the disabled list? It seems like they're always hurt, and there comes a point where you just need to play through these things for your team.
-- Jordan B., Pleasant Hill, Calif.
While Anderson will surely be missed every fifth day for at least three turns through the rotation, it's Crisp who will prove more difficult to replace, just given the multifaceted dynamic he offers the club on an everyday basis, be it at the plate, on the bases or in the center of the outfield. The club doesn't have another seasoned leadoff hitter like Crisp, whose igniting ways have greatly contributed to each of Oakland's wins this year, so the A's will have to rely on John Jaso and Jed Lowrie in the meantime. Chris Young, of course, can handle center-field duties just fine, though he'll have to get healthy first to do so.
I nearly omitted the second part of your inquiry, because it seems unfair to put into question an injury and whether a player is exaggerating the severity of it, but I left it in simply because it's worth mentioning that "playing through these things for your team" often hurts a team rather than helps it. Both Anderson and Crisp clearly need the proper time to fully heal, and in order for the A's to cash in on insurance players, they had no choice but to DL them. Letting them play hurt may very well have resulted in them being out even longer than a 15-day span.
This shouldn't raise any questions about their commitment or competitiveness. Crisp showed up to the park on Wednesday with discoloration in his leg, barely able to walk. And Anderson? Yes, he's already been hurt often in his young career, and though his quiet demeanor will fool you, he's one of the most competitive people you'll ever meet. Baseball is all he's ever known, and he truly lives for this.
Is Josh Reddick near the point of being sent down to Triple-A since he is hitting .148? With Crisp and Young both out for at least a short period, I suppose Reddick may be safe for a few more games.
-- Dan D., Richmond Hill, Ga.
I don't think demoting Reddick has been given much thought by the A's, if at all. The season is only one month old, and they're going to give him every opportunity to get right, and you can see manager Bob Melvin is trying to do everything he can from his end in that regard by putting him in situations to succeed, via starts against certain pitchers and positioning in the lineup.
As Reddick did at various points last year, particularly in the final few months, he has looked lost at the plate at times, though his plate discipline has seemingly heightened. He's making fairly consistent contact, but more times than not it's been weak and into the ground. There's a thought that Reddick is trying to do too much, match what he did last year, and it's well known that the mental part of the game can beat up a lot of players, much more than the mechanical part. And that seems to be more of the issue with Reddick right now.
Why has Jemile Weeks all of a sudden become a lost man? I believe he is a better hitter and fielder than Eric Sogard. Why is he stashed in the Minors?
-- Mike P., Danville, Ky.
This is a question I receive a lot, in some form or another, and one I can't answer with conviction, because there is definitely a sense of mystery surrounding Weeks' decline in the organization. I fully understand why he was demoted last year, given his woes on both sides of the ball, but why he hasn't been given a second chance since, not so much. I personally think Weeks deserves one, because we've seen the talent and know it's there at the Major League level. Obviously pitchers adjusted to Weeks with time in his sophomore season, and his defense remains slightly suspect, but he's seemingly put in the necessary work -- he had a productive spring, minus time missed with injury, and he's hitting .305 through 25 games at Triple-A -- that would warrant a callup.
This is a player the organization deemed its future, and now suddenly Weeks' future may be with another organization. If they're going to give Weeks another shot, it should be soon, in part to not further shake his confidence. Sogard and Adam Rosales are nice players to have, but more so in utility roles.
Is Scott Sizemore's big league career done, or do you think he gets another chance?
-- Alex W., Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
I have no doubt Sizemore will get another chance, but it may not be with the A's, depending on how things shake out with other pieces by season's end. Can Josh Donaldson really stick at third base? What's the long-term solution at second? These questions, and more, will have to be answered first, before it's determined whether Sizemore fits into their puzzle moving forward. Either way, no matter where Sizemore ends up, I think he'll be a productive player. He really is one of the hardest workers in the clubhouse -- he was back in there less than a week after his knee surgery to begin rehab -- and deserves another everyday shot when healthy.
Do you think the A's will trade Michael Taylor since they obviously have no desire to give him a shot at a Major League job?
-- George R., Los Banos, Calif.
I can't say for certain that's the case, since they like the depth he gives them, but I do think a trade would be in Taylor's best interest. He's in his fourth season at Triple-A (seventh overall in the Minors) and will be 28 at year's end, so he's not exactly young in baseball years by any means. There doesn't seem to be a permanent place for Taylor in Oakland, in part because he hasn't done much with the few opportunities he's been given, so perhaps a change of scenery could help his progression.