Issue: Hot-corner conundrum
Analysis: Projected starting third baseman Scott Sizemore’s early spring injury caught the A’s with their pants down in a huge way.
Never mind that Sizemore wasn’t exactly a lock to stud out, but for the first alternative to be a recently converted catcher — Josh Donaldson — has to raise an eyebrow in relation to the 10 players that Oakland got in its flurry of offseason trades that sent three All-Star pitchers packing.
That’s water under the bridge at this point, but the fact that Donaldson has looked very much like a recently converted catcher all spring keeps the spotlight on the situation.
Donaldson might very well end up being the solution at some point, but thus far his defense has been spotty at best, and like many young players under pressure, he’s taken his defensive struggles into the batter’s box.
As for now, it seems pretty clear that Donaldson isn’t the answer. He wasn’t exactly put in a position to succeed.
So who handles the hot corner? Professor Sogard, ladies and gentlemen.
That’s Eric Sogard. And he’s not really a professor. He just looks like one. Actually, he looks more like a grad-school assistant prof. Bespectacled and undersized, he’s more likely to be pegged as a Starbucks barista than a big-league infielder.
But he is, in fact, an infielder. That’s important. HE’S AN INFIELDER. Kind of important.
And he’s swinging a hot bat, too. Is that enough to claim a starting job in the bigs? In this case it probably is.
The bar is that low.