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Chris Carter sent down, Eric Sogard called up; Grant Green debuts in center field for Double-A Midland

The second half of the season appears a great time for the A’s to get their top young prospects some major league exposure. But on the first day after the All-Star break, the A’s sent Chris Carter  the other direction, optioning the first baseman to Triple-A Sacramento and recalling middle infielder Eric Sogard. It’s a clear sign that the A’s brass doesn’t regard Carter as part of the solution for the team’s current offensive woes. At this point, you have to wonder where Carter fits into the A’s thoughts at all. He hit .133 with no RBIs in 10 games during his call-up and hardly distinguished himself with the glove.

I’ve been of the opinion that the A’s need to draw a conclusion on Carter by season’s end – is he a part of this team’s future or is it time to look for another young 1B/DH type? Perhaps the A’s have already made that decision. Manager Bob Melvin was careful to point out Carter’s biggest strength. “One of the attributes he has that we don’t have a whole lot of here is power.” But Melvin’s other comments were more telling. “I think confidence plays in it for him, and he’s gonna have to find a way to believe in himself,” Melvin said.

–Sogard has played strictly shortstop all season for Sacramento, but Melvin said he’ll get work at second, short and third. If he doesn’t debut in Saturday’s doubleheader, he will surely play Sunday. Melvin said Cliff Pennington may play shortstop in both games tomorrow and get Sunday off.

–A noteworthy development at Double-A Midland: Shortstop Grant Green, the A’s top prospect according to Baseball America, played center field for the first time Friday night. He’ll get more time there in the future. “We’re going to explore it,” general manager Billy Beane said. “We think it’s something he could take to very well. It’s a big void in the organization right now. We’ve thought his bat would get him to the big leagues quicker than his glove. It’s a way to merge the two and address an organizational need.” Green’s defense has been rough at shortstop since being drafted in the first round out of USC in 2009. He’s made 58 errors since the start of the 2010 season.

Tonight’s lineups:

A’s – Weeks 2B, Crisp CF, Willingham LF, Matsui DH, Sizemore 3B, DeJesus RF, Jackson 1B, Suzuki C, Pennington SS; McCarthy RHP.

Angels – Aybar SS, Hunter RF, Abreu DH, Wells LF, Kendrick 2B, Callaspo 3B, Trumbo 1B, Mathis C; Trout CF; Haren RHP.

Joe Stiglich