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Should A’s play the vets or the youngsters?

Some breaking news we just received: Conor Jackson was scratched from the A’s lineup with neck tightness, so Brandon Allen draws another start at first base. Manager Bob Melvin talked before the game about his first base situation, and the decision between playing Jackson and Allen. Jackson is hitting .313 since the All-Star break, and Melvin thinks that warrants him remaining in the lineup on a somewhat regular basis. So this isn’t a platoon situation at this point. But it does bring up an issue the A’s will face — how do they balance the playing time between veterans and young players who are brought up in the remaining weeks? You figure Michael Taylor and probably Chris Carter will be up in September, and with the A’s entire starting outfield heading for free agency, it stands to reason the younger players should be getting their share of at-bats.

Thoughts? Are you ready for young players like Allen to start getting the majority of starts, or would you stick with veterans who might give the A’s a chance to finish with a better record?

–Coco Crisp is back in the lineup after missing six games with a strained right calf. The A’s will take any lift they can get as they try to stop a seven-game losing streak to the Texas Rangers. Melvin said beating the Rangers is “a hurdle” the A’s need to clear, much like beating the Yankees, learning to win on the road, etc.

–Melvin said he’s confident Brandon McCarthy (right knee contusion) will make his next start Wednesday against Baltimore. But the real test comes tomorrow, when McCarthy is scheduled to throw his regular side session. That will be the big indicator of whether he’s ready.

–The A’s are exploring every avenue for improving their defense, Melvin said. That includes watching video of the good defense they’ve played in the past — “positive reinforcement,” as Melvin puts it. Clearly, the team thinks there’s more that goes into improving things than just taking extra grounders before the game. But I’m hearing there will also be a pitcher’s fielding practice soon, perhaps Monday. That would seem in order, given how much the pitchers have hurt themselves with errors.

The lineups:
A’s — Weeks 2B, Crisp CF, Matsui DH, Willingham LF, Sizemore 3B, DeJesus RF, Suzuki C, Allen 1B, Pennington SS; Harden RHP.

Rangers — KInsler 2B, Andrus SS, Hamilton CF, Young 3B, Cruz RF, Napoli C, Moreland 1B, Torrealba DH, Murphy LF; Harrison LHP.

Joe Stiglich

  • crister

    Might as well get the learning pains out of the way now and avoid the whole small sample size/fool’s gold/evaluation process stuff out of the way now. Otherwise it’ll be another season of calling someone up with 3 weeks to go and with nothing to play for and going into the offseason of unanswered questions on this and that guy and if their 8 hits in 20 at bats against weak September pitching is a real indicator of their actual ability and next thing we know, it’s the middle of May of next year and still trying to figure out who can do what or not.

  • Stan

    I would flogg this team to win..that’s why you play-to win. Melvin should schedule 2 a day practices… I’m sick of the sixth year in a row of August and September throwing in the towel.Those young millionaires have almost 6 months of rest coming up-screw letting up.
    Michael Carter is a bust.. a no talent hitter or fielder. Why didnt Beane give Ethier as many chances?
    The A’s should sign Damon and stick him in there. Just once– could Beane dedicate himself to winning?

  • Stan

    THAT stunk.Play three games against the division rival that ridicules you,and get swept. Not a feather in the Melvin cap the A’s folded (but for one inning) without..and get this Joe,..NO CHIN MUSIC. Jeez,I hate beaning..but backing a batter off the plate is called for..and Melvin was passive. That’s Beane’s “we take pitches,we dont get excited” ugh baseball.
    One thing the coachs dont seem to be teaching the younger A’s in the minors is fundamentals,and in the majors is a will to win. What a passive group if I ever saw one.
    This is a team for Dick Williams the III, Billy Martin the 2nd… No more Mr nice guys.
    Ban the caviar from the clubhouse.

  • Stan

    Lord,dont EVER let me get a seat behind the A’s dugout. I would remind those rich young men,I’m not paying to see them lay down like poodles with diamond collars.
    Beane? I can just see him in his Panama hat ,white shoes and slacks..not a care in the world.

    All thats wrong with A’s basball. And the building itself doesnt have a thing ot do with it. If it really did,then the billionaire Fishers would build a new one. They do and buy everything else they want-right?

  • Stan

    95.7 and Urban agreed with me-Melvin didnt make any statement that he can make this team..more. Considering the hot hitting and Godzilla was on there side..Bob,did nothing to jump start that vs Teckhoz(spanish).
    Coddle,Coddle,coddle,..when will the GM’S and managers stop treating these guys like they are delicate?

  • dingo

    Play the vets – the A’s have been on the rebuilding program for five years and not making much progress – this is really starting to get old.

    Besides – isn’t their lineup full of youngsters already? (the whole infield is now composed of rookies) If the A’s mgt. plan is to play triple A players – then they should charge triple A admission prices. The A’s are already playing too many rookie prospects and don’t need any more in the lineup.

  • dingo

    Also – concerning the A’s defensive woes – their entire infield are rookies. (What does the team expect -an infield of gold-glovers.) Rookies always make mistakes and teams rarely (if ever) play winning baseball by playing too many of them.