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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

A’s to use Callaspo in first base platoon

Barton is kind of a Grady Sizemore writ small.

The first base puzzle is officially coming together for the Oakland A’s.

Manager Bob Melvin told reporters Tuesday morning that switch-hitting Alberto Callaspo will play first base against left-handed starting pitchers. With signs pointing toward the A’s keeping just two catchers, John Jaso and Derek Norris, it means Daric Barton is likely to make the Opening Night roster and split first base with Brandon Moss against right-handed pitchers. Moss likely will see lots of time at designated hitter as well when Barton plays first.

Callaspo, a utility infielder who played mostly second base last season for Oakland, has been playing first base this spring for the first time in his career…

If the A’s indeed keep just two catchers—with the left-handed hitting Jaso starting against right-handed pitchers and Norris facing lefties—it means Stephen Vogt will be ticketed for Triple-A Sacramento. Vogt is hitting .357 in exhibitions with three homers and 12 RBI, which is tied for the team lead.

The District Attorney Posted: March 25, 2014 at 11:56 PM | 32 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: oakland

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   1. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: March 26, 2014 at 09:27 AM (#4677146)
I don't think Vogt will be down for long since I think he's a better hitter than Callaspo or Barton. I think I'd rather Barton get released and Jaso play some first base to keep Vogt on the roster and I suspect that will happen unless Barton finally proves he can hit enough to be an MLB firstbaseman. Nate Freiman has already been optioned to Sacramento for those wondering.
   2. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: March 26, 2014 at 09:29 AM (#4677149)
Hell, while we're at it, the A's rotation:

Sonny Gray
Scott Kazmir
Jesse Chavez
Dan Straily
Tommy Millone

Melvin must really like what he sees from Chavez to slot him in as the #3 right off the bat.
   3. Yoenis Cespedes, Baseball Savant Posted: March 26, 2014 at 09:32 AM (#4677152)
Very depth. Such 1B/C/DH options. Wow.
   4. flournoy Posted: March 26, 2014 at 09:36 AM (#4677155)
Yikes. That rotation.

Sonny Gray - I've seen his name before. (Good baseball name, incidentally.)
Scott Kazmir - He was good a million years ago.
Jesse Chavez - Horrible pitcher.
Dan Straily - I've seen his name before.
Tommy Milone - I think he was part of the Gio Gonzalez trade.
   5. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: March 26, 2014 at 09:39 AM (#4677156)
Very depth. Such 1B/C/DH options. Wow.


Good enough for NASCAR! I support MLB requiring all teams to accept payment in Dogecoin.
   6. Davo's Favorite Tacos Are Moose Tacos Posted: March 26, 2014 at 09:45 AM (#4677160)
Does that mean the Nate Freiman experiment is over?
   7. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: March 26, 2014 at 09:46 AM (#4677161)
Yikes. That rotation.

It's a perfectly cromulent rotation, really. Chavez is the most intriguing to me as the A's have shown a lot of confidence in him and Curt Young and company have a good eye for pitching.
   8. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: March 26, 2014 at 09:46 AM (#4677163)
Does that mean the Nate Freiman experiment is over?

Naw, he just goes to AAA where he should have been last year.
   9. Roger McDowell spit on me! Posted: March 26, 2014 at 09:57 AM (#4677171)
I agree about Vogt - he's also the best catcher on the roster for cutting off the running game, although based on what I saw last year, he's not that great at blocking balls in the dirt, etc. But Beane and Melvin probably feel that with Parker and Griffin out, Barton is needed to support the IF defense - he is very good at 1B.
   10. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: March 26, 2014 at 10:01 AM (#4677174)
It reminds me a little of the Orioles rotation. No ace, but good overall and a fair amount of potential.
   11. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 26, 2014 at 10:02 AM (#4677175)
Jesse Chavez is a good groundball pitcher but dear lord was he painful to watch. He had terrible command in KC, it looks like he may have figured something out in Oakland. But he is 30, so I'm not sure there's a ton of upside there.
   12. Nasty Nate Posted: March 26, 2014 at 10:03 AM (#4677176)
Chip Hale: "It's incredibly hard."
   13. joeysdadjoe Posted: March 26, 2014 at 10:03 AM (#4677177)
I'd keep Vogt and dump Barton and reshuffle.
   14. JE (Jason) Posted: March 26, 2014 at 10:12 AM (#4677183)
Callaspo, a utility infielder who played mostly second base last season

What a shame Yuniesky Betancourt isn't available.
   15. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: March 26, 2014 at 10:35 AM (#4677202)
Jesse Chavez? The guy who was in the Pirates bullpen like 8 years ago?
   16. Bourbon Samurai Posted: March 26, 2014 at 10:35 AM (#4677203)
Going defense first at 1B is a bold move.
   17. Cowboy Popup Posted: March 26, 2014 at 10:58 AM (#4677215)
Sonny Gray - I've seen his name before. (Good baseball name, incidentally.)

I have a question for pretty much anyone who can answer it. Gray had his best K and K/BB numbers of his pro-baseball career in the Majors last year (which may not mean much, he had a very short minor league career). Is there a reason for that? Was he coming back from an injury in school and finally started getting it together when he was called up? Was there a velocity bump? Or was it just 64 really good innings without much rhyme or reason to it?
   18. PreservedFish Posted: March 26, 2014 at 11:19 AM (#4677224)
The Colon vs Kazmir decision still looks weird to me. If memory serves me right one of the proposed justifications was that due to the excellent depth of the A's rotation, it made sense to go with the high upside starter. Whether or not Kazmir really is the higher upside guy seems debatable, but more importantly after a couple March injuries they're suddenly looking at Drew Pomeranz as the #6 starter and a bunch of nobodies behind him. The way things look now I would say that the A's should opt for the steady veteran 100% of the time.
   19. BDC Posted: March 26, 2014 at 11:26 AM (#4677227)
It's all relative. Rangers start the season with one guy who was in their rotation last year, a couple who've never started in the majors. OAK looks comparatively awesome.
   20. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: March 26, 2014 at 12:08 PM (#4677246)
Jesse Chavez? The guy who was in the Pirates bullpen like 8 years ago?


Yeah, the same. I know he's been starting in AAA, but I can't imagine that working out well.
   21. bfan Posted: March 26, 2014 at 12:33 PM (#4677265)
So they trot out a guy with a lifetime OPS+ of 97 on the down-side of his career to play the position that demands the biggest bat?
   22. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: March 26, 2014 at 12:43 PM (#4677273)
So they trot out a guy with a lifetime OPS+ of 97 on the down-side of his career to play the position that demands the biggest bat?


He shouldn't be at first base, but Callaspo actually seems like one of the more underrated players around. He's been a generally averagish 3B/2B by WAR for the past few years. Much of that is due to his defense, so take that for what it's worth, but he's been a better player than I thought. Maybe I just wasn't paying attention.
   23. Baseballs Most Beloved Figure Posted: March 26, 2014 at 12:46 PM (#4677277)
So they trot out a guy with a lifetime OPS+ of 97 on the down-side of his career to play the position that demands the biggest bat?
Meanwhile Grant Green has torn the cover off the ball this spring.
   24. theboyqueen Posted: March 26, 2014 at 12:51 PM (#4677280)
I agree that of all these players, Barton is the least versatile and I don't see the need to waste a roster spot on him. I'd rather have Callaspo be the full time first baseman to be honest.

A mediocre-hitter who is one half of a first base platoon doesn't really have much of a calling card.
   25. The District Attorney Posted: March 26, 2014 at 01:02 PM (#4677290)
A mediocre-hitter who is one half of a first base platoon isn't really much of a calling card.
The funny part is that there's no indication at all that Barton needs to be platooned. In fact, in his career, he is much better against lefties (819 OPS) than righties (698). I feel like if you're going to play him, you might as well play him against everybody and see what you get. You wouldn't be losing out on much... even if Barton doesn't really have a reverse platoon split, it's not like Callaspo is a 1B bat you particularly want, and he's never played the position before either.

Then again, if Barton is good enough to have a big role now, why was he not good enough to have a big role years ago? He was never really blocked by anyone. Also, playing Barton at 1B puts Jaso at catcher, where he's not very good defensively to begin with, and suffered a major concussion last year. There are many strange things about this whole situation.

Anyway, the A's will probably carry four bench players... and platoon at four positions. It almost makes up for virtually no one else in baseball platooning ever.
   26. theboyqueen Posted: March 26, 2014 at 01:18 PM (#4677300)
Barton is not such a better hitter than Callaspo (or Jaso, or Vogt) that it would make up for his lack of versatility. I'm not sure he's a better HITTER than any of them, to be honest. They seem to be putting him in a position where he is likely to fail, so why not just release him? He can go play on the Yankees or whatever.
   27. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: March 26, 2014 at 01:29 PM (#4677312)
He shouldn't be at first base, but Callaspo actually seems like one of the more underrated players around.


I agree, but I also have trouble being too upset about it, given that he's a wife-beating piece of ####.
   28. theboyqueen Posted: March 26, 2014 at 01:38 PM (#4677317)
The court document said Callaspo told officers he argued with his 22-year-old wife and kicked her in the buttocks after she pushed him. Paola sustained minor abrasions and had a foot mark on her pants, officer Christopher Meraz wrote.

Callaspo also told officers he threw a video camera and cell phone to the floor during the argument.


I didn't know about this, but the charges were dropped and they are still together. It is quite possible that he is a monstrous wife-beater, but based on this incident it's pretty hard to say.
   29. Hal Chase School of Professionalism Posted: March 26, 2014 at 01:43 PM (#4677320)
Jesse Chavez? The guy who was in the Pirates bullpen like 8 years ago?


Made me think of the time that the season highlight of my fantasy pitcher, Esteban Loaiza, was doing the postgame translation for Francisco Cordova after his no-hitter in '97.

Yeah, Pirates pitching staffs around that time... not good. Neither was my fantasy team, if you couldn't already tell.
   30. guajolote2 Posted: March 27, 2014 at 12:46 AM (#4677657)
Chavez is really hard to get a handle on. He'll look like a Cy Young candidate with filthy stuff one inning and completely lose it the next and throw nothing but meatballs. I don't know if it's concentration or willpower or physical fatigue but he is not trustworthy, ever.
   31. Squash Posted: March 27, 2014 at 01:06 AM (#4677664)
The Colon vs Kazmir decision still looks weird to me. If memory serves me right one of the proposed justifications was that due to the excellent depth of the A's rotation, it made sense to go with the high upside starter.

Was that a justification someone gave? That sounds like a pretty crazy theory to me - I don't think any team in baseball can afford to or does think that way. No one really has pitching depth. I think it was probably much more likely fear that Colon would turn into a pumpkin, with Kazmir being at least equivalent right now and potentially garnering a compensation pick down the road. Obviously the injury risk with Kazmir is huge but it's not like Colon is likely to give you tons of innings either.
   32. PreservedFish Posted: March 27, 2014 at 01:59 AM (#4677666)
Was that a justification someone gave? That sounds like a pretty crazy theory to me -

It is possible that I invented that.

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