The Oakland A’s seem to be back on track in this series against the Los Angeles Angels. Their pitching has been on point and their offense has picked back up. However, there is still one weakness that has never been resolved. Even though they tried to strengthen these positions before the trade deadline, second base and shortstop remain the weakest positions for the Oakland A’s. And with Jed Lowrie out with a hairline fracture on his index finger, these positions have become weaker.
It was recently reported that Lowrie is still unable to throw and could remain on the DL for while. This means that Andy Parrino will most likely platoon at shortstop with Eric Sogard. Although Sogard is normally a second baseman, he can switch over to shortstop when required and Alberto Callaspo will field at second base.
Sogard has raised his batting above so that it is finally above .200, but he still only has one home run and 16 RBI for the entire season. His excellent fielding makes for what he lacks offensively. Sogard has a .987 fielding percentage at second base with only 4 errors so far this season – which is no where close to the team leader, Josh Donaldson, who has a total of 20 errors. Additionally, he only has a .943 fielding percentage at shortstop, so I am sure that manager Bob Melvin would like Sogard to stay at second as much as possible.
When it comes to shortstop, Parrino has been a less than desirable fill-in for the Oakland A’s. At the age of 28, he only has three years of experience playing in the MLB, and he has no postseason experience. Additionally, the most games he has ever started in the MLB is 55 which was when he was playing with the San Diego Padres back in 2012.
This season, Parrino is only batting .160 with four hit in 25 at-bats this season. However, one of those hits was a double that drove in a run for the Athletics. He also successfully hit a sacrifice fly to drive in another run on Friday against LA. When Parrino was in the Minor Leagues, he was batting .274 with a .748 OPS, so many are hoping that he will be able to improve offensively as he becomes more accustomed to playing in the Majors.
Unfortunately, shortstop is by far his worst fielding position. Parrino is normally a second baseman and the transition to shortstop has not been easy. In the six games he has started with the Oakland A’s this year at shortstop, he has only put out eight of 22 total chances. Even though Lowrie is hurt, maybe he can give Parrino some tips on how to improve his defensive skills in this position.
The Athletics have been rumored to still be searching for a second baseman or shortstop, but they would not acquire one just as a fill in for Lowrie – they want a more long term solution. Now that the Oakland A’s are tied for first place for the AL West once again with the Los Angeles Angels, it could be hard for them to get anyone off of waivers. They may have to wait until the offseason to acquire a new shortstop or second baseman. Until then, the Oakland A’s will have to push through with what they have.
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