February 25, 2012; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Oakland Athletics outfielder Manny Ramirez (far right) walks to the team during spring training at Papago Park Baseball Complex. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-US PRESSWIRE

Athletics Have Opening At Third Base

With incumbent third baseman Scott Sizemore lost for the season to a knee injury, the Oakland A's will spend much of spring training auditioning his potential replacements. Not including Manny Ramirez.

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FanGraphs: Scott Sizemore's Injury Leaves The A's In A Pickle

The Oakland Athletics spent the offseason collecting outfielders and potential designated hitters. So, of course, they've sustained a major injury early in camp somewhere else - third base, as Scott Sizemore will miss the year with a torn ACL. It's an injury from which he should make a complete recovery, but an injury from which recovery takes a lot of time.

The blow has left the A's in a bad position. On the one hand, since they're highly unlikely to contend in 2012, there's little sense of urgency with regard to finding a Sizemore replacement. On the other, you could say that Sizemore's injury has left them exposed.

At FanGraphs, Jack Moore addresses the situation:

The Athletics do not have to make a major move here -- Scott Sizemore is coming off a season with a 108 wRC+ and could very well recover and become the third baseman of the future. But their complete lack of infield depth has been exposed, and with a full month of spring training preceding six months of games to go, it is a problem they will need to fix over the next few weeks.

People have talked about potential in-house solutions, and about potential out-house solutions. Miguel Tejada would be a potential out-house solution. This is a bathroom joke. The proper course of action would probably be to give the third-base job to someone who's already around, but if Billy Beane can find somebody out there who's affordable and a good bet to contribute in 2012 and beyond, then more power to him.

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Susan Slusser: A's Hoping Prospect Wins Job At Third Base

Saturday, A's third baseman Scott Sizemore went down with a knee injury. Monday, everyone's worst fears were confirmed: Sizemore's out for the entire season with a torn ACL. Worse (for the A's), there's not an obviously suitable replacement at hand. Somebody does have to play the position, though. Susan Slusser:

It’s a catcher, Josh Donaldson, who is going to get the first real look at filling in for Sizemore. The team finds Donaldson intriguing after he played at third the final month of last season at Sacramento and then full time in winter ball in the Dominican.

One team official I spoke to this evening told me the Sizemore news "makes me want to vomit," but the flip side, he said, is that Donaldson might wind up being a great story. The team not only likes the fact that he took it upon himself to go to the Dominican to play third, but that he also has improved his defensive metrics there enough to be considered for a big-league spot. They believe, too, that he will hit better when out from behind the plate.

The A’s also like the fact that Donaldson has boldly stated that he’s in camp to win a job. "I’m hungry," he’s said repeatedly.

As I wrote Monday night, Donaldson's minor-league statistics don't suggest he's quite ready to hit in the majors. And there's just no telling if he can handle the strain of playing third base every day for a few months. But apparently he's worth watching. According to Slusser, the A's also have some interest in the Angels' Alberto Callaspo, who's without a position until/unless the club gives up on Mark Trumbo as a third baseman. Most interesting of all, the A's might wind up looking at a weak group of (still) free-agent third basemen ... led by ex-Athletics superstar Miguel Tejada.

Hey, what's Royce Clayton's phone number again?

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Athletics Can't Catch A Break At Third Base

The Athletics used to be set at the hot corner, but ever since Eric Chavez's body started to fail, things have been terrible there.

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