I know the guy started slowly, but yikes. I'm guessing Allen will accept a minor-league assignment and head to Sacramento for the time being. Four games does not a season make, but I must admit, Allen looked pretty awful at the plate. 0-7 with five strikeouts including an 0-3, three-K performance in his last game.
While Barton is back up with the big club, this does not necessarily mean he will step back into the starting spot. My assumption would be that for the time being, Kila Ka'aihue becomes the starter and Barton backs him up.
Unfortunately, they both hit left, so there is not really much of an option to platoon them. The intrigue still lies with Chris Carter.
Yes, he has yet to really make a dent at the big-league level and yes, he is still your classic three-true-outcomes slugger (strikeout, walk, home run) that has had far too much of the negative outcome. But he is a right-handed power bat and with his relatively advanced age (25), the A's have to take a hard look at when/if they are ever going to give him a true shot.
The final analysis of this really is not much in the big picture. I never thought Allen was going to catch lightning in a bottle in Oakland and this proves that he was really on a short leash with the club's management.
The real "winner" in all of this is Barton. In spite of his terrible 2011 and petulance when sent to Sacramento, he gets another opportunity to show himself worthy of the promise and praise heaped upon him when the A's acquired him from the St. Louis Cardinals.
I have to imagine he will ultimately get one last opportunity to warrant a spot as a starting first baseman in the majors. But for now, he might have to be content to watch and wait.