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Oakland Athletics: Rookie Michael Taylor Gets Call-Up and Start in Left Field

PHOENIX, AZ - FEBRUARY 27:  Michael Taylor #23 of the Oakland Athletics poses for a portrait during spring training photo day at Phoenix Municipal Stadium on February 27, 2012 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Nathaniel JueSenior Writer IIMay 5, 2012

The Oakland Athletics recalled Michael Taylor from Triple-A Sacramento, and according to CSNBayArea, he will make his season debut in Friday's game against the Tampa Bay Rays. The transaction occurs after the A's placed left fielder Coco Crisp on the 15-day disabled list due to an inner ear problem.

Taylor, a rookie, is not new to the Oakland ball club, having appeared in 11 games last season.

He earned his 2012 promotion, however, in part because of his torrid performance this past April. In 23 games with the Sacramento River Cats, Taylor dominated Triple-A pitching, sporting a .347 batting average, with 15 extra-base hits, 18 runs batted in and a .938 OPS.

Finally.

The Athletics have been awaiting Taylor's arrival for several seasons, since acquiring him back in the 2009 offseason. The 26-year-old has taken some time to blossom—longer than expected, some would say. But this season, he's looking to prove that the organization's patience in his development will be worth the wait.

Taylor certainly has the physical makeup to succeed.

At 6-foot-5, 255 pounds, Taylor is athletic and strong, capable of mashing the ball and running the bases effortlessly. He's not a dominant power hitter or speedster; but he carries with him five-tool ability that the A's have not had for quite some time.

Replacing Crisp in the outfield will be, well, pretty easy. After all, Crisp is batting a mere .194 for the season, with five runs batted in. Any production has to be better than that.

Now is Taylor's time to shine and prove to the team that he can handle the workload at the big league level.

Manager Bob Melvin tagged Taylor to the bottom of the lineup for Friday's contest. Clearly, there isn't much expected from Taylor. But hopefully, he'll be able to take advantage of this opportunity and contribute at a high level.

The A's need some offense, no matter the source. He doesn't need to rack up home runs or score a bunch of runs. Oakland needs consistency up and down the lineup. And solid defense.

Putting Taylor in a low-pressure situation can help him do that. And he needs to make the most of this opportunity, to demonstrate to the Oakland front office that he is capable of taking over the reins when Crisp is dealt to another team come trading deadline time.

For now, we'll just see what happens. But this could be the dawning of a new day in Oakland—the Michael Taylor era.

 

Follow me on Twitter: @nathanieljue

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