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Sorry I overlooked you, Scott.
Being a man of reasonable integrity, I will be the first to admit that I screwed up. In my last column, I projected Jemile Weeks as the starting second baseman for the 2013 A's. That in and of itself is not my mistake. My mistake is that I omitted the fact that heading into spring training, Scott Sizemore is returning to his natural position, which happens to be second base.
You see, I put Weeks in pencil because I think right now, he still has a little more of an overall edge than prospect and inevitable call-up Grant Green. Green's time will come, and it will be sooner rather than later. I just figured that it would not be at the onset of the regular season.
But now, there is not a two-man race. There is actually a three-man race. And interestingly enough, CSN Bay Area beat writer Casey Pratt says that Sizemore is the early favorite to claim the job. I can't say that I agree with him at this point, but it does provide a little more of an obstacle for Weeks (and probably signifies the certain start at Triple-A Sacramento for Green).
All that said, each brings something unique to the table that would benefit the team. Sizemore has not shown himself as a major league second baseman, but is a decent hitter who has a little pop and a decent eye (11 home runs, .345 on base percentage in 2011). The question is, how does he slide back into his natural position? More immediately, how well is he recovered from the torn ACL suffered on the first day of last year's spring training?
Weeks is the absolute wild card here. Some people, like CSN Bay Area analyst Shooty Babbitt, think he is actually a goner in Oakland. I am from the school of thought that his 2011 was a bit of an aberration and that 2012 was an aberration in reverse. 2013 will see more of what Weeks really is: a tantalizing threat on the bases who doesn't reach base enough to merit maximum production.
The question with that is, will he show enough in camp to win back the job he was given to start 2012? Only time will tell, but I think he has enough to reclaim the spot. And, oh yes, Grant Green. Used as a jack-of-all-trades in Sacramento, Green played exclusively at second base down the stretch as a prelim to a shot in the spring to win a job with the big club.
If there is one thing that elevates Green over both Sizemore and Weeks, it is that he can hit. In 125 games at Triple-A, Green hit .296 with 15 home runs, 75 RBI and 28 doubles. The bat is not the likely concern for him. No, the real issue is where will he play? Josh Donaldson appears to have a lid on third base. Hiroyuki Nakajima is the undoubted starter at shortstop, barring an outright disaster.
So, Green's best bet to break camp with Oakland is at second base. While not a great defender by any means, the prevailing thought is that Green would not be exposed that much playing at second. Assuming his offense carries over (say, 85 percent), Green's defense will be what dictates his next move.