With the additions of Jed Lowrie and Chris Young and the plug-and-play system still in effect from last year, the Oakland Athletics have a myriad of options when it comes to the lineup. For the sake of ease, these four are the likeliest and the best choices.
The depth of this team is incredible.
Brandon Moss and Josh Donaldson are penciled in at the corner infield positions. Hiroyuki Nakajima is slated for shortstop, though Jed Lowrie provides a fantastic safety net should Nakajima's transition hit a snag. Second base can be manned by Lowrie, Scott Sizemore, Jemile Weeks or Grant Green.
Josh Reddick, Yoenis Cespedes and Coco Crisp return to the outfield. Seth Smith will DH, and Chris Young will fill in at all three outfield positions and the DH spot.
John Jaso complements Derek Norris behind the dish.
Manager Bob Melvin pulls the strings. It's up to him to figure out who to play and when. Having a dozen players with the ability to start every day is a blessing. Having only nine spots in a lineup for them becomes a challenge.
There are literally 40 to 50 combinations.
The 2012 Manager of the Year knows how to play his cards, obviously, but here's a bit of help for him if he needs it. The following are four lineups and one final slide to examine where a few reserve players fit.