Oakland A's Spring Training: Can Chris Carter or Michael Taylor Replace Jackson?

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Oakland A's Spring Training: Can Chris Carter or Michael Taylor Replace Jackson?
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The offseason additions of Josh Willingham and David DeJesus created a log-jam in the Oakland outfield. The two offseason trade acquisitions joined returning A's outfielders Coco Crisp, Ryan Sweeney, Conor Jackson and Chris Carter, meaning that come the end of Spring Training, there would be one player headed to Sacramento to begin the season.

All early indications were that Chris Carter would wind up being the odd man out with Sweeney and Jackson filling bench roles as the fourth and fifth outfielders. At the time of this update however Conor Jackson has only managed to put together a .077 batting average over his first 26 at-bats, leaving his inclusion on the opening day roster as anything but certain.

Oakland has top outfield prospects Chris Carter, Michael Taylor and their 2010 top draft pick Michael Choice in camp this spring all performing better than the veteran Jackson. Also competing this Spring Training in the outfield are Matt Carson, Rashun Dixon, Jai Miller, Jermaine Mitchell and John Whitaker.

Dixon, Miller, Mitchell and Whitaker have little chance of cracking the opening day roster even with the struggles of Conor Jackson, Chris Carter, Michael Taylor and Matt Carson, however, could provide some competition down the stretch as the regular season approaches. Michael Choice has performed the best out of the bunch, however with this being his first full season of professional baseball the Athletics would like to see him develop through the minor league levels with a more realistic chance of making the roster in 2012.

Conor Jackson remains the front runner if he can turn his Spring around, however let's take a look at the five candidates for the roster spot, starting with Jackson.

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