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Donaldson Optioned to Sacramento

April 23, 2012

Luke Hughes was officially added to the 25-man roster today and also was penciled in as the starting third baseman hitting eighth for tonight’s game against the Chicago White Sox. That move meant that someone had to go and as suspected that man is Josh Donaldson. Donaldson has played in just nine games with 32 plate appearances for the A’s. Constantly looking over his shoulder since his first start at third base in the Cactus League, I didn’t feel that was enough time to grow accustomed to both a new position at the MLB level and his first long-term exposure to MLB pitching. Regardless, the A’s have opted to say that 32 plate appearances is more than enough to make a judgement and go instead with another offensively-challenged option in Hughes.

Donaldson had a .094/.094/.094 slash line in his 32 trips to the plate with a .091 wOBA and -50 wRC. The results clearly were not there for Donaldson who despite being new to third was decent there with a 5.3 UZR/150 (to be taken with a major grain of salt given it is such a small sampling). I strongly disagree with the A’s management’s decision to give up on Donaldson so quickly, I felt that this year was a year of seeing what the organization has in their players and this move is counter-intuitive to that aim. When a team is contending this moves may need to be made based solely on limited at bats, but that isn’t the case in Oakland for the 5 1/2 game back despite it being April 23rd, A’s. I do not believe the A’s should give up on Donaldson just yet for the longer term, though I do want Scott Sizemore being the starting third baseman in 2013. I think he is having psychological pressures adjusting to the new role and hopefully he can decompress and gain some confidence back with a stint in Sacramento.

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