Barton, Chavez and Weeks Recalled
It was interesting to me a few of the names that were still sitting in Sacramento. One had to wonder if some players had fallen our of favor with A’s management as they sat in Triple-A when the MLB roster could accommodate them. Daric Barton to me was the epitome of those types of players. Long given a very very very long leash, Barton was optioned on June 2nd and never returned to Oakland. This despite him doing what we want to expect out of him in his time in Sacramento going .255/.411/.425 displaying a strong OBP, and having a great K/BB ratio with him walking 19.6% of the time, and striking out just 15.8% of the time in his 336 plate appearances with the River Cats. The power everyone longs for wasn’t there – just eight home runs, but what else is new with Barton? The thing is, his being called up is kind of a signal that all is not forgotten and his tenure as an Athletic might not look as closed door as it may have before. In his first stint in Oakland, Barton hit .198/.325/.283 with a .285 wOBA and 80 wRC+ across 126 plate appearances.
Along with Barton, the A’s recalled Jemile Weeks. There was speculation Weeks may have fallen out of favor as well with Grant Green getting more playing time at second base, the A’s happily giving Cliff Pennington a try there as well and Weeks just showing little to no progress. For all his miserable MLB numbers this year though (.220/.305/.302 with a .276 wOBA and 74 wRC+ in 504 plate appearances) he performed well in Sacramento posting a .333/.412/.422 slash line with a .385 wOBA and 128 wRC+ forever proving that Triple-A is in fact much different (and easier) than Major League Baseball. It perhaps is more telling how the organization views him with how he is used these next few weeks. Does he fall behind Pennington or Adam Rosales on the depth chart? Or does he even fall behind Brandon Hicks?
Finally the last addition to the MLB squad is right-handed reliever Jesse Chavez who was acquired a little over two weeks ago from the Blue Jays. Chavez pitched a little for Toronto earlier this season posting an 8.44 ERA and 5.92 FIP in 21 1/3 innings of 11.4 K/9, 4.2 BB/9 and (yikes!) 2.5 HR/9 baseball. He had better numbers with Las Vegas in Toronto’s system: 4.07 ERA, 3.42 FIP, 8.2 K/9, 1.9 BB/9 and 1.0 HR/9 in 95 innings. With Sacramento he has pitched just 10 innings, posting 8.1 K/9, 1.8 BB/9 and not allowing a home run for a 1.80 ERA and 2.00 FIP.
I don’t think this series of moves changes the dynamics of Oakland’s chances to get into the playoffs. I am interested to see how much playing time any of these players get. I can imagine Barton as a late inning defensive replacement, I can see Weeks as a pinch-runner and I can see Chavez as an innings eater in games that are out of hand. Those types of players don’t win you playoff births and I don’t anticipate any of these three will do so.