The Oakland Athletics wrap up their series with the San Francisco Giants on Sunday and will be without Josh Willingham for the second straight game. Willingham aggravated an Achilles injury on Friday and was given the weekend off to recuperate. The A’s have made a couple of interesting changes to accommodate the absence.
For the second straight game, the A’s will go with a 1-2-3 of Jemile Weeks, Cliff Pennington and Coco Crisp. After Saturday’s game, manager Bob Melvin was asked about the change and he explained the reasoning behind it. According to Melvin, when Willingham went down it made sense to move Hideki Matsui into the cleanup role. In order to fill the third spot, Melvin wanted to go to his philosophy of having an every day guy in the spot. Coco Crisp is an every day player, although normally a leadoff hitter. It had to be between Crisp and Jackson, and Crisp was the guy.
Now that Crisp is temporarily out of the starting lineup, Jemile Weeks is taking his hot bat to the top of lineup while Cliff Pennington maintains the two role for which he seems permanently slotted. Daric Barton gets another day off with Conor Jackson playing first base. The big roster decision comes this Wednesday when Mark Ellis is eligible to come off the disabled list. The latest rumor is that the A’s will activate Ellis and send Barton down to the minors. We’ll see how that plays out in a few days.