Athletics Vs. Dodgers: Derek Norris Called Up, What Does That Mean For Kurt Suzuki?

The Oakland Athletics called up catcher Derek Norris before Thursday's meeting with the Los Angeles Dodgers, and is making his season debut with the Green and Gold in place of Kurt Suzuki.

Norris, 23, is batting .273 with eight homers and 36 RBIs for Triple-A Sacramento, though is a bit of a surprise call up seeing that this is his first year at that level in the minors.

San Francisco Chronicle's Susan Slussser examines how this may affect the current A's catcher as well as the dynamic with the rest of the staff. Here is Slusser with the commentary:

Starting catcher Kurt Suzuki has struggled, batting .215 with zero homers and 16 RBIs, but he is highly valued for his work with the A's young starters. It would be surprising if he doesn't get the bulk of the starts, but maybe Norris will get worked in the way Suzuki did the second half of the 2007 season.

Ken Rosenthal recently floated the idea that Suzuki is on the trading block, but given that the A's have so little experience in their rotation and even their closer is a rookie, it's hard to imagine them moving their experienced catcher and putting Norris in fulltime this season.

Slusser would tweet that Norris is not here to be a backup, but will indeed compete and split time with Suzuki:

And being the consumate professional that he is, Suzuki welcomed the youngster with open arms to the big leagues:

Skipper Bob Melvin would also note that Suzuki, "isn't going anywhere," so any trade talk may be moot. Nevertheless, this should be interesting to see how this positional battle pans out over the course of the season.

For more on the Athletics, check out Athletics Nation.

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