As the Oakland A's offense has scuffled along, one of the biggest issues has been the offensive play of first baseman Daric Barton. He's never been a traditional corner infield slugger, but last year he was actually one of the most valuable first baseman in the league according to WAR thanks to a fantastic on base percentage, solid batting average and great fielding. Unfortunately he has struggled in 2011 in all areas of his game and currently has a line of .212/.327/.264.
Given all that, it's not surprising that given his eligibility for one more minor league option, the A's might be considering demoting him to the minors to figure out his offensive woes.
If the A's did elect to demote Barton to the minors, it would create some interesting possibilities at first base. The Chronicle article above mentioned that Conor Jackson and Adam Rosales could find themselves playing a bit more first base, thus opening up some more playing time for David DeJesus and Ryan Sweeney in the outfield.
While that is certainly one option, I find myself wondering if Chris Carter might find himself getting called up from the minors in the near future. He missed over a month with a thumb injury but is back at Sacramento. His numbers were not particularly great to start the season, but the power seems to be returning as he has four home runs in 18 AAA games, along with three home runs in six rehab games at San Jose.
The A's power numbers are incredibly weak and Carter could bring some needed pop to the lineup. For now I'd imagine Conor Jackson is the guy who would see more playing time at first base. However, if Jackson doesn't provide a significant spark, Carter could get the call. In four games since returning to Sacramento, Carter has played three at first base and one at DH. Maybe the team is ready to make an organizational change at first.