Utility infielder Adam Rosales has historically been just that for the Oakland Athletics — a warm body capable of filling in at shortstop, second base, first base, or even the outfield if need be.
This season, though, his flair for dramatic hits is presumably making it a difficult call for the A’s as far as their infield situation is concerned.
Hiroyuki Nakajima sits at Triple-A Sacramento, his rehab finished, and it’s unclear at this point when the A’s will deem it a good time to call him up for his big league debut.
Originally, due to the play of Eric Sogard (who is hitting around .270 in a platoon situation with Rosales at second and short), Rosales appeared to be the one most likely to be optioned to make room for Nakajima — but that isn’t so clear anymore, at least from a speculative standpoint.
Last night in Chicago, Rosales smacked a go-ahead, two-strike home run against Chicago White Sox reliever Matt Thornton in the 10th that lifted the A’s to a 5-4 victory. A few weeks back, Rosales also hit a game-tying home run in the ninth against Cleveland Indians closer Chris Perez, but the Angel Hernandez blown instant replay fiasco turned the home run into a double, and Rosales didn’t end up scoring.
Still, he’s shown a flair for the dramatic. During the A’s three-game sweep of the Kansas City Royals, Rosales crushed another go-ahead home run in the eighth against James Shields, again propelling the A’s to victory.
If the point hasn’t been made clear enough, it’s this: Rosales, while maybe a below-average offensive (and perhaps defensive) player, has had a knack for getting key hits for the 2013 A’s. You’d have to think that would be a factor when Billy Beane and Bob Melvin start thinking about what to do with the roster to facilitate Nakajima’s promotion.