By Jason Wojciechowski on May 3, 2012 at 11:40 AM
I've seen too many bloggers get burned by writing about transactions before they're actually final, leaving them with pointless posts about non-moves, but I'm going to break my own rule on this one, because it seems all but certain at this point: Coco Crisp will be hitting the Disabled List with a continued problem with his sinuses, and Michael Taylor will be called up to take his spot.
Why Michael Taylor and not Collin Cowgill, who was with the A's early in the year, before they needed a fifth starter? AAA performance probably has a lot to do with it. Cowgill has put up just a .244/.320/.267 line (50 PA) in Sacramento since being sent down there, while Taylor has been stroking the ball: .347/.390/.547 in just over 100 PA. He's also 6/8 on steals. The power has been all doubles so far, with 13 of those to just two homers, but he's making contact (12% strikeout rate) and likely hitting the ball hard (as seen by the doubles and a .378 BABIP).
I haven't heard any recent scouting reports on Taylor (though that's partially my fault -- I'm sure they're out there), so I can't tell you whether the early-season results that are closer to his Phillies performance than anything he's done since being traded to Oakland are real, are the result of a newfound approach or new physical attributes, or are just a fluke, 100 PA of good hitting that would have been lost in the noise of a season had they happened in June.
The major-league question is whether Taylor is up as a warm body or whether Billy Beane will ask Bob Melvin to give the A's a chance to really see what he can do. If it's the former, then I'd expect to see a four-headed 1B/LF/DH situation, with Kila Ka'aihue, Daric Barton, Jonny Gomes, and Seth Smith slotting in appropriate on any given day, with Michael Taylor mainly getting spot starts against lefties, as three of those four hitters are left-handed.
If, on the other hand, it's the latter, then Taylor could get two solid weeks in left field, starting every day against both LHP and RHP, with Smith and Gomes settling back into the DH platoon in which they started the year, and leaving first base as the only spot for Barton and Ka'aihue to fight it out.
I don't see any particular reason not to give Taylor this shot, though Bob Melvin is Bob Melvin, and he's apparently been given the latitude to make whatever decisions he thinks are appropriate to try to win as many baseball games as possible. If that means planting Michael Taylor on the bench as an extra outfielder / platoon starter until Crisp is ready to come back, then, the predictable hue and cry from the bloggerati aside, we'll just have to deal with that.