Kotsay goes down

By Jason Wojciechowski on March 8, 2007 at 5:28 PM

The injuries continue to pile up for my favorite teams, and the baseball season hasn't even started yet. Mark Kotsay is set to have surgery to repair a herniated disk in his back. He could be out for up to three months.

As I've said previously, given the way his play has slipped over the last few years, it's not obvious that this will actually hurt the A's. Milton Bradley is a terrific defensive player, so moving him over to center field probably won't cause much drop off. There will be some loss from Bradley down to (say) Nick Swisher in right, but that would ideally be made up by getting Dan Johnson's bat (which I really think will be back after his horrific year) into the lineup at first base. Or even Erubiel Durazo. Remember, Kotsay set a low bar last year with his 89 OPS+. Johnson in having a terrible awful year had an 85 OPS+. A bounce-back is much more likely for Johnson than for Kotsay, so I think if whoever replaces Kotsay's bat hits at the 95 OPS+ level, it'll be an improvement over what Kotsay would be providing.

And while we're here, let's not forget Ryan Goleski. All these injuries (will Kielty be ready? How long is Kotsay out? How many games will Milton "They Call Me Mr. Glass" Bradley miss this year?) may give Goleski a shot to stick on the major-league roster and allow the A's to keep him around. And hell, maybe he'll actually hit enough to deserve it, too.

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