Bobby Crosby, resident lineup savior of the Oakland Athletics earlier this year, is on the disabled list again with a broken ankle. Their trainer Larry Davis seems to feel like Crosby will be up and active in a few weeks. Will Carroll will surely have more on this tomorrow, so make sure to check out his Under the Knife column at Baseball Prospectus tomorrow afternoon.
How should this affect the team itself? Let's take a look at Crosby's production level according to Net Runs Above Average versus that of his replacements. Keith Ginter was called up from Triple-A to take over Crosby's roster spot, but that does not necessarily mean he will be starting.
Crosby is the top performer on this team according to NRAA, so his presence will be sorely missed. The only thing that even resembles help as a replacement for Crosby over the next few crucial September weeks is the PECOTA/Marc Normandin tweaked version of Keith Ginter. I tweaked it, because I had to assume a games played total and figure outs myself for Ginter's NRAA projection to work. If he can hit like he did last season in Milwaukee (.262/.333/.479 with a .275 EqA in 2004) or like he has shown during his time with the Triple-A Sacramento River Cats (.333/.387/.632 makes me feel like he can replicate last year in Milwaukee or better) while playing adequate defense, the A's can deal without Crosby over the course of 3 weeks. Crosby is worth 6.45 NRAA over a 30 game span; PECOTA Ginter is worth -.120 over the same span; not impressive, but just a tad below average, which is better than what Scutaro is providing (-.333 over a 30 game span.) Granted, 6.45 runs above average is more than 6 runs, but average players have their place, and you could do worse as a replacement. You could be playing Cristian Guzman (.194/.236/.273; -32.39 NRAA) and replacing him with Deivi Cruz (.268/.301/.397; -7.04 NRAA). I'll take 2004 Keith Ginter, thank you very much. This should not worry A's fans too much if Nick Swisher and Dan Johnson can keep up their youthful excellence over the duration of Crosby's absence. If not, the sound they will hear is the Angels breathing down their necks in the divisional race even more than they already are.
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