By Jason Wojciechowski on April 22, 2016 at 5:52 PM
Tyler Ladendorf has been recalled from Triple-A to replace Danny Valencia, who has hit the DL. Word is that Valencia shouldn't be out much more than the minimum, so there was no reason to make a move that required adding and subtracting from the 40-man roster, so Ladendorf was the obvious move as a multi-position player (shortstop and center field this season; every position but first base and catcher last year in Nashville) who isn't really a prospect―calling up Renato Nunez to fill in would have been interesting, but his grand total of Triple-A plate appearances is 48 and he's at least theoretically got a future as a starter, so you don't want to disrupt his development; sooorrrrta the same story for Joey Wendle, with the additional problem being that so far he's only a second baseman. There's also Max Muncy, but his .206/.268/.392 line in the majors last year (which is actually a pretty nice ISO now that I think about it; also it's only 112 PAs) probably left the A's figuring it's time to give someone else a shot, particularly because the only reason Ladendorf only had 18 major-league PAs in 2015 is because he got hurt.
With the right-handed Aaron Sanchez on the mound tonight, the obvious thing was to start Chris Coghlan at third base, with Jed Lowrie maintaining his usual second-base slot. Assuming Valencia is ready to come back around May 8, tomorrow, when the Blue Jays start J.A. Happ, is the only obvious time the righty-swinging Ladendorf would start. The A's opposing probables from Sunday on out, taken from ESPN.com through May 6, go like this:
It's going to be a weird time not only for Ladendorf but potentially for Mark Canha (four starts, three against lefties) and Billy Butler (six starts, four against lefties) as well. Bob Melvin has to manage the energy levels of his players and can't just start lefty/righty lineups like it's a Diamond Mind simulation, but, with all due respect to Ladendorf, I hope he doesn't throw him a start or two out of some sense of keeping him engaged. Canha, Butler you can justify treating that way because you expect them to be on your roster all year and expect to need them. Ladendorf is in a different position and will just be optioned back to Triple-A in two weeks, so, while again noting that Lowrie or Coghlan may need a day off somewhere in the next two weeks and that's fine, there's a way in which I'm hoping Ladendorf gets something in the range of 10 plate appearances on this trip to Oakland.
EDIT 4/23/16: Ladendorf is not in the lineup today against J.A. Happ. Let's revise that plate appearance estimate down to five over the next 15 days.