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Pennington to Disabled List

July 20, 2012

Seems a little too convenient doesn’t it? Cliff Pennington whose struggles at the plate this year are more than well documented was placed on the 15-day disabled list today with a left elbow tendinitis. Surely it has nothing to do with his .197 batting average (second lowest in MLB only to the .196 posted by Carlos Pena of the Rays), his .259 on base percentage (tied with J.J. Hardy for worst in baseball), or his .282 slugging percentage (also worst in baseball tied with Dee Gordon). Maybe it had nothing to do with the advanced stats like the wOBA that was a league worst .245 shockingly far behind next worst Gordon way up there at .263. It probably also mattered not that his wRC+ was at 51, badly trailing next worst Hardy at 62. It probably is just what the A’s say it is, left elbow tendinitis.

I like Pennington, think he plays hard, “plays the right way”, and all that. He also is much better than he has been this year. That said, this year has been awful but I don’t like the idea that the A’s may be using the disabled list to stash away poor performing players. Last year, I suspected the A’s did this with Mark Ellis who was struggling and then placed on the disabled list with a hamstring injury that didn’t seem severe enough to warrant the DL trip. Jemile Weeks of course came up and then Ellis was shipped off to Colorado for Bruce Billings (and as the PBTNL Eliezer Mesa) and the rest is history. Could the A’s be doing that again? Sure seems that way to me. To fill the spot on the roster Billy Beane gave notice that Eric Sogard will be filling in. Sogard has had several stints in Oakland this year hitting .145/.192/.246 in the process with two home runs a .199 wOBA and a 20 wRC+ across 74 trips to the plate (doesn’t look like an improvement to me) but with that said in Sacramento this year he has a .323/.410/.477 slash line with a .401 wOBA and 137 wRC+ in 178 plate appearances.

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