According to the Associated Press, Oakland second baseman “Mark Ellis will miss six to eight weeks after dislocating his right shoulder in a collision with shortstop Bobby Crosby.”
Losing an everyday player before the season starts is never particularly good news and Ellis’ defense is a big part of Oakland’s outstanding run-prevention, but he was not good offensively last year and the A’s have a couple solid options to replace him at second base.
Esteban German, who has been an Oakland prospect for about 10 years now, hit .306/.379/.403 with 32 steals at Triple-A last year. They also have Marco Scutaro, who is sort of like the official “middle infielder who deserves more playing time” of the sabermetric community. Scutaro hit .311/.401/.520 in 70 games at Triple-A Norfolk last year. I think both German and Scutaro would be decent bets to at least match Ellis’ 86 OPS+ production from last year.
Elsewhere, Pittsburgh OF Jason Bay is now likely going to begin the season on the DL with a bum shoulder that hasn’t healed up as quickly as initially thought. Bay is (was?) one of the NL Rookie of the Year favorites, but this obviously hurts his chances. The good news is that this may give another quality prospect, J.J. Davis, a chance for some playing time. And, of course, it opens up some more playing time for Craig “Free Erubiel” Wilson too.