Oakland outfield picture a blurry one

Updated: June 23, 2003, 11:15 AM ET
By Jim Baker
Speaking of crowded outfield pictures, the A's have one as well, only it's of a much less satisfying nature than that of the Yankees. Unlike New York, the A's have five outfielders who appear to be incapable of playing well enough to be made regulars.

Faced with this situation, writes Marcus Thompson II of the Contra Costa Times, manager Ken Macha has decided to rotate two spots between five men until somebody among them steps up and proves they can handle a full-time assignment. Thompson writes that Macha had an outfielders-only meeting yesterday and informed his charges that among them, only Eric Byrnes had a set place in the lineup. Byrnes has pretty much come out of nowhere to emerge as the team's leading producer this year. He is 27 but has already batted more in 2003 than he had in all his previous major league experience combined. His emergence has helped keep the team in the playoff picture in spite of suffering down periods from Miguel Tejada, Scott Hatteberg and Eric Chavez and a severe lack of production from the other outfielders.

Jim Baker is an author at Baseball Prospectus and a frequent contributor to Page 2. You can e-mail Jim at bottlebat@gmail.com.

ALSO SEE