Jurickson Profar

Why A's shouldn't bring back Jurickson Profar for 2020 MLB season

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USATSI

Why A's shouldn't bring back Jurickson Profar for 2020 MLB season

Editor's note: Over the next two weeks, we will examine 10 A's players who may or may not return to Oakland next season. For each player, we will provide reasons why the A's should bring him back and reasons why they should not, followed by a final determination.

Jurickson Profar, 2B

Contract: Final year of arbitration (earned $3.6 million this season)

Reasons to bring him back

After a slow start to the season, Profar put together a solid second half at the plate. The 26-year-old posted an .821 OPS and belted 10 home runs after the All-Star break, and finished the season with a .218/.301/.410 slash line, with 20 homers and 67 RBi in 139 games.

Profar's defense also improved in the second half of the season. After committing 10 errors in the A's first 73 games, he cut that number to three in the final 89 contests.

As a switch-hitter, Profar provides some versatility in the lineup. He also does that in the field, as he can play any infield position, as well as left field. And at 26 years old, he still should just be coming into his prime.

Reasons to let him go

Despite his respectable power numbers, Profar was highly inconsistent throughout the year, both at the plate and in the field. His performance twice dipped to the point where manager Bob Melvin replaced him as the starting second baseman. Profar also was a defensive liability, developing a case of the yips on his throws from second base.

The A's have a couple of quality second baseman prospects in Sheldon Neuse and Jorge Mateo. Neuse, 24, slashed .317/.389/.550 in Triple-A Las Vegas this year, with 27 home runs and 102 RBI in 126 games. Mateo, 24, hit .289/.330/.504 with 19 homers, 29 doubles and 14 triples in 119 Triple-A games.

Of course, Chad Pinder also can play second base, which he did in 21 games this year. With all of those second base options, Profar could be expendable.

Final verdict

This is a tough call, but the A's probably would be best off trying to trade Profar during the offseason. If they can't find a trade partner, then a non-tender is a real possibility.

With Mateo and Neuse both MLB-ready, not to mention former top prospect Franklin Barreto still in the mix, it doesn't make sense to give Profar a raise next season when he might not even earn the starting second baseman job. Profar's defense is a serious concern, and while he has hit for decent power, he is just a career .234 hitter in six major league seasons.

[RELATED: Stay or go candidate: Yusmeiro Petit]

The A's could use the money they save on Profar in other areas, such as bullpen help or starting pitching depth. Both of those options make more sense than bringing Profar back in 2020.

A's vs. Angels lineups: Frankie Montas makes first start since suspension

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A's vs. Angels lineups: Frankie Montas makes first start since suspension

Frankie Montas returns from his 80-game PED suspension Wednesday night, as the A's take on the Angels in a critical game in Anaheim.

Montas, 26, was having a career-year before his suspension, going 9-2 with a 2.70 ERA in 15 starts. The right-hander has been throwing simulated games every five days at the A's training complex in Arizona, throwing upwards of 100 pitches, but he hasn't pitched in a real game since June 20.

In order to make room for Montas on the 40-man roster, Oakland designated catcher Beau Taylor for assignment.

Left-hander Andrew Heaney will get the start for the Angels. The 28-year-old is 4-6 with a 5.10 ERA in 17 outings this season. In four September starts, Heaney is just 1-3 with a 9.31 ERA.

A's designated hitter Khris Davis is out with the stomach flu after launching his 23rd home run of the season in Tuesday's series opener. Jurickson Profar will serve as the DH and bat seventh in the order.

[RELATED: Khrush still slugging off lefties during his down season]

Ramón Laureano moves up to the second spot in the lineup and will handle right field, while Mark Canha starts in center and Chad Pinder in left.

Here are the full lineups for the A's-Angels game, which will be broadcast on NBC Sports California and the MyTeams app. Coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. PT, with first pitch at 7:07.

Oakland A's (94-63)
SS Marcus Semien
RF Ramón Laureano
3B Matt Chapman
1B Matt Olson
CF Mark Canha
LF Chad Pinder
DH Jurickson Profar
2B Sheldon Neuse
C Josh Phegley

RHP Frankie Montas (9-2, 2.70 ERA)

Los Angeles Angels (71-86)
2B David Fletcher
CF Brian Goodwin
DH Albert Pujols
RF Kole Calhoun
SS Andrelton Simmons
1B Jared Walsh
LF Taylor Ward
3B Kaleb Cowart
C Anthony Bemboom

LHP Andrew Heaney (4-6, 5.10 ERA)

A's vs. Angels lineups: Mike Fiers attempts to tie franchise record

A's vs. Angels lineups: Mike Fiers attempts to tie franchise record

OAKLAND -- Mike Fiers hasn't suffered a loss since May 1, a span of 20 starts. One more and he would tie Lefty Grove for the A's franchise record.

In those 20 starts, Fiers has gone 11-0 with a 2.41 ERA. For the season, the 34-year-old right-hander is 13-3 with a 3.40 ERA and 1.15 WHIP.

Fiers and the A's open a three-game series against the Los Angeles Angels on Tuesday night at the Coliseum. In 13 career outings against the Angels, Fiers is 6-4 with a 4.84 ERA.

Los Angeles will counter with young right-hander Jaime Barria. The 23-year-old is 4-7 with a 6.10 ERA in 14 appearances this season, including nine starts. In two previous games against Oakland, Barria allowed just one run in 9 2/3 innings.

A's rookie Seth Brown will start in left field and bat sixth in the order. The 27-year-old rookie is off to a hot start, going 11-for-26 with three doubles and seven RBI in his first seven games. Designated hitter Khris Davis will hit seventh, followed by Jurickson Profar and Josh Phegley.

[RELATED: A's haven't been shut out in nearly 100 consecutive games]

Here are the full lineups for the A's-Angels game, which will be broadcast on NBC Sports California and the MyTeams app. Coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. PT, with first pitch at 7:07.

Los Angeles Angels (65-73)
3B David Fletcher
CF Mike Trout
DH Shohei Ohtani
1B Albert Pujols
RF Kole Calhoun
LF Justin Upton
SS Andrelton Simmons
2B Luis Rengifo
C Max Stassi

RHP Jaime Barria (4-7, 6.10 ERA)

Oakland A's (78-58)
SS Marcus Semien
LF Robbie Grossman
3B Matt Chapman
1B Matt Olson
CF Mark Canha
LF Seth Brown
DH Khris Davis
2B Jurickson Profar
C Josh Phegley

RHP Mike Fiers (13-3, 3.40 ERA)