Report: The A’s may hire Ron Washington to help with their atrocious defense



Scott Hatteberg: First base? But I’ve only ever played catcher.

Billy Beane: It’s not that hard, Scott. Tell him, Wash.

Ron Washington: It’s incredibly hard.

That’s the best scene in “Moneyball,” and while if it’s not 100% true to how it all went down in real life — my guess is that Billy Beane knows that playing first base is hard — the truth underlying that scene is that Ron Washington knows what he’s doing with defense.

Also, Ron Washington is currently unemployed and his old team, the A’s, are playing godawful defense. Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that these two things may go together, and that the Athletics are considering hiring Washington, who was their longtime infield coach.

There currently isn’t an opening on the A’s staff, so it may be more of a coordinator position. But really, the A’s could use all the help they can get. And Washington — who lamented his inability to find his way back into the game after resigning as the Rangers’ manager last season — would likely jump at the opportunity.

The Cubs send Kyle Schwarber to the minors

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Kyle Schwarber broke into the bigs in 2015 with a big bat. After missing almost all of the last season with an injury, he reemerged as a postseason hero, posting a .971 OPS in the World Series. As 2017 began he was supposed to be one of the key parts of a potent Cubs offense.

Then the baseball games actually started and he has hit a mere .171/.295/.378. Indeed, he has the lowest batting average among qualified MLB hitters in 2017. Given that he has very little if any defensive value, he has been a significant drag on the Cubs, who are just a single game over .500.

Now this:

The Cubs are also putting Jason Heyward on the disabled list, so the outfield is a bit of a mess these days. Lucky for them, they’re only trailing the Brewers by a game and a half.

The A’s designate Stephen Vogt for assignment

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A surprising move out of Oakland: the Athletics have designated catcher Stephen Vogt for assignment.

Vogt is suffering through a bad season at the plate, hitting .217/.287/.357, so on the basis of pure performance it’s understandable that the A’s may want to part ways with the 32-year-old former All-Star. That said, Vogt is considered to be a leader in the Oakland clubhouse and is one of the last players remaining from the A’s 2013-14 playoff teams.

Catcher Bruce Maxwell has been recalled from Triple-A to take Vogt’s place on the roster. Main catching duties will belong to Josh Phegley.