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Hideki Matsui might play in the outfield next week

Jun 17, 2011, 10:01 AM EDT

Kansas City Royals v Oakland Athletics Getty Images

Avert your eyes, people. It sounds like Hideki Matsui may play in the outfield next week.

And as new A’s skipper Bob Melvin told Jane Lee and Tom Green of, the main objective here isn’t just to make everyone feel really uncomfortable, but to keep Matsui in the lineup during interleague play.

“I want to keep him current and I want to keep him getting current at-bats and consistent at-bats because he’s done very well to this point,” Melvin said. “There’s a good chance you could see him get a start in the outfield, maybe once a series, then the other games doing the pinch-hitting thing. I’ve talked to him about it and he’s comfortable with it.”

The only catch is that if Matsui does make a start or two against the Mets and Phillies next week, it will be in right field, not his customary left field. Matsui has only played seven games in right field during his major league career and hasn’t made an appearance there since 2008 as a member of the Yankees.

  1. Alex K - Jun 17, 2011 at 11:03 AM

    *I’m stealing this from yankeesfanlen*

    You didn’t have to shorten the headline. It should read “Hideki Matsui might play in the outfield next week, atrociously.

  2. APBA Guy - Jun 17, 2011 at 11:28 AM

    Of course, the A’s have a potentially excellent defensive outfield they can play every day, with Sweeney, DeJesus, and Crisp. Their respective OPS’ are .699, .680, and .676. Matsui at .639 is actually a downgrade both offensively and defensively. So why do this?

    Real answer: they are giving Matsui his last chance, basically saying we’ll play you in the field every day to see if that works (ie, gets you to start hitting) because if you don’t, there’s the door.

    Unfortunate. He’s a classy guy, always has been, but the bat speed just isn’t there anymore.

    • dwishinsky - Jun 17, 2011 at 11:41 AM

      Since Melvin’s been around he’s been hitting. So the OPS you bring up largely shows what Matsui in a bizarre and poorly utilized P/T role does. I agree he isn’t the ballplayer he was before but by the same token he also isn’t the ballplayer we’ve seen this year.

    • deathmonkey41 - Jun 17, 2011 at 3:38 PM

      “but the bat speed just isn’t there anymore”

      Wait, I thought bat speed came back as your reached your mid- 30’s? Is that not how it normally works?

  3. royalsfaninfargo - Jun 17, 2011 at 1:13 PM

    Matsui in the outfield? Ouch! Maybe his highlights should be included in the DVD release of “Moneyball”. I kid, I kid!

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