Opportunity Arises For A's Marco Scutaro

Some could say the A's second base situation is cursed as of late. With starter Mark Ellis being lost for the season due to a shoulder injury, and backup Frank Menechino going down with a freak calf injury, the future was looking rather bleak at second base for the green and gold. However, during spring training, an off season waiver pickup, who initially thought he had no chance of making the roster elevated his game to a whole new level.

This mans name is Marco Scutaro, and you can see him giving it his all every day at second base for your Oakland Athletics. Sporting the number 49, Scutaro the 5'10 Venezuela native has kept his name in the starting lineup day in and day out with his impressive defensive plays, and his hot bat. He is currently holding up the second half of the A's lineup, batting over .300 and filling the defensive void left by Mark Ellis. On the defensive side of the spectrum he and his double play partner, Bobby Crosby are currently early favorites for Web Gem of the year. They teamed up for an amazing put out in which Scutaro made a sliding grab and then tossed the ball to Crosby with his glove hand. Crosby then caught the ball barehanded, tagged second for the first out, and then launched the ball to first to barely beat the runner.

Marco Scutaro was born 10/30/1975. He is currently 28 yrs old, and graduated from Fredrico Quiroz High School in Venezuela. As a child his parents originally wanted him to pursue his talents in soccer. However, his baseball abilities were a bit more impressive. In the MLB's offseason he spends his time playing for the Caracas team in his homeland of Venezuela. The team in Caracas is known as the most popular team in the country. This winter Scutaro took home the leagues' batting title, hitting for a .359 average. That performance seemed to carry over into the spring, where Scutaro hit .291 with 4 home runs and 14 RBI in 25 games. It was this strong performance that won him the starting second base job in Oakland, after injuries plagued the normal big league players.

Scutaro was claimed off waivers by the A's in October of 2003 from the Mets AAA affiliate. The A's were initially impressed with his consistancy and his infield versatility. Scutaro is able to play second base, third base, and shortstop. During his time in AAA, Scutaro made a name for himself in Norfolk, where he won the Doubleday award, recognizing him as the teams top player. Other major accomplishments in Scutaro's career include winning the 2001 team most valuable player award with his AAA club in Indianapolis. He was also honored by making the Topps AAA post season All Star team, and appeared in a AAA All Star Game. Scutaro recorded his first hit at the MLB level July 22nd of 2002, just one day after his big league debut. It was a game winning triple off of Expos starting pitcher, Tomo Ohka.

Look for Scutaro to be a mainstay on the A's roster as long as he continues his strong performance. His patient approach at the plate continues to get him on base, and he has shown some impressive range in the field. When veteran infielder Mark McLemore returns from his knee injury, expect struggling utilityman Frank Menechino to get the bump down to AAA ,with Scutaro staying with the big league club and remaining their starter. McLemore will probably fill in on occasion for Crosby or Scutaro should they start feeling the wear and tear of the grind that is the baseball season.

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