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Oakland’s Matt Outfield

If you have not caught an Oakland Athletics’ game lately, then seeing the names “Matt Watson” and “Matt Carson” in the box score might catch you off guard. By this point in the season, it should be no surprise that the A’s are rummaging through each and every trashed box with the words “outfield” marked. Since opening day, their outfield has been in a liquid state. Take a look at the starting outfield by the first game of every month for proof:

Opening day: Travis Buck/Rajai Davis/Ryan Sweeney
May 1: Eric Patterson/Davis/Gabe Gross (Sweeney’s platoon mate)
June 1/July 1: Gross/Davis/Sweeney
August 1: Watson/Davis/ Carson

The A’s have had a dozen different players start games in the outfield. That number is one more than the depleted Boston Red Sox have sent beyond the infield dirt. So who are these Matt fellows? Let’s start with Watson. For the sake of timeliness, here are each of the organizations Watson has been a part of since being drafted by the Montreal Expos in 1999:

New York Mets (twice)
Oakland Athletics (twice)
Toronto Blue Jays
Lancaster (Independent League team)

Watson actually did reach the majors with the Mets in 2003, racking up 25 plate appearances in September. Two years later he resurfaced with these very same Oakland A’s and now he’s back. As far as personal achievements go, I’m not sure how highly he cherishes breaking the 100 career plate appearances mark, but he broke it earlier this week, so congratulations to him on that and having an interesting choice in facial hair.

Carson’s story is less winding since Oakland is only the second organization he’s played with. Drafted by the New York Yankees out of BYU, he spent years intheir minor league system before joining Oakland prior to the 2009 season. Naturally, he made his major league debut last season and even hit a home run. He’s got one this year as well.

Honestly, neither is performing well enough to think they will ever be anything more than organizational soldiers called upon during lost seasons – which is why you’d never heard of them before. That’s not to diminish what they’ve accomplished, though, as only a select few amongst the world’s baseball players get to don a major league uniform, and even fewer for the amount of time these two will have if they can last the season .