Before the season, if someone had told me the A’s would have more wins than the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim via Orange County, I would have called them insane.
But amazingly, that’s the case. The A’s boast an 11-13 record while having the worst offense in the American League.
Through 24 games, the A’s have scored just 73 runs, or 3.04 runs per game. The league average is 4.15 runs per game. Only the Pirates’ offense is less intimidating to opponents.
The A’s have the worst team batting average in the majors, sporting an inept .209 average.
One of the key tenets of Moneyball is on-base percentage. The A’s have a major league-worst .272 OBP. Billy Beane must be ripping his hair out.
There aren’t many bright spots in the A’s lineup. Guys that were expected to have big years struggled throughout April.
Jemile Weeks, who hit over .300 last season, hasn’t been the spark plug the A’s need. He has an OBP of just .253 and only has four stolen bases in 22 games. More is needed — and expected — from of a leadoff hitter.
$14 million man Coco Crisp, unhappy with his move from center field to left field, compiled the worst opening month numbers of his career.
The A’s are getting no production either from their corner infielders. First baseman Daric Barton is continuing his streak of awful seasons, hitting .184 with just a single RBI in 49 at-bats. I have no idea why the A’s keep giving him chance after chance. It’s time to cut the cord and move on.
There has been a revolving door at third base ever since Scott Sizemore suffered a season-ending knee injury at the beginning of spring training. The A’s lack of organizational depth is baffling.
Eric Sogard, Josh Donaldson and Luke Hughes have combined to hit just .122 with two home runs and six RBI. The A’s will plug recently-signed Brandon Inge in at third and hope for the best.
Maybe instead of bringing back all those outfielders in offseason trades, Beane should have looked for a third base prospect.
The only two bats worth watching right now are the two main offseason acquisitions, Yoenis Cespedes and Josh Reddick.
Cespedes, the Cuban defector, is still incredibly raw, but he’s already shown lots of potential. He leads the team in home runs (5) and RBI (19), but also leads the team in strikeouts (23).
Reddick, the key piece in the Andrew Bailey trade, is leading the team with a measly .267 batting average. Even he only has six RBI. That has a lot to do with the fact that Weeks, Crisp — and whomever else Bob Melvin pencils in as the No. 2 hitter — are not getting on base.
The A’s probably won’t overreact to one month’s numbers, but they need to think about shaking things up.
The A’s brought top prospect Michael Taylor to Baltimore in case Coco Crisp couldn’t go. But it looks like they may send him back down. They should keep him up here and stick him in left field. He’s hitting .360 for the Triple-A Sacramento Rivercats.
Catcher Derek Norris, one of the players that came over the Gio Gonzalez trade, is hitting .329 for the Rivercats. I know A’s fans love Kurt Suzuki, but he’s likely to be traded this summer. The A’s should bring Norris up and let him learn from Suzuki while Suzuki is still wearing the green and gold.
The A’s have flirted with Chris Carter a few times over the last few seasons and he hasn’t impressed. But his raw power is appeal. Just about anyone is a better option at first base than Barton.
If the A’s can afford it, they need to fuel up the puddle jumper and get Taylor, Norris and Carter to Boston right now. They might actually be able to contend for that last wild card spot if they had a league-average offense.