A quick glance at the Oakland Athletics’ offensive rankings in major-league baseball shows the honest truth:
- 21st in on-base percentage (.310)
- 22nd in batting average (.242)
- 24th in runs scored (80)
- 26th in slugging percentage (.354)
Now consider if those averages above represented a player, at nearly any position on the diamond. A hitter with that line (.242/.310/.354) would be evaluated as a less-than-mediocre hitter who would need to be playing excellent defense to justify his presence in the offensive lineup.
Another brief glimpse at some defensive rankings explain some more realities:
- 27th in unearned runs (14)
- 29th in total errors (21)
- 29th in fielding percentage (.975)
So much for that possibility that the average A’s hitter is in the lineup simply because of his glove. Oakland has one of the worst defenses in the major leagues right now.
Thus, the A’s have a team with bad hitters and even poorer defenders.
Explain again why these men have jobs that pay them an obscene amount of money? If they were teachers or stockbrokers, their performance would warrant a pink slip in about two seconds.
Luckily, these hitters and defenders have some really great co-workers that continue to provide them shelter from the real world — as these pitching rankings demonstrate:
- 1st in ERA (2.46)
- 2nd in baserunners allowed per inning (1.16)
- 3rd in batting average against (.226)
Getting by with a little help from your friends is very nice work if you can get it, but the A’s hitters should be ashamed of themselves. Despite scoring a few runs on Saturday and Sunday to split a four-game road series with the Seattle Mariners, Oakland’s offense still isn’t even close to pulling its own weight toward the team’s .500 record on the year.
Any decent offense combined with this pitching staff would have the team with at least four or five more wins right now.
Yet the only acquisition the organization has made to impact the major-league club was a deal for yet another left-handed pitcher last week (Toronto’s David Purcey).
The team now has five left-handed relief pitchers on the major-league roster.
That’s not going to help them win any ballgames, is it? Really?
It’s time for the A’s to bring up Chris Carter, for starters, from Triple-A Sacramento. He can’t do any worse than the lousy hitters currently on the major-league roster, and he needs time at the top level in order to grow and dominate like he can.
As the minor-league leaders in total bases in both 2008 and 2009, he’s wasting away right now while the big club flails away like low-level scrubs. As soon as his current thumb injury heals, Carter really should be elevated to MLB status for good — and for the better of every party involved.
But remaining passive as this team continues to waste opportunity just doesn’t work for anyone, including the players.