The Athletics made several attempts at trying to land 3B Adrian Beltre, but eventually fell short as Texas ended up signing the third-baseman to a six-year, $96 million deal. The A’s were left with Kevin Kouzmanoff as their starting third-baseman after missing out on Beltre.
Kouzmanoff was coming off a down year in 2010, hitting just .247/.283/.396 with 16 HR and 71 RBIs. The year before that, in 2009, Kouzmanoff hit .255/.302/.420 with 18 HR and 88 RBIs while with the Padres.
This season, Kouzmanoff has not gotten off to a good start. Through 14 games, Kouzmanoff has a .182/.188/.318 line with one homer and five RBIs. Defensively he’s even worse, as his four errors lead all active third-basemen.
The A’s were expecting some sort of rebound from Kouzmanoff, who had a decent spring, but for the most part Kouzmanoff has not looked good. It’s hard to imagine that Kouzmanoff will continue to play this poorly, but if he does, what does that mean about his status as a starter?
Oakland loves good defense, and high on-base percentage, but Kouzmanoff has neither of those at the moment. His defense is shaky, and his .188 on-base percentage is definitely not encouraging. The A’s need Kouzmanoff to be productive this season if they are to make a run at the Rangers this year in the AL West.
Offensively, the A’s have been rather inconsistent, but if they can find some level of consistency they definitely have the pitching to make a post-season run. Kouzmanoff’s offense will need to pick up, and his glove will need to be solid again in order for him to keep his starting role safe.
‘Cause it’s only a matter of time before those chants for “Kooouz” start becoming “Boo’s.”