The Oakland A’s have been a frustrating team to watch through the first month of the season, as the offense struggled in April to find ways to help support a very talented starting rotation. Oakland took three of four against the Rangers, and is off to a solid start in May, but only time will tell if Oakland’s offense will remain consistent.
For most of the A’s hitters, consistency has been an area of concern.
If the team is going to keep up with the Rangers and Angels in the American League West this season, the offense will have to find some level of consistency. The pitching staff leads the majors in ERA (2.66), but the offense has failed to carry its load of responsibility.
Billy Beane and the A’s front office made several acquisitions this offseason to improve the lineup, but even with the additions of Hideki Matsui, Josh Willingham, and David DeJesus, the A’s offense is a cause for concern.
3B Kevin Kouzmanoff is one player on the A’s roster many should be worried about. The A’s are a team that needs to score runs, and I’m not sure the A’s front office can be too patient with Kouzmanoff while other players like Andy LaRoche and Connor Jackson are swinging the bat well.
LaRoche started at third-base for the second consecutive game on Monday, while Kouzmanoff rode the bench. The A’s, for whatever reason, still view Kouzmanoff as their starting third-baseman, however.
In 25 games this season, the 29-year old Kouzmanoff is hitting .208/.247/.338 with two homers and 9 RBIs. He’s been a slow starter throughout his career, but Kouzmanoff’s stats are not encouraging, and certainly not deserving of the type of job security he’s been given.
LaRoche, meanwhile, has been pretty solid for the A’s. He was picked up this past offseason as a replacement for Adam Rosales, who is still recovering from surgery, and so far the deal has paid off. He’s collected 14 hits in his 41 at-bats this season (.341), and five of those hits have been doubles.
Jackson has also performed well for Oakland this year. In 19 games this season, Jackson has gone deep once, while batting .274/.348/.403.
The A’s are a team that needs to find offensive production, and with other options like LaRoche and Jackson producing, guys like Kouzmanoff may find a new home on the bench. If Kouzmanoff’s troubles don’t improve this month, I’m not sure if he’ll continue to be the A’s starting third-baseman.