Chili Davis is Shipping Up to Boston; Time for a New Offensive Approach?


According to Susan Slusser, Chili Davis has become the Boston Red Sox new hitting coach. This loss for Oakland comes just days after Chip Hale accepted the job to become the next manager for the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Slusser then reported a candidate that the Athletics could be interested in as a replacement.

Dave Hansen (Slusser later admitted to the spelling mistake) is a preliminary candidate in the search, but Hansen was just a career .260 hitter, with little in the way of power numbers over parts of 15 seasons.

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The bigger question for the Athletics is whether or not the loss of Davis will signify a change in offensive approach for 2015. As we have seen in the playoffs this year, pitching (which the A’s arguably have), defense, and a little bit of luck can help a team reach the World Series. Teams aren’t handed luck, they have to earn it. You earn it by putting the ball in play.

In 2014, the A’s struck out 1,104 times in 5,545 at-bats, or roughly one in five ABs.

On top of that, the A’s ranked 21st in baseball in team batting average, at .244. None of the teams ranked below them reached the playoffs, and the rest of the playoff participants ranked in the top 14. In other words, the A’s were the anomaly in 2014, largely due to their ability to hit home runs (146, 13th) and get on base (.320, 10th).

With the departure of Chili Davis, the A’s should look at adding a coach that can help A’s hitters attack all fields, relying on gap-to-gap hitting, rather than mammoth home run power. Keeping the carousel moving is the best way to score runs. Sure, a bloop and a blast gives immediate satisfaction, but in the postseason this method isn’t producing series wins.

The A’s need to try something new. A new philosophy. Some new pieces. Hopefully, these produce a new outcome.