The Oakland A’s decision to replace Matt Chapman with Jake Lamb is working out better than anyone could have expected.
When the Oakland A’s lost Matt Chapman for the season, it left a gaping hole in their lineup. Not only did the A’s need to replace his pop in the lineup, but they needed to find a way to make up for his brilliant defense at third. The signing of Jake Lamb as his potential replacement was not exactly what anyone had in mind, but the A’s options were limited.
As it turns out, this move was exactly what the A’s needed. Lamb has rediscovered his form from 2016 and 2017 with the A’s as he once again looks like a dangerous middle of the order bat. In his 19 plate appearances with Oakland, Lamb has seven hits, including two doubles and two homers, driving in five runs.
This is what the A’s had been hoping for. It is also a look back as to what Lamb had been – between 2016 and 2017, he had produced .248/.345/.498 batting line with 59 homers and 61 doubles in 1229 plate appearances. He was an All Star in that latter year, and appeared on his way to becoming a key part of the Diamondbacks lineup.
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However, injuries and his struggles at the plate when healthy caused Lamb to fall out of favor. He had produced a meager .199/.307/.330 batting line over 514 plate appearances since the start of 2018, with just 12 doubles and 17 homers before he was released by the Diamondbacks.
As bad as those numbers were, his nadir came prior to being let go. He had just five hits in 50 plate appearances with Arizona this year, with a double as his only extra base hit. Meanwhile, Lamb had five hits in his first 11 plate appearances for the A’s. It may be a small sample size, but Lamb is looking like himself once again.
Sometimes, it just takes a change of scenery. Changing teams can provide a clean slate, a fresh start for a struggling player. For Lamb, whose struggles had progressively worsened in Arizona, that fresh start seems to be all he needed.
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The Oakland A’s took a chance on Jake Lamb. So far, it has paid off better than anyone could have expected.