Oakland A’s desperately miss Ramon Laureano

Jun 16, 2021; Oakland, California, USA; Oakland Athletics center fielder Ramon Laureano (22) returns to the dugout after making a catch to end the top of the fourth inning against the Los Angeles Angels at RingCentral Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 16, 2021; Oakland, California, USA; Oakland Athletics center fielder Ramon Laureano (22) returns to the dugout after making a catch to end the top of the fourth inning against the Los Angeles Angels at RingCentral Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports /
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Let us travel back in time to August 4. On that day, the Oakland A’s had improved their record to 61-48, sitting 4.5 games out of the AL West and had a firm grasp on one of the Wild Card berths. That 5-4 walk-off victory over the Padres began a seven game winning streak where the A’s appeared destined for another trek to the postseason.

August 4 was also notable for another reason. That was the last game that Ramon Laureano was in the lineup as he was suspended for 80 games due to failing a PED test. While his loss was clearly a major blow, it appeared as though the A’s would be able to overcome his absence in the wake of that winning streak.

Ramon Laureano the missing piece for Oakland A’s

However, even with that winning streak included, the A’s have struggled without Laureano in the lineup. They have gone 18-19 since Laureano was suspended, 12-19 since that winning streak. In that time, the A’s have gone from holding the first Wild Card spot to falling three games out of the playoffs.

It is understandable that the A’s would miss Laureano. He had produced a solid 112 OPS+ in his 378 plate appearances, hitting 14 homers and 21 doubles while stealing 12 bases. He was also a key part of their game plan defensively, saving eight runs in center before sliding over to right to accommodate Starling Marte.

But Laureano is missed for more than his production on the diamond. He was one of the leaders of the team, a fiery sparkplug who would battle until the very last out. That fire is something that the A’s have been missing over these past few weeks, especially as the losses have piled up.

That is something that the A’s need to get over. Laureano is not coming back this season due to his suspension and will not be able to be that spark the team needs. That may prove to be the difference between the A’s securing one of the playoff spots and just missing the postseason.

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The Oakland A’s desperately miss Ramon Laureano. His presence in the lineup, and his fiery leadership, have been a notable loss.

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