Oakland A’s on verge of making American League history
By David Hill
Batting average may not matter as much these days, but it still draws a bit of attention. That is especially the case as it pertains to the Oakland A’s potentially making a mark in the history books.
The A’s have a .214 batting average through their 112 games entering Friday, the worst mark in the American League. That mark is also the second worst in AL history, with only the .210 batting average produced by the 1910 White Sox lower.
Oakland A’s struggles not overly surprising
No one should be surprised that the A’s have struggled offensively. They refused to sign anyone of note and traded away two of their better hitters in an effort to slash payroll as far down as they could. At the same time, they did not have anything in the upper minors that would have been ready to take their place.
Yes, the A’s still have some viable major league caliber bats on their roster. Sean Murphy, Ramon Laureano, and Seth Brown all have an OPS+ over 100. However, Murphy also leads the A’s with a .242 batting average. While that is solid enough for a catcher, it is not anything close to what most teams have as their leader.
The A’s bench has also been problematic. Of the 26 players that have had a plate appearance for the A’s this season, 12 have batting averages under .200. Three of them are still on the active roster. Of course, giving a combined 549 plate appearances to Kevin Smith, Cristian Pache, and Jed Lowrie did not help the overall results at all.
It is possible that the A’s move even closer to those White Sox. They are going to throw everything against the wall possible in hopes that some of these players stick. In the meantime, the A’s batting average is likely to suffer even more, bringing them ever closer to the 1910 White Sox.
The Oakland A’s are challenging the 1910 Chicago White Sox for the worst batting average in AL history. It is, truly, a race to the bottom.