The Athletics didn’t have one of the best offenses in MLB last season but from top to bottom, it still was dangerous, with several players who could burn the opposition with one swing of the bat.
A year later, with several middle-of-the-order bats gone due to trades or free agency, the A’s offense is off to a historically bad start to the 2022 season.
The A’s collected just four hits — two from Elvis Andrus — in their 3-1 loss to the Minnesota Twins at the Oakland Coliseum on Monday night, dropping their collective team batting average to .199.
Per the Associated Press’ Josh Dubon, the A’s (15-23) are the first team since the 1910 Chicago White Sox to have a team batting average under .200 after 38 games.
Last year, with Matt Chapman, Matt Olson, Starling Marte and Mark Canha in the middle of the lineup, the A’s hit a collective .238. The MLB low last season was .226 by the Seattle Mariners.
Additionally, runs have been hard to come by for the A’s, who have scored 123 runs this season, the sixth fewest in MLB.
First-year A’s manager Mark Kotsay acknowledged the struggles of his offense after the loss Monday while trying to find a few bright spots.
“Obviously, offensively we haven’t gotten the job done,” Kotsay told reporters. “But if you look at some of the individuals throughout the lineup that are, in my opinion progressing, the kid that stands out is [Cristian] Pache, [he] had another two good quality at-bats where he hit balls hard. Didn’t get the results. You look at Kevin Smith tonight, he had two quality at-bats. So we’re doing things that I see improvement in but we’re obviously not scoring runs.”
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The A’s have eight hitters with at least 80 at-bats this season and only four of them are hitting above .200 (Sheldon Neuse — .281, Chad Pinder — .253, Andrus — .231, Tony Kemp — .213). That’s not going to cut it.
The A’s pitching has held up its end of the bargain, posting a 3.57 ERA, good for 11th in all of baseball. But at some point, the offense has to pick up the pace.
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