Just watched Melky Cabrera hit his walk-off homer to beat the A’s 9-7 in 14 innings and cap a 1-4 road trip, and one of our co-workers muttered disgustedly about how the A’s have only four homers as a team trough the season’s first 14 games. Which incidentally leads to our favorite phrase — “on pace for” — and in this case, the A’s are on pace to hit 46 home runs (maybe they should give their old buddy Jose Canseco a call).
I decided to do a quick bit of research. The A’s have team totals of 576 plate appearances and 513 at-bats. Last year, 148 players totaled the 502 plate appearances that are needed to qualify for the batting title. Of those, only five — the Brewers’ Jason Kendall, the Angels’ Chone Figgins, the Rockies’ Willy Taveras, the Cubs’ Ryan Theriot and the Braves’ Gregor Blanco — hit four home runs or fewer. Of those five, only Kendall and Theriot had as many plate appearances as the A’s have made as a team this year.
(Incidentally, the Phillies’ Ryan Howard alone hit more than the 46 the A’s are projected to hit this season).
In other words, a lineup that has been upgraded with Matt Holliday (no homers in an A’s uniform, spring training included), Jason Giambi (the Giam-bozo, so far), Nomar Garciaparra (or should I say No-More Garciaparra) and Orlando Cabrera has basically been a lineup full of Jason Kendall’s. No need to tell A’s fans how feeble that looks.