Matsui sits again against a right-hander, frustrations mounting

In for Joe Stiglich today, who’s getting an early jump on Boston …

Frustations are building up for the A’s high-profile designated hitter acquisition Hideki Matsui. For starters, he hasn’t been designated the past two days to be in the lineup against his old team, the New York Yankees, even though the Yanks have sent back-to-back right-handed pitchers to the mound, Freddy Garcia on Tuesday night and A.J. Burnett Wednesday afternoon. Matsui went 0-for-3 Monday, dropping his average in May to .197, and he is hitting just .222 with 3 homers and 19 RBIs for the season.

So why isn’t he in the lineup? Bob Geren made it plain and simple: He has better options right now. David DeJesus took two players’ spots Wednesday — he was in Matsui’s DH role and he also was hitting second in Daric Barton’s spot. Barton also got a second consecutive day on the bench.

“I think he’s struggling a little bit right now and we’ve got a couple of other guys swinging the bat pretty good, so I’m just putting some other guys in,” Geren said. “I fully expect him to be fine and contribute and have a fine second half.”
Geren is keeping the faith that Matsui eventually will respond.
“Everybody has hot and cold spells,” he said. “I fully expect him to be fine. I’ll get him back in there and I believe he’ll to have a good year for us, I really do. But right now, I’m kind of looking at it day-to-day and we’ve got so many guys who deserve playing time and he understands that. He’s been great about it, a real professional.”
Matsui doesn’t argue Geren’s position, but maintained that it’s going to be challenging to work through his slump if he’s not in the lineup. Does it hurt not to be playing against his old teammates? 
“Regardless of whether it’s your former teammates or not, the desire for any player is to be able to play every day,” Matsui said through interpreter Roger Kahlon. “Obviously, realistically, I haven’t been contributing, so it’s a bit disappointing not to be out there.”

Matsui said he’s been in these kinds of slumps before. To wit, he hit under under .184 for Angels last year in May but responded to finish the season hitting .274 with 21 home runs. At this point last year, he had 7 homers along with 27 RBIs. It could be more difficult this year, however, because of the interleague situation and Oakland’s apparent decision not to play him in the outfield. Matsui only pinch-hit when the A’s played in San Francisco. The A’s still have a six-game National League road trip coming up at the end of the month.

 Matsui, who until the past two seasons was never known as a slow starter, said flatly it will be difficult to overcome his hitting troubles if he doesn’t play.

“Obviously, not being able to play is kind of a difficult situation where in order to get out of a slump, you have to play,” he said. “But if you’re not playing, then it’s hard to get out of it. It’s one of those Catch-22 situations.”

Told of Geren’s confidence he will come out of his slump, he said, “I’d like to believe so, too, but in order for the results to come you have to play.”

Matsui was asked if he thought if a continued lack of production might jeopardize his place on the roster.

“As far as the decision of staying on the team, that’s not really my decision,” he said. “But as far as results, that applies to any player, and in order to play in this league, you have to be productive.”

Here are the lineups:

A’s: CF Crisp, DH DeJesus, 1B Jackson, LF Willingham, RF Sweeney, C Suzuki, 2B Ellis, 3B Kouzmanoff, SS Pennington. P Gonzalez

Yankees: SS Jeter, CF Granderson, 1B Teixeira, DH Rodriguez, 2B Cano, RF Swisher, C Martin, LF Jones, 3B Nunez. P Burnett





Carl Steward

  • wesley strzegowski

    I see the minor league offense is back. Matsui is over paid and has lost his skills. Time to let him go and bring up Carter.

    Barton had his chance and he is not going to turn it around this year. A first baseman with 0 hr in 56 games. It’s time to shake up this minor league offense and get players with offense skills.

  • wesley strzegowski

    By the way…time to hire a new manager with passion and a fire to win.

  • J Canseco

    Yet another example of Geren being completely out of touch with his clubhouse.

    This team is criminally boring and horrible.

  • Go A’s

    Chris Carter? no thanks. Carter has not earned a spot on the A’s roster yet (.187 MLB BA, horrible defensive skills) The A’s are better off starting Conor Jackson at 1B.

  • Marc

    I’m glad Brett Wallace is batting .316 with Houston. Beane loves getting great prospects and then giving up on them to early(Carlos Gonzalez). It isn’t even fun to watch the A’s anymore….I can handle losing to an extent, but to watch this crappy offense is too much.

  • Jeremy

    The problem is SOMEone has to sit out of Crisp, Dejesus, Willingham, Sweeney, and Matsui and right now Hideki has the least case of anyone for PT. The other four have been the four most productive hitters on a team desperate for any kind of offense, and also happen to all be better defenders than Hideki.

    The only option to get them all in is to play Willingham at 1st. I am 100% open to that idea, especially vs RHP.

    The good news is we’ve heard Hideki, Sweeney, Jackson, and DDJ all say something in the media about wanting to play every day so at least they’re chomping at the bit. The bad news is it’s only June 1st and still Geren is having trouble finding a way to get everyone comfortable in a role.

  • wesley strzegowski

    Marc… I’m pulling for Cleveland now. No more A’s for me. @ 70 years old, I have earned the right to support up and coming young teams.

    Marc the A’s will drive you nuts this year

    Jose you were one of my favorite players. I respect you for being a whistle blower about players taking steroids.

  • Marc

    I am so pissed about the situation. Read Monte Poole’s article about the A’s ownership being the 4th RICHEST ownership in baseball, WEALTHIER than the REDSOX! And this is the crap the put in the lineup??? It sickens me. I would love to have a civil sit down with the ownership and have them look me in the eye and explain themselves on so many fronts. I am not stupid, they are trying to completely dissolve this once proud fan base so they can move the team! They need to be accountable and the media needs to keep attacking them and expose their motives…………

  • wesley strzegowski

    Marc…interesting point of view. Starting to make sense to me…put a minor league offense and a good pitching staff together and frustrate the fans so they do not care anymore. That’s me right now. Don’t care about this team anymore. it’s working !!!

  • Stan

    Who needs Matsui when your losing? Is thats Geren’s reasoning?..hee.