By Joe Stiglich
Tuesday, August 28th, 2012 at 9:48 pm in Uncategorized.
Count the number of first basemen the A’s had gone through in recent seasons just looking to get some production from the position. Dan Johnson, Jason Giambi, Nomar Garciaparra, Daric Barton, Conor Jackson, Brandon Allen, just to name a few …
It was looking equally hopeless early this season, although Kila Ka’aihue showed brief spurts of production before being designated for assignment June 6. But who would have thought Chris Carter and Brandon Moss would get promoted from Triple-A Sacramento in June and form a power-hitting platoon that put up numbers suitable for what a major league team should expect at first base? OK, so it hasn’t been much of a platoon lately. Carter, who has 12 home runs in 46 games, is getting the majority of starts at first right now. Moss played left field in Tuesday’s 7-0 victory over the Indians, and it was just his second start in the past eight games. But both players are producing. Together, they’ve combined for 26 homers and 59 RBIs despite spending the first two-plus months of the season in the minors.
“Now all of a sudden we’ve got a left/right matchup at first base and it’s been working really well,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. “Recently, Carter’s been getting the lion’s share of at-bats. But whenever we can mix Moss in there we feel great about it.”
Moss shows absolutely no resentment at spending more time on the bench lately. He and Carter have a great relationship, it seems.
“We talk about that all the time, how fun it is when we’re both in there,” Moss said. “We both have the same idea and approach. Obviously he can (homer) to a few more parts of the field than I can. But we have similar styles of hitting.”
That offers a glimpse into part of what is working so well for the A’s this season. They have several players in part-time roles, and these players are buying into their part-time roles. Melvin gets creative in finding ways to squeeze guys into the lineup to keep them engaged, and those players have a knack for producing when they do get their chances. When that’s the case, everyone feels like they’re a part of the winning formula, and it creates good chemistry, not that there’s any easy way to define “chemistry.” Some say that word is overrated in sports, but it sure seems to be serving the A’s well in 2012 …