The Oakland Athletics, who are currently two games behind the Texas Rangers in the standings, have a distinct problem in the power department. The A’s have Eric Chavez penciled in at the everyday DH spot (although he rarely plays against lefties), and Jake Fox as his backup. Chavez, who is coming off multiple surgeries, is hitting just .247/.298/.355 this season with just one home run and 9 RBIs. Fox, who came to Oakland via trade with the Chicago Cubs this past offseason, is hitting .230/.284/.344 with one home run and 8 RBIs.
Chavez, who has been playing well this month (.320/.357/.480, 1 HR, 3 RBI), probably has the rest of the month to start turning things around offensively. It’s hard to imagine the A’s sticking with a DH who has only one homer in 93 at-bats.
The A’s only consistent power hitter over the last three years, is still down in the minor leagues. Jack Cust, who belted 22 homers last season has hit a total of 84 homers in his three years with the A’s. Despite his power numbers, however, Cust is somewhat of a liability. Cust strikes way too much, and his overall numbers have been on the decline.
But, in this case, the A’s are essentially wasting Cust’s ability to hit for power. Cust, who is currently with Triple-A Sacramento, is hitting .286/.460/.467 with 4 homers and 19 RBI’s through 32 games. And with injured stars like Kurt Suzuki, Justin Duchscherer and Coco Crips nearing return, it’s not crazy to think that the A’s will only get better as the season rolls on. As much as I dislike Cust as a player, the A’s could really use his bat in the lineup.
In the meantime, however, the A’s will continue to roll with Chavez and Fox.