It’s almost the end of May, and at 20-22, the A’s need more out of designated-hitter, Eric Chavez. Chavez, who is has stayed healthy so far this season, is batting just .234/.276/.333 with 1 home run and 10 RBIs. Chavez has made 31 starts as DH, and has made one appearance at first, and three appearances as pinch-hitter.
Going back to last year, the A’s gave Jason Giambi until mid-season before cutting the bait. So, it’s probable that Chavez has a couple more weeks to prove that he can be a consistent force in the everyday lineup. This month, Chavez is hitting .256/.277/.372, which is somewhat of an indication that he’s improving (to some degree, at least).
Jack Cust, meanwhile, is hitting .316/.409/.316, with 2 RBIs. It is difficult to imagine, however, the A’s sticking with Cust in LF for very much longer. With Coco Crisp and Mark Ellis coming back within the next couple of days, Cust could be moved elsewhere, possibly to DH. And with Adam Rosales playing pretty decent, I think the A’s will opt to work Ellis in slowly, possibly giving him time at DH. Basically, Chavez does not have much longer before the A’s decide to go back with Cust at the everyday DH spot.
Neither Chris Carter or Michael Taylor are ready at this point, but they are expected to be with the team later this year. If Chavez does not turn things around soon, and I mean soon, the former six-time gold glover, could ride the bench. As of now, though, Chavez will continue to receive his share of at-bats. Bob Geren, however, seems to use Chavez only against righties and still seems to insist that there’s no platoon forming yet at DH. Hmm…only time will tell.