The Oakland A’s offense has not been terribly good this season, but for most of April the team got fast starts from players like Daric Barton, Cliff Pennington and Adam Rosales. Barton is currently hitting a solid .280/.397/.442 with 4 home runs and 22 RBIs. For the most part, the A’s are getting a solid season out of Barton and that’s definitely a good news. Barton struggled in the past two seasons, but this season he’s been a lot more patient at the plate (38 walks in 56 games). Barton’s success, however, has been one of the few success stories for Oakland’s offense this year.
Pennington, who batted .250/.333/.450 with 3 home runs and 16 RBIs in April, is batting just .204/.287/.312 this season. Pennington, who competed against Rosales in spring training for the starting shortstop role, has been in a tremendous slump in his past 10 games (.031 batting average). Last month in May, Pennington hit .175/.257/.216 with just 2 RBIs. In comparison, Rosales, who filled in for Mark Ellis at second-base, hit .253/.330/.352 with 2 homers and 9 RBIS in May. With Ellis back in the lineup, however, Rosales finds himself in a utility role for Oakland.
Rosales is currently hitting .272/.331/.386 with 4 home runs and 19 RBIs on the season. While there are some questions surrounding Rosales’ defensive capabilities (most notably his range), his success this season at the plate should qualify him as the new starting shortstop for Oakland. I’ve never been high on Pennington, but I do give him all the credit in the world for his early success and contributions. The A’s, however, need more from their offense. The team currently trails Texas by one game, and the Angels (who are Morales-less) are creeping right behind. The A’s pitching staff was dealt another blow with Anderson’s move to the DL, so Oakland will need more offensive production if they are to stick around in the west.
The A’s should give Rosales a chance at shortstop, but I do think the team will give Pennington some more time to work his way out of his slump. Either way, the A’s will need more production from their shortstop.