The Oakland A’s spent a majority of this offseason devoted to upgrading their offense. Safe to say, on paper at least, the A’s will enter the 2011 season a much improved team offensively.
Newly acquired outfielders David DeJesus and Josh Willingham are nice additions, as both will presumably start along side Coco Crisp in Oakland’s outfield.
But it’s Hideki Matsui, the A’s newest designated-hitter, who should provide most of the thunder in the lineup this season. Last year with the Angels, Matsui hit 21 HR and collected 84 RBIs while batting .274.
If his knees hold up, Matsui should have no problem this year providing the A’s with some much needed pop in the middle of the lineup.
Matsui arrived at the A’s minor-league facility this past weekend, and was greeted by numerous Japanese reporters. Even at 36, Matsui still remains a popular figure to his home country. Even A’s teammates wanted a piece of Matsui, as Dallas Braden presented Matsui with an inflatable Godzilla decked out in A’s attire, according to the team’s official site.
The A’s are a young team, and can definitely benefit from having a leader like Matsui in the clubhouse. And while there’s still a language barrier, Matsui and his new teammates should get along just fine this season.