One of Oakland’s areas of need is, without a doubt, help over at third base. The Athletics got a pleasant surprise this past season in 3B Scott Sizemore, but while the A’s front office remains high on Sizemore’s abilities, he hardly looks to be Oakland’s everyday third baseman for the future.
The A’s really haven’t had much depth over at third base, and onceEric Chavezstopped producing, the A’s have been in really poor shape at the hot-corner.3B Kevin Kouzmanoff arrived in 2010 as an answer, at least, initially, to Oakland’s problems at third.
After producing on a rather consistent and solid level for the San Diego Padres, Kouzmanoff didn’t exactly tear it up in Oakland during his first year with the team. After hitting .255/.302/.420 with 18 HR and 88 RBIs with the Padres in ’09, Kouzmanoff’s numbers took quite a dip with the A’s. Kouzmanoff appeared in 143 games during the 2010 season, hitting just .247/.283/.396 with 16 HR and 71 RBIs.
He was supposed to be the answer for Oakland’s third base problem, but he didn’t exactly wow anyone with his first year in Oakland. This year was no different. The veteran player appeared in just 46 games with the A’s this year, hitting just .221/.262/.353 with four home runs and 17 RBIs. His poor offensive showing, coupled with the fact that his defense slipped a bit as well, prompted the A’s to burry Kouzmanoff deep within its Triple-A affiliate team.
Oakland eventually traded Kouzmanoff to the Rockies.
By late May, the A’s turned their attention to Tigers’ 2B Scott Sizemore. Sizemore, upon arriving in Oakland, was prompted to shift over to the hot-corner, where he surprised a few people. His transition, while not perfect, was actually quite impressive. Oakland’s front office is seemingly still impressed with Sizemore’s potential at third, and may give the new arrival a shot this year as the team’s new starting third baseman.
While he didn’t put up spectacular numbers, Sizemore did provide a surprising amount of pop this year. In 93 games this year with Oakland, Sizemore posted a .245/.342/.399 slash line with 11 HR and 56 RBIs. His defense, while shaky, wasn’t too terrible, and the A’s are pretty satisfied with Sizemore’s overall transition from second to third.
The A’s like Sizemore and are hoping with a little more experience at third base that he’ll be able to help ease the pain at the hot corner. It’s a position the A’s have been lacking, but hopefully Sizemore buys some time for the A’s while they continue their search for their future third baseman.