The re-addition of Daric Barton to the Athletics 25-man roster, in light of the latest Josh Reddick injury has elicited many responses for the always vocal Oakland fan base. Keeping an eye to Twitter, I’ve noticed what one would call a trend from the Athletics faithful. Initial feelings of confusion and anger, transpired into something else entirely after Barton’s contributions during Monday’s night game.
Suddenly a fantastic spectrum of tongue and cheek reactions, as well as a handful of honest to goodness tweets of optimism began to flood my timeline. There was Daric Barton, scourge of the Athletics franchise suddenly earning a modicum of respect for his surprising offensive production. Tuesday’s weather abbreviated game may not have yielded anything greater than one of his patented walks, but the longest tenured player of the Athletics organization appears for the moment to be fully entrenched as Oakland’s starting first baseman against right-handed pitching, for better or worse.
Unless Oakland acquires some sort of offensive upgrade (Kendrys Morales) that would sorely cut into his playing time, it’s expected that Barton will play a large role during the Athletics final playoff run. Now with that in mind, we have questions to ask ourselves.
Can we forget about the string of backwards K’s and swimming pool mishaps? Can we embrace the beauty of Barton saving countless throwing errors by breaking out into a splits that would make Jean-Claude Van Damme jealous? Can we finally learn to appreciate the coveted quality of excellent plate discipline?
Barton’s history in Oakland may be considered tumultuous at best. In fact, aside from his excellent 5.4 WAR season in 2010, he’s been largely a bust. Somewhat obvious with his disappointment in his treatment at the hands of Athletics management, Barton quietly accumulated a fine 2013 in Triple-A posting a .297/.423/.430 batting line in 110 games. Now he’s back, and with the team in the heat of a the playoff race all eyes are on him. A chance for vindication is his for the taking, hopefully he’s learned not to let it go by.