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3% Through So Push the Panic Button

April 7, 2011

The A’s are off to a 1-4 start, or in other words through the first three percent of the season, the A’s are winning only 20% of their games. That means they’re on pace to have the worst season in history, Major League Baseball’s or the A’s. Imagine if you were a Red Sox fan right now, 0-5, destined to go 0-162. The hilarity behind that assumption in reality is no different than the assumption that the A’s will somehow only win 20% of their games. Baseball is a very long season, and the 1-4 start while upsetting is not a deal breaker on an entire year. You don’t pick up your toys and go home after 3% of the year. However, sports writers know that fans eat this crap up, enter: Matthew Pouliot of NBCSports HardballTalk.

Now even his glove is letting him down: Kevin Kouzmanoff committed his fourth error in four games Tuesday, eclipsing his total from 2009 when he set a record for fielding percentage by a third baseman with three errors in 311 chances.

But while that’s probably a fluke, Kouzmanoff’s atrocious hitting likely isn’t.  He’s opened this season at .267/.250/.333 with one RBI in four games. In 147 games since joining the A’s, he’s hit .247/.282/.394 with a dreadful 99/24 K/BB ratio in 566 at-bats. He entered last year as Oakland’s cleanup hitter, only to get dropped steadily as the year went on. This season, he’s batting eighth.

The next move is to simply pull him from the lineup. After an excellent spring in which he hit .333/.388/.583 with four homers and 13 RBI in 60 at-bats, Andy LaRoche made his first start of the season last night. Playing shortstop, he went 2-for-3 with a double and an RBI. The A’s might as well give him a shot.”

This article really is quite laughable, let’s break it down for a second: Kouzmanoff’s hitting is likely not a fluke he postulates, well how can we not agree? After all the time of his writing it Kouzmanoff had already had fifteen at bats to prove himself. But realistically – and I have long been skeptical of Kouz with the stick – it does seem like through (a useless sample though I will run with it) his fifteen at bats he is taking way more pitches, and the stats back it up with him seeing an even four pitches per at bat this year to his 3.4 last year.

With respect to the look at how he has dropped in the lineup, realistically Kouzmanoff shouldn’t have been a number four hitter in the first place. That was more a testament to the A’s weak lineup that it was to Kouzmanoff’s quality. Had the A’s had who is in their lineup today last year Kouz wouldn’t have hit fourth either. At the time of this writing Pouliot was ready to hand over the job to Andy LaRoche who had three at-bats. Frankly if we’re making the argument that Kouz can’t hit, by looking at his past, how can we not say that that is even truer of LaRoche?

I suppose Pouliot is due to write his “Red Sox: Holes Galore Set to Get 2012 Amateur Draft #1 Pick” article. But to him and everyone else concerned over or elated with anyone’s starts: 3% is all that has been played, 97% is what is left to go.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. elmaquino permalink
    April 7, 2011 6:56 pm

    And Pujols will hit .182. And the Pirates will finish second. And Alex Gordon will be the ML hits leader. And TLR will continue to be pissed at small sample sizes…

    • April 7, 2011 7:56 pm

      I actually think Alex Gordon might’ve finally put it all together now that nothing is expected of him. But yes, you got the drift!

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