After watching an anemic offense struggle through the 2008 season, the A’s decided to make some upgrades to add a little thump to their line-up. They traded for Matt Holliday, then went out and signed Jason Giambi, Orlando Cabrera, and Nomar Garciaparra. The new pieces gave them balance and depth to their line-up, at least on paper.
So far, it hasn’t worked. At all.
Holliday hsan’t quieted any of the concerns about how well he would hit away from Coors Field. He’s still the aggressive hitter he’s always been, but the ball just isn’t flying off the bat right now. A .109 ISO is not what the A’s had in mind. He’s certainly better than this, and the bat will come around, but Oakland needs it to happen sooner than later.
Holliday has looked like Babe Ruth compared to the three free agents the A’s signed, however. Giambi has a .270 wOBA, and he is yet to hit his first home run in his second tour of duty with the A’s. Cabrera is hitting .211/.277/.246 – even though they signed him for his defense, they weren’t expecting Rey Ordonez production at the plate. Nomar has been the worst of the bunch at .179/.200/.286, and as always, nagging injuries have kept him from being able to take the field regularly.
There’s no question that all four of these hitters will produce at higher levels than they have so far. However, the A’s need the corporate slump to end ASAP. They can’t win if they’re not scoring any runs, and the new guys are the ones who are supposed to be providing the thump.
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