FanPost

A Right Choice?: Billy Stacking Right-Handed Thumpers


It seems like Beane, after years of never having enough right-handed power, has gone to the other extreme. 

For ~2011-12, we have:

DH Carter

OF Taylor

OF Choice

C Suzuki

3B Kouzmanoff

SS Green

OF Jackson

All right-handed, and five of whom have been added in the past 2 years.

For left-handed bats, there's Barton and Cardenas. Switch-hitters, Crisp and Weeks. Max Stassi, while farther down the pipe, is another RH.

Seems like right-handed hitters are the value du jour for Beane. Even traded a lefty bat (Wallace) to get Taylor.

I wonder if Beane is onto something with righty bats. Are they going to be a hot commodity in a few years, and/or is lefty pitching going to be a sinister presence in the AL?

There's not really room for any lefty bats without some pretty significant changes, either:

C Suzuki

1B Barton

2B Cardenas/Weeks

SS Green/Weeks

3B Kouz/Cardenas

OF Taylor

OF Crisp/Choice/Davis

OF Sweeney/Jackson

DH Carter

It's a pretty darn good offense shaping up, looking a lot like the Rays or Phillies. And we've got the arms down (2nd-lowest ERA in the AL already as of 7/31/10, to only the Rays). But that lack of a lefty bat and a place for one seems like the only Achilles' Heel; there's even enough depth there to survive injury.

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What would do the trick in beautiful fashion would be a moderately slugging, left-handed 2B or SS. 

Otherwise, a jettison or two is in order. Kouz is a good player, but 3B would be a natural place to mine for a bigger, LH bat. Same goes for Sweeney

Barton's a player whose power I think would develop with better hitters behind him; even now, pitchers walk him constantly, so hed either be walked even more (and score on Carter/Taylor extra base hits) or get a ton of pitches to hit, which has worked well for late-blooming guys like Ludwick, Cano, Hart, and Werth. So that could be part of Beane's general plan, though it wouldn't keep a pitcher tough on righties from zapping the slugging right out of the team.

Will the A's be fine stacked righty? Is Beane doing this intentionally, and what could he do to fit in that LH balance if it's needed?

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