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Elephant Rumblings: What to expect for the rest of 2022 using the A’s small sample sizes

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Oakland Athletics v Tampa Bay Rays Photo by Mike Carlson/Getty Images

It’s the weekend, Athletics Nation!

The Athletics’ 2022 season is now just over a week in, with the team sitting 4-4 after Friday’s loss to the Blue Jays. With only 5% of the season complete, most would think that it is way too early to have an idea of how the things are trending.

I say, why not? Let’s take a ridiculously too soon look at the good and bad that small sample sizes can offer, and use them to portend the A’s future through absurd extrapolation.

The Team:

Good news, based off current trends the Athletics should finish the season with an even .500 record! 81 wins is way above projections made only a week ago, a huge boon for a team expected to be sitting sub-70. Overall, the A’s bats will be outstanding through the rest of the season, ranking 8th overall in batting average and OPS. With trends continuing the A’s should be sitting with around a +182 run differential, so look forward to the squad pouring on the runs when they’re hot.

Disappointments:

Despite the excitement from A’s fans on being reunited with Stephen Vogt, it looks like he will go the rest of the season without a single hit. While he will manage to work a walk every two games or so, getting the bat to the ball just won’t work out for Vogt. Same goes for Kevin Smith who’s managed to barely make it near the Mendoza line. Despite appearing in every game of the season, we should plan for Smith to only have 85 hits in the expected 631 at bats for an every-day player.

Success Stories:

Look out for Seth Brown and Chad Pinder, who are both on pace for 40 home run seasons. If folks were worried a loss of production in the batters box with both Matts being traded, fear no longer as Brown and Pinder will cover the difference easily. 33-year-old Elvis Andrus looks to have a late-career resurgence, playing a full 162, getting 165 hits, scoring 162 runs, blasting 20 homers, and walking 80 times.

Looking at the rotation, there’s a dark horse starter that would pan out to be unstoppable. Paul Blackburn is headed toward a Cy Young candidate season, including managing to not give up a single earned run. Paced at 160 innings over a flawless 32 starts, Blackburn would be held to only 96 hits and 64 walks, though none of those hitters would score on Paul’s charge. Finally and most astoundingly, Sean Murphy will hit 20 triples, catcher’s legs be damned.


These predictions are made tongue-in-cheek, and obviously we won’t actually see most, if not all of these outcomes pan out. Smith has already picked up his pace with three hits in the last two games, and an actual hitless season for Vogt is nigh-impossible. We can hope that some of the less drastic small sample size projections do pan out though. The A’s would be much better off in 2022 with Pinder and Brown slugging hard along with Andrus bouncing back. Blackburn takes the mound today, and we can cheer him on to keep the Jays’ offence at bay like he did to the Rays.

I do expect 20 triples from Murphy though. Hustle those buns.

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