Happy Monday, Athletics Nation!
The A’s are headed home after a tough ten game road trip to start the 2022 season. So far they’re 5-5, which is not bad considering the caliber of teams faced. The losses were mostly hard fought, and yesterday’s game should have gone the A’s way; it’s always disappointing to lose one on errors.
But spirits are high: the A’s have exceeded expectations so far and shown a lot of spirit as they head back to Oakland for their first home series of the season against the Baltimore Orioles and a chance to get on a roll against a weak opponent.
Over the weekend, I noticed tweets from Vince Cotroneo and Jessica Kleinschmidt pointing out that the A’s are leading all of baseball in runs scored, and though they only plated three on Sunday, the resulting ten-game total of 53 is enough to stay ahead of the Dodgers and Mets, tied for second with 51 runs apiece. Granted, the A’s can’t boast the over-25 run differentials that both of those NL teams are sitting on, but their +10 differential is nothing to sneeze at and would almost certainly portend success if they can keep that pace up.
So far Sean Murphy and Elvis Andrus are leading the charge for the A’s with Weighted Runs Created Plus (wRC+) of 160 and 146, respectively. For Elvis, this represents a dramatic improvement over 2021, when his abysmal wRC+ of 72 made him something of a fan un-favorite in his first year with Oakland. Murphy’s bat has a better reputation than that of Andrus, but Sean was a bit quiet at the plate last year with a wRC+ of just 99 after exceeding 130 in his first two seasons. For context, Vlad Guerrero Jr. won the AL Silver Slugger award last year with a wRC+ of 166. So Sean is batting at an elite level so far this season despite a walk rate of just 5.1% and a very high K rate of 33.3%.
Those surprisingly disparate wRC+ and plate discipline indicators are reminders that the season is young and all of these stats are based on small samples. We’re just getting started and we’d best not count any chickens before they’ve hatched. But so far this season, the A’s have had some serious pop, and it’s been a lot of fun to watch! Keep it up, Oakland!
- Hall: Game #10: A’s hang tough despite errors in 4-3 loss
- Hall: A’s injuries: James Kaprielian makes first rehab start in minors
- Ashford: Game #9: Pache bomb in 9th gives A’s 7-5 win
- Kawahara: A’s opening road trip offers encouraging early signs ($)
- Kawahara: ‘The future is bright for that guy’; Matt Chapman touts his A’s replacement ($)
- Kawahara: Christian Bethancourt, in first MLB stint since 2017, makes an impact in A’s win ($)
- Kawahara: Why Matt Chapman received his Gold Glove in Toronto with A’s present ($)
- Wirth: Umpire missed startling 27 calls in Saturday’s A’s-Jays game
- Wirth: Forst credits A’s hot start to players’ fight amid opportunity
- Lockard: A’s throwing performance coach Casey Upperman on his role in pitcher development: ‘It’s evolved considerably’ ($)
MLB News & Interest:
- McDonald: Blue Jays Place Hyun Jin Ryu On 10-Day IL, Reinstate Ryan Borucki
- Zencka: Astros Place Ryan Pressly On 10-Day Injured List
- Polishuk: Blue Jays, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. To Wait Until Offseason For Possible Extension Talks
- Zencka: Ronald Acuna Jr. To Begin Rehab Assignment On Tuesday
- McDonald: Twins To Place Sonny Gray On 10-Day IL, Activate Cody Stashak
- McDonald: Orioles Transfer John Means On 60-Day IL, Select Marcos Diplan
- McDonald: Several Teams Interested In Justin Upton
- Zencka: Mitch Haniger Tests Positive For COVID-19
- Today in Baseball History
Best of Twitter:
Montas still scheduled to start today as planned.
Frankie Montas did not travel to Toronto with the A's because of a visa issue. Mark Kotsay said Montas returned to Oakland after last series and is still scheduled to start tomorrow's home opener.— Matt Kawahara (@matthewkawahara) April 17, 2022
Hey—we still eked out the win after controlling for bad umpiring!
Re: yesterday's strike zone https://t.co/xjOIwGqjcD— Matt Kawahara (@matthewkawahara) April 17, 2022
Calling out the Trash Can Beaters in clever new ways. Love it.
Congrats on the stolen base ...
Prior to yesterday, Jed Lowrie’s last SB was April 8, 2015 with Houston vs Carlos Carrasco and Yan Gomes and Christian Bethancourt’s last MLB RBI before Saturday was August 19, 2016 with San Diego vs LAD’s Zack Greinke— Vince Cotroneo (@vincebaseball) April 17, 2022
... and happy belated, Jed!
Probably not Deolis’ happiest ever. Wishing him a speedy recovery from surgery.
The gratitude is mutual.
Pache says he is grateful for the opportunity to play with the A's pic.twitter.com/lFmmOpjUES— A's on NBCS (@NBCSAthletics) April 16, 2022
Best wishes to Buck and family.
Have a day, Jonah!
I’m a Jazz fan. But good luck anyway.