The 2021 season got off to an uninspiring start from the Oakland Athletics. Only managing one run on six hits against the Houston Astros. With that being said it’s time for Bob Melvin to make changes to it.
First Mark Canha isn’t a leadoff hitter. Yes, he works the count and has a high on-base percentage, yet he’s better suited hitting down in the lineup. Matt Chapman is not a no.4 hitter as he’s not consistent enough. Matt Olson had a strong spring, yet he’s better suited to bat cleanup. Jed Lowrie who made the team after looking like his 2018 version needs to get moved up to the two spot was that was something Melvin mentioned during Spring Training.
Elvis Andrus is the best option to take the role as leadoff hitter. It’s something he has done while with the Texas Rangers though not his primary spot in the lineup. He has a career average of .270 with a .341 OBP. His primary spot was either second or third.
So essentially what the Athletics lineup needs to change to is this:
1. Elvis Andrus, SS
2. Jed Lowrie, 2B
3. Mark Canha, LF
4. Matt Olson, 1B
5. Ramon Laureano, CF
6. Mitch Moreland
7. Matt Chapman
8. Stephen Piscotty, RF
9. Sean Murphy, C
It’s interesting to look at splits. Canha has only 29 at-bats hitting in the third spot and hasn’t done particularly well. Still he does possess the ability to become a good hitter in that role especially with his way of working the count and his power potential.
Olson is a career .284 hitter batting cleanup he has an OBP of .372, when he hits third excluding tonight’s game he hits only .219 with an OBP of .303 and even more importantly Laureano in the fifth spot hits .350 with a .396 OBP.
This means that Chapman falls to seventh in the lineup which is a spot that he’s well in. He has an average of .272 and an OBP of .354.
It’s not likely that Melvin will make such a drastic move after one game, yet if he wants to put his players in their best spots in the lineup this is what it looks like. The production doesn’t lie.