To say the Oakland Athletics offense has been dreadful so far in 2020 is an understatement. It actually goes back to 2019 in which situational hitting became non-existent and the result of that a loss in the wildcard to the Tampa Bay Rays and blame goes directly to hitting coach Darren Bush.
Obviously the A’s offense is rolling when making pitchers work and the hope for Bush is that it will result in a home run or a walk and the worst case scenario a strike out. Which is a problem when contact isn’t getting made when runners are on base.
Here’s a look at what the team has done so far prior to today’s double-header: With runners in scoring position the average is .215, with a runner on base .217, a runner on first base and no outs .186, a runner at second and no outs .286, the A’s haven’t recorded a hit in situations such as a runner on third and no outs, first and third and no outs, second and third and no outs, a runner on third and one out, and runners on second and third and one out.
Other situations that Oakland hitters have struggled in are first and second and one out a .125 average, first and third with one out a .200 average, two outs and a runner at third a .125 average, two outs and a runner on first and second .206 and runners and second and third and two outs .143.
Even worse for the A’s though has been the struggles of Khris Davis which Bush attempted to try to help him change his hand positioning which clearly didn’t work. He has now been relegated to facing left-handed pitching only and is hitting .155 with a home run and six rbi. Matt Olson who has hit for power 10 home runs is hitting .178 and Marcus Semien who had a stellar 2019 season his average is .234 yet he’s not hit well with runner on base.
For Bush what clearly shows when it comes to the lack of situational hitting is that in game one of the double-header Oakland had the heart of the order up with runners at first and third and nobody out. The result only one run on a ground out by Matt Chapman. In game two runners at second and third and one out. Only got a run on a ground out.
Even when it comes to hitting for a solid average the A’s don’t really have anyone doing that. Mark Canha leads the team with a .278 average and the recently acquired Tommy La Stella is at .273. No one else is above .270.
It seems at this point a change is necessary to jump-start the offense which means parting ways with Bush.