2009 was supposed to be different. The A's, coming into the 2009, season were supposed to be much more dangerous offensively. So far, nothing has changed.
Injuries continue to hurt the team, and with the news of Eric Chavez opting for another surgery, the A's are left in a familiar place. Mark Ellis is out with a calf injury, Nomar Garciaparra is battling with his own calf injury, and Eric Chavez is out for the season with back issues.
Billy Beane, General Manager of the Oakland A's, signed key veterans like Jason Giambi, Orlando Cabrera, and Nomar Garciaparra in the hopes that they'd help solidify the offense. Matt Holliday, who was acquired in the off-season via trade, was also supposed to help create a potent middle-of-the-order attack.
The A's were hoping that their strong hitting would provide a cushion for their rookie pitchers, but so far nothing has gone as planned. Matt Holliday, the one guy most people expected to be a key player for the A's, has been slightly above average for the green and gold. Jason Giambi, Orlando Cabrera, and Nomar Garciaparra also haven't produced big numbers for the A's.
With the A's falling farther out of contention everyday, they need to look towards the future, starting with the third base position. With another back surgery, Eric Chavez, 31, isn't likely to be a productive player like he once was. The A's have no third-baseman in their farm-system, so it's critical for the team to find one.
Billy Beane's young and highly praised pitching staff has performed as many would expect a young rotation to perform. They're highly inconsistent, after going on an amazing 7-0 stretch, the A's staff has struggled a bit.
Brett Anderson, perhaps the most inconsistent one on the staff, lost his last start against the Giants. Vin Mazzaro, the most talented of the staff, thus far, has been very impressive in his three starts.
But in order for the staff to be productive the A's need healthy hitting. If the A's continue this downward spiral out of contention, then look for the A's to trade Holliday for more prospects.
The A's were supposed to be a much better team this season, but at eight games out of first, it's hard to believe that anything has changed.