Recapping the Oakland Athletics' May 2010
The A's had a pretty successful month of May, going 16-12 and ending the month 28-24—one game ahead of the Texas Rangers for first place in the AL West division.
A lot has changed about the team in May, some for the good, some for the bad.
Let's recap some of May's important developments for the A's.
Batting: Overall .254/.319/.362 Line
Not the most impressive line, is it?
Obviously not, but the offense got significant help from the pitching and defense in order to have an overall 16-12 record.
The team hit .254/.322/.373 in April, so May was a slight but insignificant offensive downturn.
Rajai Davis Heating Up
Seen as a likely candidate to disappoint after his shocking 2009 breakout, center fielder Davis seemed to justify those fears by batting .224/.275/.282 in April.
However, in May he hit .314/.355/.395, which is in line with his .305/.360/.423 performance of 2009.
May was a big month for Davis, as he attempts to remain a solid MLB starter. He's up to .269/.315/.339 for the year as a whole.
Cliff Pennington Slumps
Shortstop Pennington, like Davis, surprised many in 2009 by batting .279/.342/.418, but their 2010 seasons have been polar opposites.
Pennington showed off a great skill set in April, including some surprising power (.250/.333/.450). But as Davis heated up in May, Pennington slumped terribly (.175/.257/.216).
Pennington's April numbers make him a valuable player, but his May performance simply doesn't cut it.
He's down to .209/.291/.322 for the year.
May Call-ups Contributing
Three players who weren't on the roster at the beginning of May—catcher Landon Powell, second baseman Mark Ellis, and DH/OF Jack Cust—were three of the team's biggest offensive contributors for the month.
Powell, recalled to take over after Kurt Suzuki's injury, hit .297/.400/.423.
Ellis—injured to open the year—batted .269/.387/.423.
Cust was recalled to add some power to an offense in need of it. While he didn't provide the pop (.282 SLG) he did post a .383 OBP.
Pitching: Overall 4.28 xFIP
The pitching staff posted a 3.75 ERA in May, but the FIP (4.14) and xFIP numbers are a bit worse than that.
The team's strikeout rate (6.67 K/9) wasn't good. The walk rate (3.00 BB/9) was slightly above average, so the overall K/BB ratio was about average, as was the team's 1.00 HR/9.
It's worth noting that the A's had a .278 BABIP, which is likely to regress a little. However, they do have a good defense, so we need not expect that ERA to balloon into the mid 4's.
As the last slide discusses, the team overall had a .278 BABIP in May. This figure, of course, wasn't evenly distributed—as some pitchers were extremely lucky, and others were not.
The significantly lucky pitchers were Michael Wuertz, Andrew Bailey, Brad Ziegler, Trevor Cahill, and Craig Breslow. None posted xFIP marks below 3.98, and all but Wuertz posted ERAs below 2.00. All had sub-.255 BABIPs, which explains the difference.
Jerry Blevins Dominates
On the extreme opposite end of the luck spectrum is Jerry Blevins, who had a whopping .528 BABIP.
Blevins K'd 11.57 batters per nine while walking just 1.29, so his xFIP of 2.92 was well below his 7.71 ERA.
Look for some better ERA numbers from Blevins as the season continues.