MLB

Matt Olson Returns At Much Needed Time For Athletics

May 7, 2019, 10:23 AM | Updated: 10:27 am
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)...
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Oakland Hoping Olson Provides Aid To Stagnant Offense

The 2019 season hasn’t gotten off to an ideal start for the Oakland Athletics.

After a magical 2018 campaign, the A’s have stumbled out of the gates to a 15-21 record that places them dead last in the American League West Division. The offense, last year’s greatest strength, has sputtered so far as Oakland has struggled to produce runs at an efficient pace.

Home runs rates are down from last year. Khris Davis, after a hot start, has been stuck on his 10th home run since April 12th. After ranking third in home runs in 2018, this year’s squad sits at 15th in home runs so far this season. The offense isn’t producing from a small-ball stand point either, as the A’s are 20th in the league in batting average (.240) and 18th in runs per game (4.69).

Oakland needs help, and help is expected to arrive Tuesday when first baseman Matt Olson is activated off of the injured list prior to the Athletics game against the Cincinnati Reds.

Olson has missed 34 of the first 36 games of the season with a broken hamate bone in his right hand. The 25 year-old hit 29 home runs and drove in 84 runs last season, claiming his first Gold Glove Award in the process. Olson also played in a league-leading 162 games last season, providing the Athletics with a staple in the lineup that produced on both sides of the ball.

Athletics first baseman and designated hitter Kendrys Morales is expected to be designated for assignment as the corresponding move when Olson is activated.

After starting 14-13, Oakland has lost eight of their last nine games, notably struggling away from Oakland-Alameda Coliseum. Olson will look to provide a boost away from home, as he was actually more successful on the road last season. His .260 batting average on the road versus his home batting average of .227 showed that Olson can be a road warrior for this lineup. Olson also homered more away from home, hitting 15 of his 29 away from the Coliseum.

The Oakland pitching staff has calmed down of late, only giving up an average of four runs per game over the last three games after going through an abysmal seven-game stretch that saw them give up 6.6 runs per game.

While the pitching will look to keep the positive trend rolling on Tuesday night against he Cincinnati Reds, the offense needs a boost. With Khris Davis questionable as he nurses a hip contusion, the Athletics need someone to step up and fill the void.

Here comes Matt Olson.

Date Starting Pitcher
Saturday, July 2 @ 1:10 pm A's Paul Blackburn vs. Mariners George Kirby

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