The bright spots have been few and far between for the Oakland Athletics this year, as it has been, for the most part, a lost season. Mark Ellis hasn’t exactly had the year he was hoping for either, missing 56 games and batting .216 through July 16. However, Ellis has heated up tremendously since then, and entered play tonight hitting .283 on the year and leading all of baseball in RBI in the month of August with 19. (Ellis added one to his total in the 4th inning tonight with an RBI double off AJ Burnett)
Ellis has been a cornerstone for the franchise at 2B since he was acquired along with Johnny Damon from the Kansas City Royals in 2001. Now that Eric Chavez’s career seems all but over, Ellis will become the A’s longest tenured player. It’s been an up and down career during his time in Oakland, but he has always been a dependable player, especially defensively, when in the lineup. His propensity for the high infield popup from the plate hasn’t exactly endeared himself to the Oakland faithful, but for a franchise that is known far more as a revolving door, of sorts, than a dynasty, Ellis has been a breath of fresh air. One can only wonder whether he will continue to be a key piece of the puzzle, or if the A’s will capitalize on his hot finish and deal him for more coveted prospects in the offseason.
While we’re on the subject of hot hitters, Rajai Davis deserves a mention for having the 4th highest batting average in the American League since July 28th, hitting .385. Finally getting a chance to be an everyday player, although whether that’s where he belongs or not is still up for debate, Davis has proved to be a threat at the plate now, in addition to on the basepaths, where he’s always been able to swipe bags with much success. With the A’s lack of depth in the outfield throughout the system, it also begs the question of whether Rajai could find a long-term home in Oakland. Since the postseason is not in the cards for this season, these are the questions fans are left to ponder, however unexciting they may be.