Oakland A’s fans such as myself have had to endure the nuisance that is Daric Barton. Barton fails miserably at playing first base for the A’s. Barton splits time thus far this season at 1B with Brandon Moss and Alberto Callaspo. Moss is clearly the best hitter, but Manager Bob Melvin is reluctant to start Moss against left handed pitchers. Moss’ statistics are far superior to Barton against lefties and righties. Barton this season has 2 hits on the season on 30 plate appearances.
The reasoning for him playing at all is puzzling and why he stays on the roster while players like Sam Fuld, Michael Choice and Chris Carter all are roster casualties. Barton’s last and only productive season was in 2010 and because of that Melvin and GM Billy Beane have A’s fans in a constant state of misery. Beane and Melvin deserve a ton of credit for putting together a great roster year after year with limited resources. Fans of the A’s still question the reasoning for keeping Barton around at all however.
In the minors the A’s have two 1B with potential and would produce more than the inept Barton.
Nate Freiman (1B with AAA Sacramento River Cats)
Freiman is hitting well in the minors, especially against lefties. Freiman produced for the A’s last season in limited playing time in the majors.
Max Muncy (1B with AA Midland Rock Hounds)
Muncy is rising through the minors very quickly and should be in AAA next season. Muncy struggles against lefties right now and will have to work on that aspect of his game. At this point however I would like to see him above Barton.
Another option for the team is signing free agent 1B Kendrys Morales. Morales, is a proven consistent hitter but will cost the team financially and with a draft pick. Morales, has played his whole career with the Seattle Mariners and Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and is very familiar with the American League West.
Whether it is Morales, Moss or Freiman the A’s need to finally take Barton out back and give him the Old Yeller treatment. Oakland fans have suffered long enough; it is now time to move on. Barton has no business pinch hitting, let alone starting for a first place, back to back pennant winning team like the A’s. The hate for Barton from A’s nation will not go away until the day he is long forgotten. Until that day comes I will continue to celebrate seeing Moss in the lineup, I will anticipate the call up of Freiman, I will monitor the progress of Muncy and I will keep a close eye on the Morales rumors.