Oakland Athletics’ Danny Valencia Sparked the Offense


The Oakland Athletics are having a bad season after three consecutive years of making the playoffs. However, their recent three-game winning streak against the Houston Astros is reason for celebration. It’s crazy that the A’s, who have been last in the American League West for a while, beat the team atop of their division in impressive fashion.

A significant feature of the A’s has been their sporadic roster changes all season. In the past month, Oakland fans have seen a large array of personnel changes on this “Moneyball” team.

The numerous pitching changes the club made did not come as a surprise to me. It was clear that the A’s needed to clear up their budget by getting rid of more expensive pitchers such as Scott Kazmir and Tyler Clippard. The two of them were performing under expectations, and the A’s weren’t getting enough productivity for the cost. Therefore, it was time to make some roster moves in order to decrease costs and develop young talent for the future. One of the manifestations of that mindset was the acquisition of Aaron Brooks through the Ben Zobrist deal.

However, the A’s did receive one new player that may have been a surprise to many people. That new guy you’ve seen making noise in the lineup is Danny Valencia.

Oakland acquired Valencia off waivers last week, and he has provided a huge spark for the offense. He finished an impressive series against the Astros with a walk-off hit to help the A’s win 5-4 on Sunday.

It’s interesting that the A’s signed Valencia because a lot of their recent acquisitions have involved young players. Valencia is 30 years-old, but he has been playing like a rookie who’s looking to assert himself as a key player in the majors.

Oakland’s offense has produced poorly all season, so Valencia’s surge is one of the most exciting surprises for the A’s. In all of these victories, Valencia was a huge contributor. According to ESPN, he registered five runs and a .438 batting average in his first four games with the Athletics. He also added a couple of sweet home runs into the mix. Despite joining a team that hasn’t displayed a concrete lineup, Valencia has brought the A’s together for their most impressive series win of the season.

Valencia’s heroics were extremely impressive because it seemed like Oakland’s relief pitchers would be at fault for another loss. Instead, Valencia did something that the team’s offense hasn’t been able to do all year. He scored the clutch RBI on the verge of defeat in order to lead the A’s to victory.

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One of the most unique things about baseball is that a new player can join a team and act as a catalyst immediately. Danny Valencia only recently arrived in Oakland, but the responses he earned from the team and fans make him seem like an instant star for the struggling A’s.

A huge plight of an A’s fan is the pending doom of getting attached to a player that could leave the team at any moment. It seems like there is a new player every year that makes it impossible for fans to not be excited. That person this year is definitely Danny Valencia.

Oakland will face the Toronto Blue Jays on Tuesday, and that is exactly where Valencia used to be before joining the A’s. In the ESPN article from above, Chris Bassitt said, “we got a gift-wrapped present from Toronto.” It’s crazy that a surging Blue Jays gave up a player that is now providing a huge jolt for Oakland’s offense.

Will Danny Valencia continue his excellence against his old team? Hopefully he plays a key role in a late season surge that could carry over to success next year.

Next: Sonny Gray is the Bright Spot of the A's