The Oakland Athletics defeated the San Diego Padres 6-3 in Cactus League action today, but the manner of victory was as important as the victory itself. Trevor Cahill put together his strongest outing of the 2011 Spring Training schedule as he threw four innings of one hit ball. Cahill had been up and down early in camp, so this strong outing is a confidence-booster.
A’s non-roster invitee Andy LaRoche continued what has been a strong spring training as he was 2-for-3 with a two run homerun. In 18 at bats thus far LaRoche is hitting .333 with an OBP of .478 and a slugging percentage of .889. The A’s have utilized LaRoche in several positions as they try and get him more and more playing time. Kevin Kouzmanoff is the incumbent third baseman, but it’s not like he’s in a position where he’s guaranteed anything. It’s still early in camp, but if LaRoche can maintain these kinds of numbers he could force the A’s into a decision on what to do with him.
LaRoche has always been considered extremely talented but he’s never been able to put it together at the major league level. That’s not to say that he’s suddenly discovered what “it” is, but this is a strong start for now. At the very least LaRoche is earning himself more at bats to prove what he can do.