Chad Pinder, Mark Canha deserve shot to be everyday players for A's

Chad Pinder, Mark Canha deserve shot to be everyday players for A's

Over the past two seasons, Chad Pinder and Mark Canha have emerged as productive hitters in their limited opportunities. Last year, the pair combined for 30 home runs, 34 doubles, and 79 RBI in 663 total at-bats. Both have continued to perform well at the plate this season, with Pinder posting a .734 OPS and Canha at .769.

With newcomers Jurickson Profar and Robbie Grossman struggling, this seems like the perfect time to give Pinder and Canha a chance to be everyday players.

The A's had high expectations for Profar when they acquired him from Texas this offseason. The 26-year-old was coming off a career year that saw him slash .254/.335/.458 with 20 home runs and 77 RBI. Profar's first season in Oakland has been a nightmare, however, both with the bat and glove. The A's second baseman is slashing a lowly .181/.247/.306 while battling the yips on defense. Profar has already committed eight errors, the most of any second baseman in the majors, and his -1.1 WAR is tied for second-worst in the American League.

Robbie Grossman has fared a little bit better, though he's only slashing .215/.333/.346. His OPS of .679 is significantly lower than that of Canha and Pinder, who both provide far more power.

[RELATED: One quarter through the season, the A's need to shake things up]

Obviously, it's too soon to completely give up on Profar and Grossman, and there will still be a role for them down the road. But for the time being, Pinder and Canha bring more to the table and have played themselves into starting jobs.

Adding Pinder and Canha to the everyday lineup would give Oakland a legitimate power threat from every spot in the lineup. It also wouldn't be surprising to see their production increase if given more consistent at-bats, similar to what we've seen from Josh Phegley this season.

If nothing else, a couple of lineup changes could shake up a stagnant offense and potentially help get the A's back on track. At this point, could it really hurt?

Stephen Piscotty proving he's A's X-factor, despite power-bat surroundings

Stephen Piscotty proving he's A's X-factor, despite power-bat surroundings

While sluggers like Khris Davis, Matt Chapman, and Matt Olson garner most of the attention in the A's lineup, manager Bob Melvin has often said that Stephen Piscotty is truly the X-factor.

After a somewhat pedestrian start to the season, Piscotty is beginning to heat up, and that is great news for the A's. The 28-year-old went 2-for-4 with three RBI on Sunday in Detroit, including the go-ahead two-run double in the seventh inning to give Oakland a 5-3 lead in a game suspended by rain.

Piscotty has now reached base safely in 15 consecutive games and has gone 8-for-18 with three doubles and four walks in his last five contests.

"I feel like, while I'm not at my best, I've still been able to operate and have some good at-bats," Piscotty told reporters Sunday. "Still a little bit of work to go, but I'm seeing the ball well. I was able to get a couple of walks the other day. That's big for me. That's a good sign that I'm seeing the ball well."

When Piscotty is at his best, he adds much-needed length to the Oakland lineup. He can be a serious power threat in the fifth or sixth spot in the order, as he showed last year, belting a career-high 27 home runs, 41 doubles, and 88 RBI.

For the season, Piscotty is now slashing .263/.337/.409 with five homers and 22 RBI. Last year, he got off to an even slower start than he did this season, hitting just .227/.286/.349 through the month of May.

Piscotty caught fire midway through the season and that's when the A's really took off last year. He amassed 24 home runs from June through September, ranking near the top of the league. If Piscotty can pick up the power in a similar way this year, the A's will take their production to another level.

[RELATED: A's starting pitching beginning to turn around]

To really understand Piscotty's value in the lineup, just look his offensive numbers in wins versus losses. In A's victories this season, Piscotty is slashing .337/.383/.523. That line falls to .188/.291/.292 in Oakland's defeats.

The A's hope Piscotty's recent success marks the start of an extended hot streak into the All-Star break and beyond. His bat makes Oakland's lineup nearly impossible for pitchers to navigate, with dangerous hitters lurking from top to bottom.

A's vs. Tigers lineups: Khris Davis returns in series finale at Comerica

A's vs. Tigers lineups: Khris Davis returns in series finale at Comerica

Entering the series against the Detroit Tigers, the A's were looking for something to jump-start them and they found a team they've owned of late.

After Saturday's 4-1 win at Comerica Park, Oakland now has won 15 straight games against the Tigers and they'll go for the sweep Sunday behind right-hander Mike Fiers. 

Bob Melvin gets an important member of his lineup back for the afternoon series finale, too. Khris Davis, who missed Saturday's game to rest a hip ailment, is back in Sunday's lineup. He will bat cleanup and be the designated hitter.

Here are the lineups for Sunday's game between the A's and Tigers. Coverage starts at 9:30 a.m. on NBC Sports California and streaming live on the My Teams app

Oakland Athletics (22-25)
Marcus Semien, SS
Matt Chapman, 3B
Chad Pinder, LF
Khris Davis, DH
Stephen Piscotty, RF
Matt Olson, 1B
Jurickson Profar, 2B
Ramon Laureano, CF
Josh Phegley, C

Mike Fiers, RHP (3-3, 5.12 ERA)

[RELATED: Is Phegley worthy of All-Star nod?]

Detroit Tigers (18-26)
Niko Goodrum, 1B
Dawel Lugo, 3B
Nicholas Castellanos, RF
Miguel Cabrera, DH
Ronny Rodriguez, SS
Christin Stewart, LF
Josh Harrison, 2B
Grayson Greiner, C
JaCoby Jones, CF

Gregory Soto, LHP (0-2, 13.50 ERA)