Athletics

How Lamb quickly turned into crucial part of A's lineup

Athletics

The A’s clinched a playoff spot when they defeated Giants Friday night, 6-0 and the San Diego Padres beat the Seattle Mariners.

For infielder Jake Lamb, it’s been a swift week. 

He signed with the A’s on Monday after being designated for assignment by the Arizona Diamondbacks. By Friday, he had his eyes on the playoffs with Oakland after a lot of recent success at the plate. 

"It’s been a little crazy for sure,” Lamb said after the game. "The DFA is one thing, then to come to a team that’s pushing for not just a playoff spot, but for a World Series championship so it was definitely a quick turn around. I think I said this before, but it was nice to get a little reset in my hometown, but yeah -- this is an awesome group and it’s fun to be here."

After going 1-for-4 with an RBI in Friday's win, Lamb is 6-for-15 with a home run and three RBI since joining the A's. 

Lamb admitted being DFA’d and the season he had with the D-backs has had an impact on him.

“There’s motivation all over the place,” Lamb added.

He also has made some slight adjustments at the plate which have proven successful.

“Me and the hitting coaches have talked about a few things here, and already I can see the differences in my swing, but no, I think it’s definitely knowing that I’m going to be getting fairly consistent opportunities at the plate, and not that I wasn’t relaxed before, but it’s nice knowing that you’re going to be in the lineup and you’re going to be getting ABs, so I definitely like that part,” Lamb said.

 

A’s manager Bob Melvin approves of what he’s seen from Lamb as well. 

“He’s made a huge impact since he’s been here and I know he’s feeling good, had a really good bat off a left-hander too today -- line down to center field, so he’s feeling good and we’re feeling really good about him,” Melvin said. 

“Yeah, he’s been incredible for us, I mean big hit after big hit -- super athletic guy,” A’s starter Chris Bassitt said. "I don't know how we got him honestly. He’s truly incredible. I’ve heard other guys play with him, play against him, and say if he’s healthy he’s an All-Star. And dang does he look healthy." 

In 2017, Lamb earned an NL All-Star honor when he slashed .248/.357/.487 with 30 home runs and 105 RBI for the D-backs.

“I’m just trying to do my part, have quality at-bats, play good defense and win ball games here,” Lamb said.

He appears to be meshing well with the team both on and off the field. You can hear the pitchers in the bullpen making lamb “bah” noises, something Lamb himself joked was a bit of a “conspiracy theory,” since he has yet to hear them himself. 

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He also doesn’t mind watching the team’s productivity at the plate, but is glad he’s on the same side of the strong top-to-bottom lineup.

“It’s tough on an opposing pitcher,” Lamb said. “There’s no easy outs.”