OAKLAND – We know the A's can hit home runs. A lot of them. Just about everyone in Oakland's lineup is capable of going deep in any given at-bat.
Now it appears they've found a true leadoff hitter as well.
This offseason, the A's signed 29-year-old outfielder Robbie Grossman to a one-year, $2 million contract. And if Thursday's home opener is any indication, he will work wonders at the top of Oakland's lineup.
"When you hit homers, you need guys to get on base before you hit them," said A's manager Bob Melvin. "He does a really good job of that. His on-base percentage is terrific wherever he's been."
Added Grossman: "I think the goal of every leadoff hitter is to try to set the tone, especially with this lineup and the guys behind me. My job is to get on base and see what they can do."
Grossman singled in each of his first two plate appearances in Thursday's 4-0 win over the Angels. He also stole a base and scored a run.
"He gets on base," Melvin reiterated. "You see him hit the ball the other way and make pitchers work."
"It's an exciting time to be an A," Grossman smiled. "Any time you get to join a team that won 97 games the year before, it's definitely an honor and I'm looking forward to it."
Grossman has long admired the A's from afar. The former Astro and Twin was always impressed by the team's work ethic and professionalism.
"Playing against these guys the last number of years, I just (appreciated) how they went about their business," Grossman said. "They showed up every day and the energy was the same. They grind at-bats. That's kind of been the motto for the A's for as long as I can remember. I was excited when I got the opportunity to come over here and be a part of something like this."
And the A's are excited to have him, especially with Nick Martini on the injured list.
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"With Nick not here, we need somebody to lead off against right-handers and we don't have too many guys in our lineup who can do that, so he's been really good," Melvin praised.
Added Grossman: "It's been great. They've got some amazing guys in this clubhouse. BoMel is just as advertised and the coaching staff here is second to none."