Mark Canha continues to make it apparent the leadoff spot in the Athletics’ lineup was meant for him.
After going 2-for-3 with a home run and two RBI in the A's 9-5 win over the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field on Friday, Canha solidified his role and the responsibilities that come along with batting first.
“If he feels responsible, he’s pretty responsible,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said following the game. “Yeah, he’s been unbelievable -- better than you could expect. Took a while in spring training and as soon as the season hit, he had it down. It is a big responsibility. You want hitters behind you to see some pitches, you want to take your walks.”
Melvin said Canha has done as well as any leadoff guy he’s seen, and he has been performing well in every aspect of the game.
“Yeah, I had a good game,” Canha said. “When I have a great day, it could look like that -- that’s one of my better games this year, all things considered. When it goes well, it usually goes like that for me.”
Heading into the season, the team had to fill the void of losing Marcus Semien. Canha liked the idea of being the first guy the opposing starter faced and attacking him right away.
Coors Field is, and always will be, a hitter’s park, thanks to the dimensions and the altitude in Denver. Canha did his best not to think about that too much.
“I told myself, 'You want to be aggressive, you want to take advantage, you only get to come to Coors once every couple years,' ” Canha said. “I tried to be aggressive tonight on my pitch. I don’t know if it’s a good idea or bad idea to change your approach based on the park, but I think it takes a lot of awareness. I’ve been trying to pay attention with how I’m feeling and how I’m swinging the bat.”
Canha added that as his career has gone on, he’s been honest with himself and his approach at the plate.
Appears that honesty is paying off.