Davis, Pinder Back in Lineup as Athletics Seek Cure to Slump

John Hickey

To the surprise of no one, Khris Davis was back in the A’s lineup Saturday.

After beginning the season hitless in his first 15 at-bats, Davis was given games off Wednesday and Friday while manager Bob Melvin looked for a spot to give him his best chance to break out of his funk.

With the Mariners pitching a lefty, Yusei Kikuchi, Melvin decided this was Davis’ time. It was also the time for Chad Pinder, who was held out after a 1-for-9 start to the season.

With or without those two right-handed bats, the A’s have not been hitting. Both men were sitting Friday when the A’s were limited to three hits.

Melvin isn’t one to panic, unless perhaps he hears the word “panicking” in reference to his team.

Center fielder Ramon Laureano, talking about the A’s grim offense through the first seven games of the season – a .194 batting average leading to a 3-4 record – did use the word, if only to say that the word didn’t apply.

“Obviously everybody outside is panicking, because that’s what they do,” Laureano said before Saturday’s game in Seattle’s T-Mobile Park against the Mariners. “But we’re not panicking. We’re just keeping it relaxed, and we know we’re going to be fine because we are good players.”

Still, Melvin reacted to the word.

“Panicking? We’re seven game in, we’re 3-4 and one game out of first place,” Melvin said. “So, I don’t know that that would be a cause for panic.

“It’s a cause for concern, because we want to play better. We certainly don’t want to be where we are, numbers-wise, offensively. With that just come more work and more reps and, hopefully, a couple of good games and we’ll see the type of offense that we’re used to seeing. So, I don’t think there’s any dramatic changes at this point … are in the offing. We will remain confident in our group. And my feeling is that we’ll come around.”

One man who is personally convinced of that is Sunday’s starter, Chris Bassitt.

“I’m literally zero percent concerned about our offense,” the right-hander said. “It wore on me in the past when we had a bad team. This was years ago. This team, this offense, I don’t think there’s any concern in our clubhouse about what’s going to happen very soon.”

Follow Athletics insider John Hickey on Twitter: @JHickey3

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