Oakland Athletics: Manny Ramirez Will Provide a Spark for Their Offense

Collin O'ConnorCorrespondent IMay 8, 2012

PHOENIX, AZ - MARCH 10:  Manny Ramirez #1 of the Oakland Athletics plays against the Cincinnati Reds during a spring training game at the Phoenix Municipal Stadium on March 10, 2012 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

The Oakland A's have been offensively abysmal up to this point in the season, yet still have managed an above .500 record and a second place standing.

As the year is moving into May and baseball is moving into the thick of the season, the A's currently have just a .213 team batting average and have scored more than 5 runs just three times in their first 19 games. 

While their pitching staff has carried them with the third best ERA in the American League, they will not be able to keep pace in a tough AL West division without improving their offense. And, as the end of May approaches, the addition of Manny Ramirez could significantly help them produce runs at a much better rate.

It would be naive to think that Ramirez could return to the years in which he was hitting 40 home runs and driving in 100 RBI, but a bat like his that has churned in Hall of Fame type numbers could provide a spark that is needed in the middle of the order.

Additionally, all reports are signaling that Ramirez is moving through his suspension very confidently, and is looking to be a positive addition to this Oakland A's franchise that took a big risk in signing him. With all of the troubles and distractions he could potentially bring, it will be important for him to move in with confidence and blend in as much as possible.

However, any type of offensive contribution will help the A's at this point. Recently, they just signed Brandon Inge to play third base, despite hitting under .200 for the Tigers and being waived. These are the types of additions, however, where even the smallest positive contribution can help an offense that is immensely struggling.

Thus, if Manny Ramirez could walk in and be even somewhere close to the player he was in Los Angeles a few years ago, it will be a positive for the Oakland A's. To think that they have survived with an above .500 record with this offense so far only makes the outlook positive as they move into the time period in which Ramirez will be in the middle of their order.

And, seeing him alongside Cuban slugger Yoenis Cespedes in the middle of the lineup will be a scary sight for any American League pitcher.