With Crisp out, A’s intrigued by what speedy Burns can offer
Oakland Athletics outfielder Billy Burns isn’t “supposed” to hit home runs – which makes the fact that he’s hit two in the past five days so interesting.
The 5’9” speedster led off Sunday’s game against the Tampa Bay Rays with a homer from the left side of the plate, surprising many around the A’s due to his supposed lack of power.
Then, for an encore, Burns stepped up against New York Yankees left-hander C.C. Sabathia on Thursday night in Oakland and hit a line drive over the wall in left field for his second home run of the campaign.
Coming into play Thursday, Burns was hitting .302 and led all American League rookies with eight multi-hit games.
His manager, Bob Melvin, has liked what he’s seen out of his switch-hitting leadoff man. As he told Joe Stiglich of CSN Bay Area: “This is a guy who in spring training you probably don’t forecast him being here a whole lot, with the outfield depth we have. He’s gotten a couple opportunities and he’s run with it. He’s continued to get on base and now he’s showing more power. We made a trade for him for a reason. We thought at some point in time he’d be ready for the big leagues, but he’s probably there a little sooner than we expected.”
With outfielder Coco Crisp scheduled to receive an epidural to alleviate his chronic neck pain, he’ll will miss at least another month (if not more). Within that context, Burns is suddenly a much bigger part of the A’s offensive plans moving forward.
So far, he’s showing that he’s capable of being up to the task.