Defensive woes plaguing A's early on

Defensive woes plaguing A's early on

Defensive woes plaguing A's early on
OAKLAND -- The defensive numbers paint a grim picture for the A's.

They committed 16 errors in their first 14 games -- the most in the Major Leagues -- and were on pace to commit 185 errors this season, entering Saturday's game against Detroit.

Just don't expect the A's, a typically solid defensive club, to panic over their troubles in the field.

"I think we've got guys that can play pretty good defense," said second baseman Mark Ellis, who has yet to commit an error. "We haven't played good defense, not as good as we'd like to play. When you don't score a lot of runs, everything gets magnified a little bit -- and we haven't scored a lot of runs.

"When you do that, your defense kind of sticks out a little bit more. We'll be fine. Playing defense, I don't think it's something we need to worry about. We need to play better, absolutely. But in the long term, we'll be fine."

First baseman Daric Barton and third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff entered Saturday's game tied for the team lead in errors with four apiece, while utility man Andy LaRoche had two. The A's committed three errors in the 10th inning on Friday night against Detroit, one each by LaRoche, Barton and pitcher Brian Fuentes.

Last year, the A's finished fifth in the American League with a .984 fielding percentage, and had 99 total errors -- totaling less than 100 for the sixth time in the past seven years. This year, their fielding percentage is .971, worst in the Major Leagues.

"You can get in slumps on defense," Ellis said. "You can absolutely get in slumps on defense. Maybe that's going on with some guys, right now. But I'm not too worried about it. I think we'll be just fine."