The Oakland A’s are a couple weeks into spring training and have now played their first Cactus League game of 2018. That means it’s time to start tracking injuries! In particular, there are three position players to look at already.
Matt Chapman, 3B
Athletics Nation expects Chapman to be the biggest star on the team, so this situation is crucial. He had an MRI on his hand due to lingering soreness, but Susan Slusser of the S.F. Chronicle reports that the exam revealed no structural damage. The diagnosis is a bone bruise, which is good news overall but also makes it hard to determine a timetable. The hope is that he’ll only miss a few days while his cortisone shot reduces the inflammation.
Matt Chapman discusses his hand injury: pic.twitter.com/2JJXF6yLGS— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) February 23, 2018
Bruce Maxwell, C
The A’s starting catcher only made it to the 2nd inning of the opening game. Angels hitter Jefry Marte accidentally hit Maxwell in the head with an errant backswing, knocking him to the ground. Maxwell was removed right away, but fortunately he does not have a concussion, reports Slusser, “just a big knot on his noggin.” In a postgame interview, manager Bob Melvin mentioned that the catcher won’t be playing the next couple days but is currently scheduled for Monday.
Good to go today! Let’s keep moving forward!— Bruce T Maxwell (@bruu_truu13) February 24, 2018
Dustin Fowler, OF
When the A’s acquired Fowler last July, he was already recovering from a serious knee injury (ruptured patellar tendon). The hope was that he’d be ready in time to play this spring and compete for an MLB job, and that’s exactly what is happening. Insider Jane Lee announced this morning that Fowler has been cleared to play in games, and soon after that she confirmed that he’ll be leading off and playing CF on Sunday. Here he is taking batting practice on Monday:
Sorry, Dustin Fowler! Here is his BP with his correct name: pic.twitter.com/17EGMZwZSb— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) February 19, 2018
Andrew Triggs last pitched in June before undergoing season-ending hip surgery. He’ll start today’s game — that’s not news, just noting that we haven’t seen this guy in action in a while and now he’s back.
Meanwhile. Daniel Gossett was scheduled to start Sunday’s game but was scratched with back tightness, reports Slusser. He’ll be replaced by A.J. Puk, which is kind of like being told that your car has to go to the shop for the weekend but in the meantime you get to drive the actual Batmobile.
Everyone expects baseballs to get beaten up during games. It’s part of their job. But no ball deserves this kind of treatment, from A’s slugger Matt Olson. Fortunately, it narrowly survived the encounter and is now accepting donations for its re-stitching costs.