The Oakland A’s activated third baseman Matt Chapman from the disabled list on Tuesday, the team announced. To make room on the roster, rookie infielder Franklin Barreto was optioned back to Triple-A Nashville.
Chapman last played on June 14 before going on the DL with a right hand injury. The same hand had bothered him during spring training and a cortisone shot helped then, but the problem resurfaced last month. He got another shot in his thumb, but the issue was later pinpointed as a bone growth in the top of his hand and a second shot in that area apparently did the trick. After just one rehab game down in the minors, he’s ready to rejoin the lineup.
Chapman, 2018: .250/.346/.447, 122 wRC+, 10 HR, 11.4% BB, 23.9% Ks
The return of Chapman is a big deal because he’s statistically the A’s best player. Some other hitters have superior stats at the plate, but between his strong bat and his elite glove he leads the team in both versions of WAR despite having recently missed over two weeks. His 3.8 bWAR is tied for 10th in all of MLB, and his 2.9 fWAR is tied for 17th. Jed Lowrie is next on the A’s with marks of 3.2 and 2.9, respectively.
Despite all that, though, the A’s managed to go 12-4 while Chapman was on the shelf. Lowrie helped matters by filling in admirably at third base.
Meanwhile, with Lowrie occupied at the hot corner, Barreto covered second base for a couple weeks. The top prospect struck out too much and still needs to work on his plate discipline and approach, but he did chip in here and there. He blasted a few dingers, gave us a preview of his speed, and in one game against the White Sox he posted six RBI. With the main starters all back in the picture, the 22-year-old will return to Triple-A to continue his development.
Barreto, 2018 MLB: .212/.241/.442, 84 wRC+, 3 HR, 1.9% BB, 42.6% Ks
Welcome back, Captain!
Also, this is happening:
Chapman on the status of his mustache: “It’s a day to day basis. If we win today, it stays. If we don’t win today, it goes.”— Jane Lee (@JaneMLB) July 3, 2018