The Oakland A’s designated catcher Nick Hundley for assignment on Thursday, the team announced. He is now off the 40-man roster, and over the next week he’ll either be traded, claimed on waivers, released, or accept a non-roster assignment to the minors.
The 35-year-old never really got going in his time in Oakland. He made the Opening Day roster alongside Josh Phegley after presumed starter Chris Herrmann got hurt during the spring, but he struggled at the plate for two months and eventually saw Phegley earn the bulk of the playing time. His numbers in 73 plate appearances spread over 31 games:
Hundley, 2019: .200/.233/.357, 53 wRC+, 2 HR, 2.7% BB, 24.7% Ks, 7 GIDP
He last played on June 8, and then went on the injured list due to a back spasm. While recovering from that injury, he also had knee surgery related to his meniscus. On the bright side he’s healthy now, as the A’s activated him from the IL before DFA’ing him, but his next opportunity will likely come in another organization.
Bob Melvin on Nick Hundley: "We enjoyed our time with him. He's a great personality. He's a good leader. ... We just didn't have a space for him right now, unfortunately. But I think based on what he did last year & his history, he'll wind up somewhere & we'll wish him the best."— Ben Ross (@BenRossTweets) July 26, 2019
Hundley at least got one more cool moment before being cut. On Monday, while he was on a rehab assignment with High-A Stockton, he caught a no-hitter. Three pitchers combined for the feat, but Hundley was behind the plate for the whole thing.
With Hundley out of the picture, the A’s catcher depth chart gets a bit less crowded. Phegley and the now-healthy Herrmann are still the MLB duo, though Phegley has cooled off a bit from his early-season hot streak (5-for-37 in July) and Herrmann has been quiet since his enormous first series against the Twins (4-for-24, 1 double, 1 BB).
Meanwhile, down in Triple-A, Sean Murphy came off the IL on Wednesday after missing nearly three months to a torn meniscus. He joins Beau Taylor, who showed well in the majors in his own brief stint in June and has a massive .437 OBP in the minors, as well as 30-year-old veteran Cameron Rupp, who hasn’t hit at all for Las Vegas.
Unfortunately, prospect Jonah Heim landed on the IL last weekend with a hamstring injury, reports A’s Farm, incurred after legging out a grounder, reports Melissa Lockard of The Athletic. The switch-hitting Heim was off to an incredible start since being promoted to Las Vegas in June, leading the Aviators with a 157 wRC+ through his first 87 plate appearances, including four homers and a low 13.8% strikeout rate.
Best of luck to Hundley wherever he winds up!