Good morning, Athletics Nation!
Injuries are up around the majors in 2020, but the Oakland A’s have mostly avoided the rash so far. Still, they’ve lost a couple pitchers along the way, and the latest was reliever Burch Smith.
The right-hander appeared to pull himself from his last appearance on Saturday, and Sunday he went on the injured list with a right forearm strain.
All injuries are bummers, but the loss of Smith was particularly tough because he was one of the hottest pitchers in the league, retiring 34 of the first 39 batters he faced. That success was unexpected, but whether it was a hot streak or a breakout was less relevant than the fact that it was helping the team win valuable games in a short season where every victory counts 2.7 times.
The latest update on Smith is a mixed bag, reports John Hickey of Sports Illustrated and the other insiders, though the positive clearly outweighs the negative. The good news is Smith’s ligament is fine, which is especially encouraging for a pitcher who already had Tommy John surgery once. The bad news, however, is that it will be at least two weeks before he throws again, and there may not be time for him to return to action before the season ends in just over month.
Smith is a 30-year-old optionable reliever who won’t earn much more than the minimum salary even in arbitration next winter, so there’s potential for a long-term future in Oakland. If his arm is indeed OK, then his eye-opening 2020 will still have been a success even if he can’t quite make it back in time for this season. That would be a disappointment for him and for fans alike, but the important thing is that his injury isn’t as bad as it could have been.
- Gallegos: Smith’s MRI results; Puk’s progress
- Hickey: A Bit of Good News for Athletics’ Smith on Injury; Puk Return Seems Closer
- Hickey: Kaprielian’s Long and Winding Road Gives a First-Round Flavor to Athletics’ Bullpen
- Kawahara: A’s James Kaprielian looks ‘all the way back’ in MLB debut ($)
- Kawahara: A’s Burch Smith (forearm) out for weeks, but ligament not ‘compromised’ ($)
- Kawahara: For A’s Franklin Barreto, opportunities have been sparse ($)
- Laws: Oakland A’s Look Like 2020’s Team of Destiny
- Hall: Stephen Piscotty is back after 2019 off-year
- Series Preview #8: Diamondbacks home-and-away
- Game #23: A’s come back again, but fall short in 4-3 loss to D’Backs
MLB News & Interest
- Cassavall: Rangers not happy with Tatis slam on 3-and-0
- Gurnick: Seager brothers both homer in first matchup
- Acee: Tommy Pham has surgery; Kirby Yates out at least 6 weeks
- Today in Baseball History
Yesterday’s Game Highlights
Monday: Loss! But still made a late-inning comeback to tie it, which is becoming a theme.
Best of Twitter
Yikes, that sounds bad
Kendall Graveman said he has a bone tumor in the C6 part of his cervical spine.— Ryan Divish (@RyanDivish) August 17, 2020
The cutouts will need to continue their diligent work
Commissioner Rob Manfred addressed this topic in his weekly call with owners today. The Rockies and Rangers, in particular, have been pushing to open their parks to limited capacities, sources say. https://t.co/vnJeG6OflG— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) August 17, 2020
Right after the A’s scored five runs off him Sunday
Giants option Dereck Rodriguez. He's on taxi squad. Duggar recalled, available tonight.— John Shea (@JohnSheaHey) August 17, 2020
You miss 100% of the swings you don’t make contact on
Another good take by Julian. And a bad one by Chris Woodward.
I remember a first baseman purposefully dropping a ball in foul territory against the Red Sox at the end of a season so a pitcher could have a second chase to record his 200th strikeout of the season and Woodward defending it. Now this. https://t.co/mLH6Xo4pqu— Julian McWilliams (@byJulianMack) August 18, 2020
When life gives you lemons