The Oakland A’s announced some more good news on Tuesday: Chad Pinder is going to be a father! The super-sub was placed on the paternity list, and outfielder Seth Brown was recalled to take his spot on the roster.
Pinder’s wife, Taylor, is in North Carolina and preparing to give birth to the couple’s son slightly earlier than expected, reports Susan Slusser of the S.F. Chronicle.
Congrats to the Pinder family! Athletics Nation wishes all the best health for couple and child.
In baseball terms, Pinder could be out of action for at least a few games. The paternity list only lasts three days maximum, but there are ways to extend it if necessary. When Mike Trout left the Angels for the birth of his child earlier this season, he did his three days on paternity and then moved to the general-purpose restricted list after that until he was cleared to return to active duty.
While Pinder is a valuable presence as a versatile defender and above-average outfielder with some power in his bat, this is a brief absence the A’s are prepared to cover for. He’s not the primary starter at any position, and hasn’t played at all since Friday, so this doesn’t create a specific hole in the lineup. And with an expanded bench this summer, there are already more backup options available than ever. Furthermore, his bat has been off to a below-average start so far (8-for-40), despite a couple of clutch moments.
Pinder, 2020: .200/.273/.375, 80 wRC+, 2 HR, 9.1% BB, 22.7% Ks
While the overall line isn’t great, it’s worth noting the strikeout rate is a career-best, at a moment when making contact is a major issue for the team as a whole. Only Robbie Grossman and Tony Kemp have lower rates among regular players on the club. Statcast sees promise as well, giving him an underlying .355 xwOBA that is both well above-average and also far better than his actual small-sample results so far.
The biggest obstacle for Pinder is his right-handed bat, in a lineup that’s already overloaded with star righty hitters. His replacement, Brown, won’t have that problem, as he brings a lefty stick to an outfield that is all righties plus one switch-hitter.
The rookie is only 0-for-3 so far this year in limited opportunities, but last season he opened eyes with a strong debut in 83 plate appearances.
Brown, 2019: .293/.361/.453, 120 wRC+, 0 HR, 8.4% BB, 27.7% Ks
How much of that will Brown be able to sustain over a longer-term sample? That remains to be seen, if and when he gets such a chance to prove it. One thing is for sure, though — don’t let that zero homer total fool you, because power is Brown’s top skill at the plate, after launching 37 dingers last year in Triple-A and 30 in 2017 in High-A.
Here’s the updated 28-man roster.
Frankie Montas (R)
Jesus Luzardo (L)
Sean Manaea (L)
Mike Fiers (R)
Chris Bassitt (R)
Liam Hendriks (R)
Yusmeiro Petit (R)
Joakim Soria (R)
Jake Diekman (L)
T.J. McFarland (L)
Daniel Mengden (R)
Lou Trivino (R)
Jordan Weems (R)
J.B. Wendelken (R)
Sean Murphy (R)
Jonah Heim (S)
Matt Olson (L)
Marcus Semien (R)
Matt Chapman (R)
Tony Kemp (L)
Franklin Barreto (R)
Vimael Machin (L)
Khris Davis (R)
Mark Canha (R)
Ramon Laureano (R)
Stephen Piscotty (R)
Robbie Grossman (S)
Seth Brown (L)
10-day IL: LHP A.J. Puk (shoulder), RHP Burch Smith (forearm)
Paternity list: UT Chad Pinder (began 8/25)