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Elephant Rumblings: Stephen Piscotty out with sore wrist, cortisone shot

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San Diego Padres v Oakland Athletics
Have a seat and take a break for a couple days!
Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Good morning, Athletics Nation!

The Oakland A’s have begun dealing with some nagging injuries lately, as the 2020 season gets deeper into its second (and final) month. Marcus Semien missed five games due to soreness in his side but has now returned, and Matt Chapman missed all five games of the latest series against the Houston Astros with hip tendinitis and is still out.

Add one more to the list, as right fielder Stephen Piscotty sat out the last four games of the Astros series due to a sore wrist, reports Matt Kawahara of the S.F. Chronicle. Per Kawahara, manager Bob Melvin said Wednesday that Piscotty had received a cortisone shot in the wrist and would be out at least a couple days. He did make a pinch-running appearance on Tuesday, though.

The 29-year-old is having a solid season, bouncing back from some injuries that hampered his 2019 campaign. His batting line is only around average but he’s had several clutch highlights, including a pair of 9th-inning grand slams that helped nudge his RBI total up to second on the team (28), and he’s been strong on defense as usual

While Piscotty has been productive, the A’s should be able to withstand his short-term absence. To begin, they now have a 6.5-game lead over the Houston Astros with 18 to play, and while it’s too early to take it for granted, Oakland has enough of a handle on the division race that they can take a longer view and rest players who need it. Better to have Piscotty available in October than push him too hard today.

On top of that, they’re deep in the outfield ranks. They already had four excellent options, which pushed Mark Canha to the DH spot, and now they have a few intriguing bats to step into that DH spot while Canha shifts to right field. That could mean giving Khris Davis more at-bats, or hot rookie Vimael Machin, or giving an infielder a half-day off and putting Tony Kemp at second base. The ideal is to have everyone healthy and Piscotty in the lineup, but the A’s have depth and versatility for exactly this kind of scenario.

Also on the topic of injuries, an update on rookie lefty A.J. Puk:

A’s Coverage

MLB News & Interest

Yesterday Game Highlights

Thursday: Win! And a huge dinger on a day when the ball wasn’t even carrying (also the highest launch angle for any homer in Olson’s career)

Best of Twitter

We really need to talk soon about how Ramon is a good defensive CF now

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Maybe he can throw a Maddux someday?

Heim Time

Buehler would be eligible to return just before the A’s play the Dodgers this month

You just hate to see it happen to such a great group of guys

Oh look he can play infield too

I know exactly the feeling! (He’s on the Giants now, by the way)