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:
Melvin says Puk was scheduled to see Dr. Neil ElAttrache again and could begin throwing again this weekend. I don’t believe the team is holding out much hope he would pitch for them this year, but that’s just my own take on the situation. I guess the postseason may be possible.— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) September 10, 2020
- Slusser: Pals Lou Trivino, J.B. Wendelken turning into a terrific tandem in A’s bullpen ($)
- Hickey: Manaea Latest Athletics Starter to Step Up as Rotation Emerges as a Useful Weapon Again
- Hickey: It May Be Time for Athletics to Place Chapman on Injured List Just to Take a Break
- Game #42: A’s 2-hit Astros in 3-1 victory, extend AL West lead
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- Today in Baseball History
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
Laureano finishes the series in style pic.twitter.com/osUfidaqqS— A's on NBCS (@NBCSAthletics) September 10, 2020
Awwww heart emoji
For those worried that Ramón was mad at Tony https://t.co/ZwDKjZFA5b— Oakland A's (@Athletics) September 10, 2020
Maybe he can throw a Maddux someday?
Since pitch counts became reliable in 1988, Sean Manaea's 61 pitches is the fewest by an #Athletics pitcher in a start of 7 innings or more.— David Feldman (@dfeldy) September 10, 2020
Previous low was 68 by Todd Burns in 1990 (7 IP)
Manaea on Heim: “I love the way he catches. He’s a huge target and I think we’re pretty much on the same page on pitch calling. The way he sets up and receives the ball has been great. We talked about stuff in between starts. Just little things like that builds our relationship.”— Martín Gallegos (@MartinJGallegos) September 10, 2020
Buehler would be eligible to return just before the A’s play the Dodgers this month
Dodgers recall Joe Kelly, he begins to serve his suspension. Put Walker Buehler on IL with blister.— Ken Gurnick (@kengurnick) September 10, 2020
You just hate to see it happen to such a great group of guys
Josh Reddick: “It’s heartbreaking. Nothing has been going our way. Everything is going the other guys’ way. I think today was very disheartening.”— Brian McTaggart (@brianmctaggart) September 10, 2020
Oh look he can play infield too
Mookie Betts, the Gold Glove second baseman (prob if he wanted to be). pic.twitter.com/ymUjyUpBRw— Julian McWilliams (@byJulianMack) September 11, 2020
I know exactly the feeling! (He’s on the Giants now, by the way)
Because he was such a focus of A's messageboard fodder in 2005 and especially 2008-09, I often forget Justin Smoak was not actually ever part of the A's organization.— Melissa Lockard (@melissalockard) September 10, 2020