In the first game of the Oakland A’s doubleheader on Monday, right fielder Stephen Piscotty made a leaping attempt for a deep fly ball off the bat of Luis Torrens of the Seattle Mariners in the 4th inning. But Piscotty couldn’t quite grab the ball and it glanced off his glove, then off the top of the wall, and then over for a homer. It probably would have gone out even if he hadn’t touched it, but it’s always frustrating to get that close to making a spectacular highlight catch.
Adding injury to insult, Piscotty hurt himself on the play as well. He exited the game in the 5th inning, and afterward manager Bob Melvin said the initial diagnosis is a right knee sprain. Melvin’s full quote from the NBCS broadcast:
“Right knee sprain within the patella tendon. He jumped for that ball in right field and had a little pop. So he won’t play in [the second game of the doubleheader], wasn’t going to play anyway, get him looked at once we get to Colorado.”
The A’s have 12 more games left in the regular season after Monday, beginning with two in the mountains against the Rockies, and the postseason begins in 15 days (on Sept. 29). If Piscotty were to require any type of stint on the injured list, it would more or less wipe out the rest of his campaign and put his presence in jeopardy for the playoffs.
The right-hander’s batting line is slightly below-average for the season, but he ranks second on the team with 29 RBI thanks to several clutch hits including a pair of 9th-inning grand slams.
Piscotty, 2020: .248/.289/.406, 90 wRC+, 5 HR, 4.9% BB, 28.7% Ks
The A’s already lost third baseman Matt Chapman for the season, and super-sub Chad Pinder to the IL with a pulled hammy, so adding yet another injury to the list would be especially unfortunate timing.
If there’s a bright side, it’s that Oakland is better equipped to cover for an outfield injury than one in the infield. They still have three stars in Mark Canha, Robbie Grossman, and Ramon Laureano, with plenty of options for the DH spot like Khris Davis and the newly signed Jake Lamb. But of course, the ideal situation would be to not lose Piscotty at all and have everyone healthy and available.
For what it’s worth, Piscotty also missed all of July 2019 with a right knee sprain.