Good morning, Athletics Nation!
The Oakland A’s are going through the rest of 2020 without their best player, third baseman Matt Chapman, but they might get another familiar face back sooner than expected.
Super-sub Chad Pinder went on the injured list with a strained hamstring on Sept. 13, and at the time it was supposed to end his regular season, with the chance of returning to action during the playoffs. However, the strain turned out to be minor (Grade 1, the lowest version) and he is progressing well enough to upgrade that timeline.
Pinder now has a chance to return before the end of the regular season, first reported by John Hickey of Sports Illustrated on Sunday. As of Tuesday, that possibility had evolved into an outright expectation that he’ll return before the postseason, per insider Martin Gallegos. He is “hopeful of playing in [the] Seattle series this weekend,” says Susan Slusser of the S.F. Chronicle. For more details, here’s a full writeup from Hickey on Tuesday.
The loss of Pinder had been particularly ill-timed, as he made the most sense to take over for Chapman at third base but then went on the IL himself the very next day after Chapman did. Fortunately, Oakland made an emergency signing of former All-Star 3B Jake Lamb, and the new guy has exploded at the plate over the last week to help fill Chappy’s sizable shoes.
Pinder had trouble finding playing time amid the A’s crowded roster all year and now he might find himself in that same frustrating situation (blocked by Lamb), but that doesn’t take away the importance of getting back as many healthy hands as possible. Depth is still crucial as October approaches — more players can still get hurt this week, or a hot streak like Lamb’s could cool off as quickly as it appeared (though there’s every reason to believe he’s truly a good hitter).
- Slusser podcast: Talking Bay Area baseball’s final week with John Shea
- Bleav podcast (Ben Ross): Guest is Dave Stewart
- Hickey: Pinder `Extremely Hopeful’ to be Back on Field This Weekend vs. Mariners
- Hickey: How Have Athletics Survived Without Getting More from the Offense?
- Hickey: Treinen No Longer in Green and Gold, but He’s Delighted by Athletics Success
- Kawahara: A’s take in AL West clinch from a distance: ‘We still have work to do’ ($)
- Kawahara: A’s enter MLB’s playoff bubble, liken to ‘a constant road trip’ ($)
- News: Daniel Mengden clears waivers, outrighted to Triple-A by Oakland A’s
- AN: Barry Zito releases new music video: ‘Ballpark Kids’
- Game #54: Frankie Montas roughed up by former team, A’s lose 7-2
MLB News & Interest
Yesterday’s Game Highlights
Loss! But it doesn’t matter, already clinched.
Best of Twitter
Important detail about playoff rosters
Teams are allowed to have up to 12 players on their taxi squad in the playoff bubble and I am told the A’s have added Sheldon Neuse, Carlos Perez, Grant Holmes, Lucas Leutge, and as @MartinJGallegos reported, OF Luis Barrera, along with those who’ve been on previous taxi squads.— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) September 22, 2020
D-Train drops some knowledge
On the other hand it could be that the other teams have bad records partly because the A’s, Dodgers, and Padres beat up on them so hard.
The mild, mild West. The #Athletics will be the second team the #Dodgers have face this year currently with a winning record. The #Padres are the other. And the Dodgers will be the second team the A's have faced currently with a winning record. Also the Padres.— John Hickey (@JHickey3) September 22, 2020
Simmons will sit out the final week
#Angels shortstop Andrelton Simmons might have played last game in a Halos uniform. He opted out of remainder of season last night bc of COVID-19 concerns, source tells @latimessports. Simmons’ statement to The Times: https://t.co/anKCrmC3Kj pic.twitter.com/imuOH93XRv— Maria Torres (@maria_torres3) September 22, 2020
Today in A’s history!
September 23, 1988: @JoseCanseco becomes the first player in major league history to hit 40 home runs and steal 40 bases in a season.— This Day In Sports Clips (@TDISportsClips) September 23, 2020
There have been three other players to do it since: Barry Bonds (1996), Alex Rodriguez (1998), & Alfonso Soriano (2006). pic.twitter.com/Q4yqwCu6lB
New hype video!
This has nothing to do with baseball, but Paul Rudd is famously a big baseball fan (of the Royals, nobody’s perfect), and this video is guaranteed to make you smile this morning and also the person sharing it is a pro athlete named Chapman so that’s probably a sign.