The Oakland A’s got some injury updates on Monday, most notably involving Matt Chapman.
The star third baseman exited Sunday’s game early with a hip problem, and after an MRI the diagnosis has come back as right hip tendinitis, reports insider Martin Gallegos. Chapman is currently day-to-day with no plans to put him on the injured list, adds Gallegos.
That’s close to the best news Oakland could have hoped for. Losing Chapman for any amount of time is a big blow, especially with five games over the next four days against their top division rival in the Houston Astros. But a few days would be more manageable than, say, the rest of the season and the playoffs.
The hip has been a problem previously this season, reports Susan Slusser of the S.F. Chronicle, and manager Bob Melvin admitted the possibility that it might have been affecting Chapman at the plate during his recent mini-slump. He struck out 10 times in his last 11 plate appearances, including a rare five-strikeout game on Saturday.
In the meantime, Chad Pinder was called to replace Chapman in the field on Sunday. In Monday’s lineup, Tommy La Stella is in the hot corner, with Tony Kemp filling La Stella’s usual spot at second base.
Elsewhere in the infield, shortstop Marcus Semien is expected to get back on the field this week against the Astros, reports Gallegos.
While the updates for Chapman and Semien are relatively positive, rookie pitcher A.J. Puk received worse news. The left-hander was supposed to throw to batters on Friday and possibly make his season debut this week, but he was instead shut down once again with further shoulder discomfort, reports Slusser.
This doesn’t directly change the fortunes of the 2020 team, as Puk has yet to play anyway so nobody is being removed from the roster as we know it. But he’s a high-ceiling prospect who could have an impact on a postseason run if he were able to return in time, so losing the opportunity to add him would be a bummer. Stay tuned to find out if this is just a brief bump in the road, or an effective season-ender.