The Oakland A’s outfield is back in Cactus League action, after a brief health scare over the last week.
Center fielder Ramon Laureano and right fielder Stephen Piscotty, who each briefly sat out due to recent injuries, are both in the starting lineup on Tuesday.
For Laureano, it was a problem with his side, reported as his intercostal muscle. An MRI offered an encouraging prognosis, and he was scheduled to take at-bats Monday in a simulated game, reported Matt Kawahara of the S.F. Chronicle. He last played March 13, and was scratched from the lineup two days later after feeling something while swinging in the batting cage.
For Piscotty, it was left wrist soreness. He had a cortisone shot on Friday after being scratched from that day’s lineup, and he last played on Wednesday.
Analysis: Of course, you never want to celebrate an injury recovery too soon, as reaggravations can always happen, much less entire new injuries. But if these returns stick, then it’s a sigh of relief for the A’s.
Granted, they have enough depth in this area that they will probably have a good outfield no matter who is out there. But having everyone healthy and available is the best option, and in particular there’s no question their best possible arrangement includes at least Laureano. And while Piscotty has struggled recently, we’ve seen him be a 3-WAR player before, right here in Oakland, and he’s still in his prime.
Two-thirds of the outfield got hurt halfway through spring training, but for now it looks like they’re alright.
The biggest remaining injury is to starting pitcher Mike Fiers, who is a longshot for the beginning of the season due to hip inflammation. However, he’s at least making progress toward his 2021 debut, as he was scheduled to throw off flat ground on Monday, reports Shayna Rubin of the Mercury News.
Closer Trevor Rosenthal is also still throwing after his slight groin strain earlier this month, although he hasn’t appeared in a second game since his spring debut last Wednesday. “We’re not too worried about him at this point,” said manager Bob Melvin, per Kawahara.
Another A’s player hasn’t appeared in a game for a while, but it’s not because he’s hurt.
If you’re wondering why Sergio Romo hasn’t pitched in a while...he just had another baby!— Shayna Rubin (@ShaynaRubin) March 23, 2021
Summing up the current injury report:
- RHP Mike Fiers: longshot for opener, but resumed throwing (hip)
- OF Ramon Laureano: Back in action! (side)
- OF Stephen Piscotty: Back in action! (wrist)
Stay tuned for more updates in the coming days!