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A’s injuries and stuff: Olson returns to lineup; Piscotty paternity leave; Moreland pinch-hitting

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Good news on injuries, and also one happy reason to sit out a couple games

Oakland Athletics vs. Texas Rangers Richard W. Rodriguez/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

The Oakland A’s lineup has been a bit of a turnstile through the first two weeks of the season, with several hitters missing a couple games here and there to minor bumps and bruises but most of them fortunately returning quickly. That trend continued the last few days.

First baseman Matt Olson exited the game Monday night against the Arizona D’Backs after being hit in the hand by a pitch. He was subsequently listed as day-to-day with a left thumb contusion, reported insider Martin Gallegos, and indeed he missed the game Tuesday afternoon.

Oakland had Wednesday off for travel, and Olson returned to the lineup Thursday against the Detroit Tigers. If there are any lingering effects then they sure didn’t show, as each of his three batted balls were absolute blasts at 103 mph or higher in exit velocity. One of them cleared the fence for a monster dinger.

Also out of the order lately has been DH Mitch Moreland. He last started April 8 (a week ago Thursday), but sat out the next day due to a hamstring issue, reported Shayna Rubin of the Mercury News. Rubin noted that Moreland was available to pinch-hit at the time.

The 35-year-old hasn’t started any games since then, now five in total. However, he did pinch-hit twice, earning a sharp single through the shift on Tuesday and then grounding out softly on Thursday.

The lineup has rolled along just fine while Moreland has rested, but a new opening has emerged for the next couple days — fortunately for a happy reason this time, rather than an injury. Outfielder Stephen Piscotty was placed on the paternity list Friday, meaning he will miss between one and three games.

Update, via Gallegos:

Piscotty left in the middle of the game last night. His wife had a boy. He’ll be out for three days.

Congrats to the Piscotty family on their new addition!

Puk and Pinder

In longer-term injury news, we’re slowly beginning to see some progress.

Pitcher A.J. Puk went on the 10-day injured list after one appearance due to a strained left biceps, and it won’t just be a minimum stint. However, he has at least begun throwing, and on Thursday he stretched it out to 90 feet, reports Matt Kawahara of the S.F. Chronicle. However, Kawahara notes that the southpaw is “still a ways away from potential return.”

Meanwhile, super-sub Chad Pinder is out with a sprained left knee, and he’s already passed his own minimum 10-day stint. His recovery is being measured in weeks not days, but at least he should be able to begin that road soon. Manager Bob Melvin said Thursday (per Kawahara) that Pinder “feels a little bit better” and “should start doing some baseball activity this week.”

Injury report

Here’s the updated injury/absence report entering Friday.

  • RHP Trevor Rosenthal, 60-day IL, thoracic outlet surgery (July at least)
  • UT Chad Pinder, 10-day IL, knee (week-to-week)
  • LHP A.J. Puk, 10-day IL, biceps (at least most of April)
  • RHP Burch Smith, 10-day IL, groin (no details yet)
  • LHP Reymin Guduan, 10-day IL, thumb (no details yet)
  • RHP Mike Fiers, 10-day IL, lumbar (thrown multiple alt-site rehab outings)
  • OF Stephen Piscotty, 3-day paternity (must return by Mon 4/19)
  • DH Mitch Moreland, day-to-day, hamstring (available to pinch-hit)
  • 1B Matt Olson, BACK IN ACTION, thumb (returned to lineup Thu)