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A’s activate Mark Canha, option Skye Bolt to Triple-A

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Canha returns from injured list (hip)

Oakland Athletics v New York Yankees Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

When it waves, it pours.

The second half of the Oakland A’s season produced yet another piece of good news Saturday morning, as outfielder Mark Canha was activated from the 10-day injured list.

Canha went down in late-June with a strained left hip, and ended up missing three weeks including the All-Star break. The 32-year-old has been one of the most productive players on the team this year, and really nonstop since 2019, and it’s probably not a coincidence that they struggled while he was missing from the top of the lineup.

  • A’s thru June 24: 4.6 runs/game, .737 OPS, .321 OBP, 46-31 record
  • A’s w/out Canha: 3.8 runs/game, .639 OPS, .275 OBP, 7-9 record

One player doesn’t make that kind of impact alone — they’d already been struggling for a week before he got hurt, and are already on a three-game win streak now upon his return — but his absence is certainly one major factor in that larger recent downturn.

  • Canha, 2021: .255/.375/.450, 135 wRC+, 11 HR, 12.3% BB, 20.9% Ks, .355 xwOBA

What’s more, his return is just the latest piece of encouraging news for the club since the end of the All-Star break. Mitch Moreland also came off the injured list Friday afternoon and homered a few hours later, and by the end of the night the A’s won their first game out of the midsummer intermission, in come-from-behind walk-off fashion. Not only is the band getting back together after some brief injuries, but they’re beginning to record some hits again. Ride the wave!

Meanwhile, to make room for Canha’s return to the active roster, fellow outfielder Skye Bolt was optioned to Triple-A Las Vegas. The 27-year-old prospect finally got a little bit of playing time in the majors, but wasn’t able to capitalize enough to stick around just yet. He hit his first career homer and drove in a few runs, but in 48 plate appearances he batted .109 and didn’t draw a single walk.

  • Bolt: 5-for-46 (.109), 1 HR, 1 double, 0 BB, 10 Ks, .193 xwOBA

The lack of free passes was especially frustrating, as he’s carried enormous double-digit walk rates consistently throughout all levels of the minors but couldn’t replicate the skill in the majors. The switch-hitter at least wasn’t overmatched in terms of strikeouts, but when he did make contact it tended to be weak and on the ground. He remains on the 40-man roster and will be available for another try if the A’s need outfield help again this season, especially given his ability to play center field on defense.

Hot take: If Canha hadn’t gotten hurt exactly when he did, if it had been a month earlier or a month later or not happened at all, he would have been chosen for the All-Star team. No question at all, especially considering which other AL position players made it in his place.

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Here’s the updated roster, with the injury report below.

Oakland A's 26-man roster
Pitchers Hitters
Starters

Chris Bassitt (R)
Sean Manaea (L)
Frankie Montas (R)
Cole Irvin (L)
James Kaprielian (R)

60-IL: Mike Fiers (R)

Relievers

Lou Trivino (R)
Jake Diekman (L)
Yusmeiro Petit (R)
Sergio Romo (R)
Burch Smith (R)
J.B. Wendelken (R)
Deolis Guerra (R)
Sam Moll (L)

60-IL: Trevor Rosenthal (R)
Catchers

Sean Murphy (R)
Aramis Garcia (R)

Infielders

1B: Matt Olson (L)
2B: Jed Lowrie (S)
SS: Elvis Andrus (R)
3B: Matt Chapman (R)
UT: Tony Kemp (L)
UT: Jacob Wilson (R)
DH: Mitch Moreland (L)

Outfielders

Mark Canha (R)
Ramon Laureano (R)
Stephen Piscotty (R)
Seth Brown (L)


IL: Chad Pinder (R)

Injury report: