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A’s injuries: Chapman back in lineup, Bassitt continues throwing

Plus notes on Fiers and Lowrie

Oakland Athletics v Toronto Blue Jays Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images

Third baseman Matt Chapman is back in the Oakland A’s lineup on Friday.

Chapman missed four games after fouling a ball off his left foot/shin last weekend. The injury occurred Saturday and he exited that contest early, and while X-rays were negative, his foot locked up for a few days. Yesterday he did some light running and hit in the cage, reported Matt Kawahara of the S.F. Chronicle.

Despite Chapman’s recent absence, the A’s lineup is one of the hottest in the majors this month. He had a sizzling August but cooled off in September, batting .156 before his brief injury. Still, his 25 homers are second on the team, and he’s been strong overall in the second half of the season — his 118 wRC+ mark since the break is fourth among Oakland’s everyday regulars.

While Chapman was out, super-sub Josh Harrison took over third base and did a fantastic job on both sides of the ball. Harrison moves to shortstop on Friday, while Elvis Andrus gets the day off after getting hit by a pitch in the ankle yesterday. Andrus is “still feeling effects” from that HBP, reports Kawahara.

Lowrie wrist

Elsewhere in the lineup, there’s been a recent trend of DH Jed Lowrie working in an extremely strict platoon. He only starts against right-handed pitchers, and if a lefty reliever comes in then he’s removed for a pinch-hitter.

There’s a reason for that. Lowrie “has been limited to hitting left-handed by a wrist issue,” reports Kawahara.

The switch-hitter last started against a southpaw on Aug. 29. In the month of September he’s batting only .179 with an 82 wRC+ mark, and overall in the second half of the season those numbers are .208 and 79.

Bassitt and Fiers

Two starting pitchers continued advancing toward hopeful late-summer returns.

It’s been just over four weeks since Chris Bassitt was hit in the head by a line drive and underwent facial surgery, and last weekend he already threw his first bullpen session. On Wednesday he threw another bullpen while the team was in Kansas City, per Kawahara:

Chris Bassitt threw another bullpen session today in Kansas City. His next step will be throwing to hitters pregame Saturday in Anaheim, Bob Melvin said. Melvin said the A’s aren’t sure yet if Bassitt will need a minor-league rehab assignment.

It still seems unfathomable that the All-Star right-hander would pitch again this summer after his scary injury, but it’s looking increasingly possible, though there’s not yet a specific determination or timetable. For more details and quotes, check out Kawahara’s full writeup.

Meanwhile, Mike Fiers made a minor league rehab start on Tuesday for Triple-A Las Vegas, after missing four months to a strained elbow. He threw 33 pitches, working into the 2nd inning. The veteran righty will make his next rehab appearance on Saturday, and he’ll do so out of the bullpen, reports Kawahara. If Fiers does return to the majors this year, it remains to be seen whether it would be as a starter or a reliever.

Here’s the updated injury report: