The Oakland A’s just lost an entire middle infield.
The A’s placed shortstop Elvis Andrus and second baseman Jed Lowrie on the 10-day injured list on Sunday. With only seven games left in the season, neither of them will play again this year.
For Andrus, the diagnosis is a fractured left fibula in his lower leg. He was injured Saturday while running the bases, feeling a pop in his ankle as he rounded third but still continuing the rest of the way home to score the winning run. In other words, he went the final 90 feet on a broken leg.
“I don’t know that I’ve managed a player that’s tougher than Elvis,” said manager Bob Melvin, via insider Martin Gallegos. “Pound for pound, this kid brings it every day. Probably played hurt way more than anybody knew, whether it was wrist, ankle or whatever. He just refused to come off the field.”
Elvis Andrus literally left it all out on the field yesterday. Felt the ankle pop while rounding third, which turned out to be a fractured fibula. Basically made it home to score the winning run on adrenaline and heart. Warrior stuff.— Martín Gallegos (@MartinJGallegos) September 26, 2021
For Lowrie, the problem is a sprained right hand. He’d been dealing with a wrist issue lately that limited him to batting left-handed, and throughout September he didn’t start against any lefty pitchers and was often lifted for a pinch-hitter if a southpaw reliever entered. He started only four of the team’s last dozen games.
That’s last call for the 2021 A’s veteran middle infield. Andrus (33) and Lowrie (37) combine for 70 years of age and 26 seasons of MLB experience, and they proved to be amazingly durable this summer despite entering with major injury concerns. Andrus started 140 games at SS, and while Lowrie hasn’t played any defense this month, he does lead the club with 69 starts at 2B. Lowrie also took the DH spot 49 times and pinch-hit several times, appearing in 139 games overall.
Now Oakland will need to come up with a new plan for the final week of the season, and the lineup Sunday features Josh Harrison at SS and Tony Kemp at 2B. The pair had already been splitting second base for the past month while Lowrie was DHing, so now Harrison shifts to the other side of the bag. Chad Pinder also has experience at both positions.
With two players going on the IL, two more come up to take their spots on the roster. One is infielder Vimael Machin, recalled from Triple-A for the fourth time this year. In his sporadic fill-in duty he’s started six games at SS, three games at 2B, and one at 3B, though at the plate the lefty hitter is just 3-for-28.
The other is reliever Sam Moll, who was activated from the paternity list. The lefty has pitched six times this year and tossed 7⅔ scoreless innings.
Here’s the updated roster, with the injury report below.
Chris Bassitt (R)
Sean Manaea (L)
Frankie Montas (R)
Cole Irvin (L)
Paul Blackburn (R)
60-IL: Mike Fiers (R)
Andrew Chafin (L)
Jake Diekman (L)
Yusmeiro Petit (R)
Sergio Romo (R)
Lou Trivino (R)
Domingo Acevedo (R)
Michael Feliz (R)
Deolis Guerra (R)
James Kaprielian (R)
Sam Moll (L)
IL: Daulton Jefferies (R)
60-IL: Trevor Rosenthal (R)
Sean Murphy (R)
Yan Gomes (R)
1B: Matt Olson (L)
2B: Tony Kemp (L)
SS: Josh Harrison (R)
3B: Matt Chapman (R)
UT: Vimael Machin (L)
IL: Elvis Andrus (R)
IL: Jed Lowrie (S)
IL: Mitch Moreland (L)
Mark Canha (R)
Starling Marte (R)
Chad Pinder (R)
Seth Brown (L)
Skye Bolt (S)
DH: Khris Davis (R)
IL: Stephen Piscotty (R)
- RHP Trevor Rosenthal, OUT FOR YEAR, entire body (thoracic outlet, hip labrum)
- OF Stephen Piscotty, OUT FOR YEAR, wrist (had surgery 8/27)
- SS Elvis Andrus, 10-day IL, leg (fractured fibula, out for year)
- 2B Jed Lowrie, 10-day IL, hand (mathematically out for year)
- RHP Mike Fiers, 60-day IL, elbow (probably out for year)
- RHP Daulton Jefferies, 10-day IL, elbow (probably out for year)
- DH Mitch Moreland, 10-day IL, wrist (maybe out for year?)
LHP Sam Moll, paternity list (activated 9/26)