The Oakland A’s will be without their leadoff hitter for a while, perhaps beyond the 10 days slated on the injured list.
Mark Canha was placed on the 10-day IL on Friday and, after an MRI, was determined to have left hip tendinitis.
“It’s going to be every bit of the 10 days and see where we go from there,” manager Bob Melvin said.
Most importantly, the MRI didn’t reveal any damage to the surgically repaired portion of Canha’s left hip. The 32-year-old had surgery in 2016 to repair a torn labrum and hip impingement.
“(We would be concerned) If the surgery was compromised, but it doesn’t look that way,” Melvin said on Friday.
No timetable for Canha’s return is in place. And they’ll miss his presence. After quickly adapting to his new post as the A’s leadoff hitter, Canha was putting together All-Star caliber numbers, slashing .255/ .375/ .450 with a .826 OPS. Getting pitchers’ pitch count up is an added bonus for the leadoff hitter, and Canha sees an average 4.29 pitches per at-bat, which ranks third in the American League behind Chicago White Sox’s Yoán Moncada and Matt Chapman.
“That’s a tough one for us,” Melvin said. “Talk about stability in the leadoff spot. Being acclimated to that role is not an easy thing to do and he’s done it beautifully. Even with the guys at the bottom of the order now getting on base and knocking runs in, he was really, you look at hi numbers in totality, they were almost worthy of All-Star consideration.”
Who leads off now? Tony Kemp is expected to lead off against right-handed pitchers. Ramón Laureano was penciled into the leadoff spot against San Francisco Giants left-handed pitcher Alex Wood on Saturday, though Melvin expects the role against left-handed pitchers to change on a rolling basis depending on more specific match-up advantages — such as career numbers.
Kemp has become an ideal leadoff candidate by upping his on-base percentage to a whopping .410 in 57 games.
“Tony’s playing great right now,” Melvin said. “He deserves the leadoff spot. You look at his on-base percentage. That’s probably what we look at more than anything at the leadoff spot.”
The A’s have an outfielder shortage: With Canha and Stephen Piscotty out, the A’s are a little short at the outfield spot. Vimael Machin got the call-up to fill Canha’s open roster spot, his infield versatility a key factor in a National League ballpark for this series against the Giants.
Skye Bolt has been seeing some semi-consistent playing time and Chad Pinder — who started in right field on Saturday — should see more time in the outfield, too.
The Cortisone shot Piscotty received last Monday on his sprained right wrist is “kicking in,” and the A’s could see him return soon, Melvin said.
“We’re down some outfielders,” he said. “Guys who have been productive for us the last couple years. We’re looking at, right now, against left-handers having two lefties every day. Skye has made it a little bit easier with what he’s done, but it’s hard not to put Tony in there right now. So yeah, it’d be great to get Stephen back and get him some at-bats. He’s been really productive for us over the last three years.”
Cole Irvin vs. Gabe Kapler: A’s starter Irvin and Giants manager Kapler crossed paths in Philadelphia in 2019. Kapler was fired in 2019 after less than two years as the Phillies skipper. Irvin was traded in the 2021 offseason after accruing a 6.75 ERA there.
Plenty of time for Kapler to produce a scouting report on Irvin.
“Pace, strike throwing, quality change up,” Kapler said on Saturday. “Very, very competitive on the mound. One of my favorites during my time in Philadelphia because of his demeanor, positive attitude all the time, but also because of the pitch mix. And really going to back to his minor league days, an excellent strike thrower.”
(mostly in relief that season, needed opp. to start?)
I’m pretty confident in my recollection of this. I think he made a big start for us at dodger stadium, had a great start, and I believe pitched pretty deep into that game. that was an indication he a chance to be a good starter in this league,b ut going back to college, in hiss time at Oregon he was a quality starting pitcher and had been a quality staarting pitcher through the minor leagues as well
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Author: Shayna Rubin