Quick opportunity while OF Stephen Piscotty goes on paternity leave
The Oakland A’s made a roster move on Friday, but it wasn’t due any injury, and it wasn’t to dump anybody off the roster. It’s positive news this time!
The A’s placed outfielder Stephen Piscotty on the paternity list, the team announced. To take his place on the active roster, infielder Vimael Machin was recalled from the alternate site. Piscotty, whose wife had a baby boy, can stay on that list for between one and three games and must be activated by Monday.
This marks Machin’s first trip to the majors this year, after spending all of last season in the bigs as a Rule 5 draft pick. The lefty didn’t hit much in the box scores but made good contact according to Statcast, and he batted .286 this spring with a pesky parade of singles.
- Machin, 2020: .206/.296/.238, 59 wRC+, 0 HR, 11.3% BB, 14.1% Ks, .338 xwOBA
- Machin, spring: 14-for-49, .654 OPS, 2 doubles, 9 RBI
That spring RBI total was the third-highest on the team during the Cactus League, as the 27-year-old consistently came through with the modest but sufficient contact needed to get the job done.
On defense, the plurality of Machin’s pro experience in the minors has come at 2B, but he also has notable experience at 3B, SS, and 1B, in that order. Last summer in Oakland he ended up filling in more at 3B and SS, illustrating his utilityman ability to move around the diamond wherever needed on a given day.
After spending the last couple years leaning heavily to the right side in the batter’s box, the A’s now have an abundance of lefty options in the dugout. Matt Olson and switch-hitter Jed Lowrie have the right side of the infield locked down, Mitch Moreland is the primary DH, Seth Brown and Ka’ai Tom are available in the outfield, and Tony Kemp and now Machin can plug in just about anywhere off the bench. That’s more than half the position players on the current active roster.
Furthering that trend is the brief absence of the righty Piscotty, who is swinging well so far this year. He hit his second homer of the season on Thursday and it wasn’t a cheapie, helping him rank third on the active club in wRC+ (144) and fourth in Statcast xwOBA (.382).
The whole lineup has been mashing so they can presumably afford to lose one hot bat for a few days, and it might just end up opening a useful opportunity for someone else like Machin or Brown or Tom, especially facing righty starting pitchers the next two games. But for what it’s worth, a hot bat is indeed what they’re losing this weekend against the rebuilding Detroit Tigers.
Here’s the updated 26-man roster. Click here for the latest injury report.
Chris Bassitt (R)
IL: Mike Fiers (R)
Jake Diekman (L)
IL: A.J. Puk (L)
Sean Murphy (R)
Matt Chapman (R)
Mark Canha (R)
PL: Stephen Piscotty (R)