One hitter out, right as another returns
The Oakland A’s lost one veteran hitter on Sunday, but gained back another at the same time.
The A’s announced Sunday that they’ve place DH Mitch Moreland on the injured list. There was no reason given for his trip to the IL, nor is it clear which version of the list he went on, so there is no timetable at all for how long he might miss.
Moreland was in the starting lineup Saturday but never took a plate appearance. He was lifted for a pinch-hitter before his first at-bat, for what was described after the game by manager Bob Melvin as “a non-baseball-related issue,” per Matt Kawahara of the S.F. Chronicle. More from Kawahara on Sunday:
Bob Melvin did not provide more specifics on reason for Mitch Moreland’s IL stint: “I wish I could but I can’t.” It’s not a 10-day IL situation so understanding is no minimum duration.
To replace Moreland on the active roster, right fielder Stephen Piscotty was activated from the 10-day IL. Piscotty went down two weeks ago with a sprained left wrist that had bothered him since spring training, but after a cortisone shot, some time off, and a rehab game in the minors on Saturday, he’s ready to return.
- Piscotty, 2021: .217/.284/.357, 82 wRC+, 4 HR, 7.8% BB, 23.4% Ks
After an excellent 2018 season in Oakland that featured a 126 wRC+ and 3 WAR, Piscotty has dealt with a nonstop series of injuries over the last three years.
Analysis: Since last summer, any mysterious trip to the indefinite IL like Moreland’s has meant a COVID-related issue. But I dunno, just from reading the insider reports and Melvin’s quotes, the vibe I get is that maybe this is something else. I personally have no idea, and it’s not really any of our business. What matters is that Moreland isn’t playing this weekend and we hope he and his loved ones are OK.
DH Mitch Moreland was replaced by pinch-hitter Frank Schwindel. It was the third time in A’s history a DH didn’t take his first plate appearance – Jose Canseco 1997 (sore back) and Dick Allen 1977 (RTP: refused to play). Per the great @dfeldy
— John Shea (@JohnSheaHey) July 3, 2021
In baseball terms, the loss of Moreland means one fewer lefty bat available, though his production has been counted more in terms of clutch highlights (two walk-offs) than overall production (87 wRC+). His DH spot is easy to fill, especially with new rookie Frank Schwindel tearing the cover off the ball, but the whole picture might lean a bit more right-handed for a while.
Meanwhile, it’s easy to get down on Piscotty lately but it’s important to remember we’ve seldom seen him healthy, and even during his tough years he’s still won several games with late-inning heroics.
Here’s the updated roster, with the injury report below.
Chris Bassitt (R)
60-IL: Mike Fiers (R)
Lou Trivino (R)
60-IL: Trevor Rosenthal (R)
Sean Murphy (R)
1B: Matt Olson (L)
IL: Mitch Moreland (L)
Ramon Laureano (R)
IL: Mark Canha (R)
- RHP Mike Fiers, 60-day IL, elbow (no structural damage; shut down for July)
- RHP Trevor Rosenthal, 60-day IL, thoracic outlet surgery (begin throwing late-June?)
- OF Mark Canha, 10-day IL, hip (no structural damage; return after All-Star break?)
- DH Mitch Moreland, IL, undisclosed (no details given)
OF Stephen Piscotty, BACK IN ACTION, wrist (activated 7/4)