Athletics

Athletics

OAKLAND — The A's lineup got a much-needed boost Tuesday when the team reinstated first baseman Matt Olson from the injured list.

Olson, 25, missed 34 games after fracturing the hamate bone in his right hand in Oakland's second game of the season in Japan.

"It's awesome," Olson said. "It feels like I'm finally back part of the team. I'm excited to get out there."

In five rehab games with Triple-A Las Vegas, Olson went 4-for-22 with a home run and two RBI. He says he feels fully healthy, though he admits his strength isn't all the way back yet.

"It's probably not fully there right now, but it's definitely strong enough," Olson said. "I'm 100 percent. If I came back under that, then I'd be hurting the team."

Added A's manager Bob Melvin: "He saw a lot of pitches. He's comfortable with his at-bats. He felt great from his first game -- he played nine innings at first base. He's had enough. He feels good and I feel good about where he was at."

Last season in Oakland, Olson slashed .247/.335/.453 with 29 home runs and 84 RBI and won the American League's Gold Glove Award at first base. Melvin believes Olson's defense will really help the A's.

"Gold Glove. We've got gold over there. Especially in our ballpark -- we've said it often that if you miss over there, it's two bases at our park. Not only is he terrific at digging balls out of the dirt, he's got a big wingspan. It just makes all the infielders really comfortable throwing the ball across the diamond."

 

To make room on the active roster for Olson, the A's optioned outfielder Skye Bolt to Triple-A Las Vegas. Bolt, 25, made his major league this past weekend in Pittsburgh, going 1-for-4 with a pinch-hit double.

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The A's hope Olson's return will help get the team back on track. Oakland has lost eight of its last nine games, falling to 15-21 on the season. It's the first time they've been six games below .500 since 2017.

The A's open a three-game interleague series against the Cincinnati Reds Tuesday night at the Coliseum. Olson will bat fifth in the lineup.