Chad Pinder didn't spend much time in the outfield before the A's loss to the Los Angeles Angels on Tuesday.
Just two innings, in fact.
The 28-year-old only played one inning there at Angel Stadium, but Pinder certainly made his presence known when he ran down a foul ball roped off Mike Trout's bat in the bottom of the eighth inning.
What a catch by Pinder 😲 pic.twitter.com/aMThkoHUxb— A's on NBCS (@NBCSAthletics) August 12, 2020
It was just about the A's lone highlight in Tuesday's 6-0 loss, but Pinder's timing couldn't have been better. Oakland could be without center fielder Ramón Laureano for as many as six games depending upon the appeal of his suspension, and Pinder's catch is proof they'll still be in good shape defensively.
Pinder saved just shy of six runs in each of the last two seasons with his defense, according to Fangraphs' Ultimate Zone Rating (UZR). He was better in the corners than he was in center field, but Pinder, Mark Canha and Robbie Grossman are so versatile that it's difficult to envision any of them truly holding Laureano's spot in his absence.
The 28-year-old will need to turn it around at the plate, as Pinder is slashing just .192/.276/.308 in 29 plate appearances. Laureano has been one of the A's better hitters, sitting third on the team with 10 RBI and three home runs.
The A's undoubtedly will miss Laureano's bat, but they won't miss his glove as much if Pinder can keep flashing the leather like he did Tuesday night.