Athletics

How Pinder's routine, mindset have changed with birth of child

Athletics

A’s utility man Chad Pinder used to regularly enjoy 10 hours of pillow time per night.

“I’m a sleeper, man. During the season, I’m getting up at 11:30 or noon,” Pinder recently told NBC Sports California via FaceTime. “That’s my normal, not 3:30 in the morning, and staying up through the rest of the morning.”

The 28-year-old is, of course, referring to recent changes after becoming a father during the 2020 MLB season.

“It’s been such a rewarding four months already,” Pinder said. “I’ve learned to go with the flow a little more, everything is not going to be as planned, it’s not always going to be perfect, and to have patience ... and that I don’t need 10 hours of sleep per night to function.”

The 2020 season was unpredictable for Pinder already, playing through a pandemic, and not knowing when or how he could make a clean escape to be with his wife, Taylor, for the birth of their first child.

Pinder was in Dallas, Texas when ‘the call’ came, closer to his home in Virginia, and even more imperative -- he was fortunate that the call came when it did: A few days later on the A's road trip, the entire team was forced to quarantine in Houston.

“Ultimately, I missed the lockdown in Houston which, those five days could have had me missing his birth, had it gone a little later,” Pinder said. “It ended up being perfect timing, perfect everything, and it worked out how it was supposed to.”

 
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Pinder’s summer was segmented not only due to the paternity leave but also a late-season hamstring injury, which kept him sidelined the final two weeks on the season. He did return for the playoffs and was a key offensive contributor in both series.

“Getting hurt at the end, it was extremely frustrating, and I did not want that to be how 2020’s season ended for me,” Pinder said. 

Pinder recently avoided arbitration with Oakland, signing a one-year extension through 2021.