Marcus Semien isn't Cal Ripken Jr., but he has been the A's ironman for the last three seasons.
So it was stunning to see the A's post an updated lineup without Semien in it less than 10 minutes before Game 2 of their doubleheader against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on Saturday.
After starting Game 1 of the doubleheader, Semien had been in manager Bob Melvin's lineup for 276 straight games, including the first 33 games of this season. That streak now is over.
Following the A's 6-3 loss in Game 2 of the doubleheader, Melvin told reporters that Semien suffered an injury during the first game.
"He's got some left side soreness," Melvin said. "He felt it a little bit during the game. He went to warm up in the cage and was struggling with it. So we took him out. He's seeing a doctor. He's getting an MRI as we speak."
Melvin said there is concern regarding Semien's injury, and that the team had to scramble to fill the shortstop spot.
But that wasn't the only surprising news from the A's lineup. Platinum Glove third baseman Matt Chapman slid over to fill in for Semien, making his first career start at shortstop.
Chapman, arguably the best defensive player in baseball, had made all 411 of his big league starts at third base. With Chapman at shortstop, rookie Vimael Machín made the start at the hot corner.
Interestingly, Semien's replacement in the leadoff spot, Ramón Laureano, started off Game 2 with a solo homer to right center off Astros starter Zack Greinke to give the A's a quick 1-0 lead.
Because Semien has been so reliable for Melvin and the A's, they haven't had to think about other players on the roster playing shortstop. So, there isn't a replacement ready and waiting. Chad Pinder has over 200 innings of experience at shortstop, but he's away from the team due to the birth of his son and Melvin said he won't rejoin the team until they get to Seattle. Tony Kemp and Tommy La Stella don't have any big league experience at shortstop, while Machin has limited minor league experience at the position.
If Semien is out for an extended period of time, the A's will have to proceed without one of their most dependable players and that could be tough to overcome.