Athletics outfielder Mark Canha was placed on the 10-day Injured List on Friday after sustaining a left hip strain. He underwent an MRI, but manager Bob Melvin said the team has yet to receive the results.
Canha’s absence couldn’t have come at a worse time as Oakland faces the Giants in a three-game Bay Bridge Series at Oracle Park beginning Friday night.
Canha has thrived recently against the Giants, so his bat will be missed this weekend.
In the last two seasons, as The Athletic’s Andrew Baggarly pointed out, Canha was 12-for-37 with four home runs, including one he hit last year in San Francisco that the Bay Area native will “never forget.”
Tony Kemp will start in left field in place of Canha on Friday, but moving forward, Melvin still has some decisions to make.
“That’s a tough one for us," Melvin said. "What [Canha’s] meant to this team, what he’s done in the leadoff spot, the versatility, he’s a tough one to replace. At least against righties, it will be Tony leading off, not sure against lefties, we don’t have two lefties coming up the next couple of days, I don’t have an answer for you right now.”
Outfielder Stephen Piscotty was placed on the 10-day IL last week with a left wrist sprain and Skye Bolt has been filling in for Ramón Laureano when the center fielder needs a day off.
Canha took over leadoff responsibilities this season after Marcus Semien signed with the Toronto Blue Jays in the offseason. He’s done the job well, slashing .255/.375/.826 in 2021 with 69 hits and leads the league with 13 hit by pitches.
Canha had season-ending surgery in 2016 on his left hip, which could be cause for some concern.
“I don’t know if it’s a benefit because it was fixed, or if it compromises that, so we really don’t know,” Melvin said. “Based on the way he’s walking around right now, hopefully, it hasn’t compromised that. You would think that if it did then he might feel a little bit different. Any time you’re talking about a hip in an area where he’s had surgically repaired, it’s obviously a concern. I have my fingers crossed -- put it that way.”